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Innovation & NPD

At a time of rapid developments in tech, innovation – whether through new products, enhanced services or application of new technology – is high on the corporate agenda. Current drivers of innovation include the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, while the emergence of category-disrupting tech brands (Uber, AirBnB) has made some advertisers rethink the rules of their sector. For manufacturers, new product development, including the launch of brand extensions, also remains a priority in driving profitable growth.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This report analyses trends from the winners of the Warc Prize for Innovation, with insights on 'altruistic' and data-driven innovation, the power of products and engaging millennial audiences. Supporting case studies include Vodafone, Rip Curl and Slurpee.
Best Practice paper advising companies to analyse closely the basis of and barriers to innovation.
Best practices for brand extension, including understanding the brand and setting new visions.
Jean-Noël Kapferer on the importance of innovation – and what to do after an innovation is developed.
A guide to the opportunities of AI: insight, chatbots, digital assistants and optimised media buying.

Case Study

This case study explains how hygiene brand Lifebuoy increased sales in the Middle East by inventing a branded attachment that killed germs on shopping trolley handles.

Case Study

This case study shows how Intermarché, a supermarket brand, successfully helped its French customers reduce their daily sugar intake be creating a six-step sugar-detox yoghurt pack.

Case Study

This case study shows how The National Institute for Blood Transfusions, a blood donations organisation, harvested concert goers' love for free tickets to increase blood donations in Romania.

Case Study

This case study shows how ArtFund, an arts charity, successfully increased brand awareness and subscriptions by adopting a more commercial branding strategy in the UK.

Case Study

This case study shows how St John Ambulance, a first aid charity, created a series of educational yet humorous ads to teach parents across the UK about baby CPR.

Case Study

This case study shows how Doritos, a snack brand, increased sales and brand awareness by partnering with a support organisation for LGBT youth in the US and releasing a Gay Pride themed product.
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This article provides insights into consumers' current usage of voice technology and practical steps for marketers who want to take advantage of this growing trend.

Research Paper

This study distinguishes two features of a firm’s knowledge base - breadth and depth - and elucidates their interplay in determining new product performance.


This article explores the reading and thinking surrounding the Tencent-owned popular Chinese app WeChat, a messaging platform that has succeeded in expanding its capabilities to 'conversational commerce;' while it is a hit in China, consumers in other parts of the world remain concerned about privacy.


This article summarises the insights from a series of key papers addressing collaboration and co-creation, the practice of developing brand insights and other intellectual property through collaboration with external consumers, which can deepen the understanding and future potential of products.


This report analyses the key themes and summarises the winning case studies from the WARC Innovation Awards, and presents the views and opinions of the 25 judges.


This article summarises the insights from a series of key papers addressing category disruption, which occurs when a disruptive innovation creates a new market and value network within a category, displacing market leaders (such as Uber in the taxi market and Airbnb in the accommodation industry).
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  1. Article

    This report looks at the trends and technologies that are set to become more important and relevant to marketers in 2017 including live video, VR and AR, web TV and chatbots.

  2. Article

    This annual report by J Walter Thompson Intelligence investigates the trends and emerging consumer behaviours set to shape marketing globally in 2017.

  3. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, looks at the marketing opportunities offered by artificial intelligence (AI) including insight generation, chatbots, digital personal assistants and optimisation of media buying.

  4. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, looks at the growing number of brands that are exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) opportunities with the help of apps, buy buttons and subscription services.

  5. Article

    This article summarises Warc's Toolkit 2017, a guide to six key challenges for brands in the coming year.

  6. Article

    This report analyses trends from the winning case studies of the Warc Prize for Innovation and draws out lessons for marketers to develop fresh thinking that can deliver business results.

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