The above cartoon by the always brilliant Tom Fishburnedrives home the point that brands that fail to innovate will end up in the graveyard with tombstones recording how they stagnated or failed to adapt to changing markets.

Managing innovation is the most important task a brand manager or strategist can do: far more important than signing off on an advertising campaign, making sure the brand manual is up-to-date, or tweaking a logo in the hope that it will change the fortunes of the company.

Innovation is also misunderstood by many who see it purely as the eureka moment emerging from the R&D laboratory. Managing innovation is a far broader and more strategic function that determines the relevance and success of a brand over time.

To understand more, brand managers should expand their business book library to include the works of innovation authors such as Clayton Christensen.

Tom’s notes on his cartoon deal with a specific aspect of innovation management namely the importance of the challenger mentality. His notes can be read here.