Product innovation versus marketing strategy is a dilemma facing many brands as consumer environments become ever more competitive and consumers’ needs change daily. Do brands create products based on consumer insights and requirements, or should they be innovating beyond what their focus groups are telling them? Most brands are taking the middle road – a cross-functional approach that views marketing as a key player in ensuring innovation earns its keep. In an article posted on, Charlotte Rogers notes that the “innovate or die” approach many brands are taking is one way they try to stay ahead of fickle consumer demands. The importance of product innovation, however, depends on the structure and priorities of the company, as well as where marketing is positioned within the innovation journey. Marketing’s role is central to ensuring that product development fits in with consumer demands – essentially within a strategy that is driven by consumer needs. However, innov...

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