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Innovation Standstill: How Innovation is Needed to Build a Sustainable Brand


Innovation involves more than thinking outside the box and creating an invention. It's about discovering and implementing novel concepts that connect with and develop societal needs. Innovation can take many forms within a business model, ranging from branding to marketing automation and beyond. Today, we are going to explore the emergence of innovation in this AI era to build and nurture a sustainable brand.


Innovation is the only way to win. - Steve Job

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Image Source: Chrome Web Store


Types of Innovation in Brands


You can explore innovation in many different ways to evolve your brand. Each type of brand innovation focuses on different aspects of business and society, aiming to bring about positive changes and advancements.


  • Product Innovation: Developing new or improved products.

  • Process Innovation: Improving manufacturing or delivery processes.

  • Service Innovation: Creating new or enhanced services

  • Marketing Innovation: Developing new marketing strategies and concepts.

  • Organizational Innovation: Changing business structures or management practices.

  • Business Model Innovation: Transforming the way a business operates.

  • Social Innovation: Addressing social challenges with new solutions.

  • Technological Innovation: Advancements in technology to create new products or services.

  • Environmental Innovation: Developing eco-friendly solutions and sustainable practices.

  • Disruptive Innovation: Introducing changes that disrupt existing markets or create new ones.


8 Key Components to Build A Sustainable Brand


Now that we know innovation and the various forms of its existence, How do we evolve to build a sustainable brand?


Businesses need to embrace several key elements to build a sustainable business that is not only economically profitable but also contributes positively to society and the environment. Below, we have highlighted the core points:


  1. You must adopt sustainable materials in manufacturing, optimize the supply chain to reduce carbon emissions, and rely on renewable energy sources.

  2. Your brand recognition should transparently show your sustainability efforts and achievements.

  3. Leverage artificial intelligence and data analytics to identify and improve your brand’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. 

  4. Opt for greening the technology stack, like choosing cloud providers with lower environmental impacts.

  5. Focus on producing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products.

  6. Reuse materials, compost, and choose sustainable packaging options​.

  7. Reduce waste, sourcing materials locally, and designing products that are easy to repair to increase longevity​.

  8. Understand and respond to the needs of various stakeholders, including customers, employees, and regulators.


Sustainability is Changing the Ways Brands Operate


In Malaysia, several companies stand out for their commitment to sustainability, innovation, and branding, aligning with the global trend of integrating innovative sustainable practices into business models.


Image Source: BatikBoutique.com


Batik Boutique is a fine example of a sustainable brand. This award-winning social enterprise built a unique brand identity that pairs women from low-income backgrounds with the ancient Southeast Asian art of making batik.


They work with rural and urban artisans to create unique batik pieces, directly benefiting local artisans and contributing to disrupting the cycle of poverty in Malaysia.



Image Source: Retail Design Blog


Another intriguing brand of sustainable innovation is The Body Shop. It is globally recognized for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices in the beauty industry.


The brand focuses on using natural ingredients and promoting fair trade while striving to minimize environmental impact through eco-friendly packaging and waste reduction initiatives.


Their dedication to these principles has enabled them to build a unique brand identity in sustainable beauty retail.


Tips to Shift Your Mindset Towards Sustainable Branding


In the churning seas of the competitive business world, large companies tend to stick to traditional practices. However, they need to shift the focus from maintaining the status quo to constantly questioning it, fostering a workspace where ideas, big and small, are valued and explored.


Embracing a culture that encourages risk-taking, fosters diversity of thought, and nurtures an environment where failure is seen as a stepping stone to building an innovative sustainable brand.



Image Source: Novatech Mobile


Big brands like Apple leverage cutting-edge AI to:

  • Constantly innovate product design: For example, they transitioned from the classic iPod to the advanced iPhone series Though a big risk at that time, it led to a significant shift in technology and user interface. In the end, people loved it, resulting in redefining the smartphone market.




Image Source: CBCKidsNews


Google encourages a sustainable work culture:

  • They focus on creativity and collaboration in their workspace: For example, Google's development of AI-based products like Google Assistant. It integrates across various platforms fostering an innovative diverse work environment. It created a space of diverse thought processes sharing inspiring innovation and excellence.



Image Source: Pexels


These companies show that when large corporations dare to think differently, they can redefine their industries and create waves of sustainable change that ripple across the global market.


Whether you are a big or small fish, swim deep in sustainable innovation. It's the future of businesses. To know more, ping us at Brand Soul and discover unique ways to awaken sustainability in your brands to connect with your target audience on a deeper level.


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