Innovation at Cba

How to be insight-driven and visionary at the same time.

In all the markets we operate in, one of the primary drivers of growth is innovation, whether radical or incremental. Unlocking the untapped potential of our clients at CBA doesn’t just mean branding, creating unique brand stories, but also supporting them in these complex processes to imagine new products and services useful for consumers and evolutionary for the implementing brand. Innovation itself is one of the levers of branding, a key to having a relevant and contemporary narrative

Applying branding to innovation

Innovation does not arise from pure creative imagination but involves a structured process, considering many aspects related to what we need to create or innovate. We are committed to this branding-led innovation approach, not only out of analytical obsession but because it proves, project after project, to be the only way to create innovation that is useful for the brand and consumers [to whom it is addressed]. These are the elements we cannot do without at CBA when talking about innovation:

  • Understanding the brand: We need to know every client in the most intimate and profound way, starting from their history, collecting the reasons to believe that support the brand promise, and understanding or redefining the direction the company wants to take, hence its vision.
  • Consumer or target knowledge: Thanks to CBA’s sociological, psychological, and economic skills, we can delve into consumer habits, opinions, and perceptions, intercepting them with various qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
  • Study of industry macro-trends and their impact on the national target market: We are constantly immersed in trend reports, articles, and news in the various business sectors where we provide consultancy. However, these must be verified and analyzed in the Italian context, or where innovation will find an outlet, because each market has its own specific timelines and receptivity to seeing trends that arise elsewhere (often overseas).
  • Co-creation moments with the target and with those who we believe should have a say, in order to innovate in a credible way: Often, the client itself, participating in our workshops, is guided in co-creation sessions that we design in every detail and facilitate. When called upon to innovate, we strive to involve the target in the very moment of idea generation, structuring exercises, stimuli, and a creative perimeter that allows ideas to flow freely and without inhibitions, yielding relevant results for the end user.
  • The contribution of experts, so as not to be naïve: [We do many different things, but we are not all-knowing, so] we like to listen to the voices of professionals in the industry where we are innovating, from FMCG to manufacturing, through catering, tapping into our global network to involve sector experts and test innovation concepts directly during co-creation.
  • Validation of the result with the target audience of the product/service: After co-creation sessions, ideas take shape through a phase of implementation and prototyping that must deal with the feasibility of the project and the correct execution of what is only a theoretical brief resulting from co-creation. This requires returning to the target after the process is completed and re-testing the result with prototypes, identifying not only the goodness of innovation but also the brand fit and the ability to fit coherently into the brand promise the client has shared with us.
2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba LNFP workshop2

For example…

This is exactly what happened when a world-leading cheese brand asked us to develop a new product for large-scale retail trade that would take a historic and iconic product out of the refrigerator and onto other shelves,  targeting a younger audience and extending consumption moments to increase the volume and relevance of the product.

2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba Aperol workshop3
2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba Philly workshop1

Or when another iconic aperitif bitter brand tasked us with developing a new high-end merchandising line.

2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba Aperol workshop1
2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba Aperol workshop2

Or when a dairy food corporation asked us to take them out of the offices and day-by-day into an inspiration and co-creation session related to new trends in food and health.

2023 11 30 Innovation in Cba LNFP workshop1

In all these cases, CBA’s Strategy team always follows an approach that starts with immersion in the market, trends, and purchasing and usage habits of consumers, leading to the prototyping and testing of a new product.

Francesco Saviola, Research & Brand Strategist at CBA