Market innovation has long been dominated by the worldview of engineers and economists--build a better mousetrap and the world will take notice. The most influential strategy books--such as Competing for the Future, The Innovator's Dilemma, and Blue Ocean Strategy--argue that innovation should focus on breakthrough functionality.
Holt and Cameron challenge this conventional wisdom. They develop a cultural approach to innovation: champion a better ideology and the world will take notice. The authors use detailed historical analyses of the take-offs of Nike, vitaminwater, Marlboro, Starbucks, Jack Daniel's, Levi's, ESPN, and Ben & Jerry's to build a powerful new theory. They show how brands in mature categories come to rely upon similar conventional brand expressions, leading to what the authors call a cultural orthodoxy. Historical changes in society threaten this orthodoxy by creating demand for new culture. Cultural innovations draw upon source material--novel cultural content lurking in subcultures, social movements, and the media--to develop brands that respond to this emerging demand, leapfrogging entrenched incumbents. The authors demonstrate how they have adapted this theory into a step-by-step cultural strategy model, which they successfully applied to start-ups (Fat Tire beer), consumer technologies (Clearblue pregnancy tests), under-funded challengers (Fuse music television), and social enterprises (Freelancer's Union). Holt and Cameron conclude by explaining why top marketing companies fail at cultural innovation. Using careful organizational research, the authors demonstrate that companies are trapped in the brand bureaucracy, which systematically derails innovation. Cultural innovation requires a new organizational logic. In all of their cases, the authors find that the cultural innovators have rejected the brand bureaucracy.
Written by one of the leading authorities on brands and marketing in the world today, Cultural Strategy transforms what has always been treated as the "intuitive" side of branding into a systematic strategic discipline.
`May well be one of the most important books on advertising and branding in the past ten years.'
Richard Huntington Adliterate.com 15.10.10
1: Rethinking Blue Oceans
Part I: Cultural Innovation Theory
2: Nike: Reinventing the American Dream
3: Jack Daniel's: Mythologizing the Company to Revive Frontier Masculinity
4: Ben & Jerry's: Provoking Ideological Flashpoints to Launch a Sustainable Business Myth
5: Starbucks: Trickling Down New Cultural Capital Codes
6: Patagonia: How Social Enterprises Cross the Cultural Chasm
7: Vitaminwater: Creating a "Better Mousetrap" with Myth
8: Marlboro: The Power of Cultural Codes
9: Cultural Innovation Theory
Part II: Applying the Cultural Strategy Model
10: Clearblue Pregnancy Tests: Branding a New Technology
11: Fat Tire Beer: Crossing the Cultural Chasm
12: Fuse Music Television: Challenging Incumbents with Cultural Jujitsu
13: Freelancers Union: Branding a Social Innovation
Part III: Organizing for Cultural Innovation
14: The Brand Bureaucracy and the Rise of Sciency Marketing
15: The Cultural Studio Forms Underground: Levi's 501s in Europe
16: The Cultural Studio Forms Above Ground: ESPN