The Business of Innovation

Fer­nando Suarez, the newly appointed Jean C. Tempel Pro­fessor of Entre­pre­neur­ship and Inno­va­tion in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, con­siders him­self an “inno­va­tion man­age­ment expert.” A leader in his field, Suarez has cul­ti­vated his exper­tise working in both acad­emia and the pri­vate sector on four con­ti­nents: South America, Asia, Europe, and North America.

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Northeastern Professor Fernando Suarez on why Boston presents endless opportunities for student entrepreneurs and innovators

In taking over as the newly appointed Jean C. Tempel Pro­fessor of Entre­pre­neur­ship and Inno­va­tion at North­eastern University’sD’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, Fer­nando Suarez brings a wealth of entre­pre­neurial and edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ence thanks to his time spent living, researching, and working on four dif­ferent continents.

Throughout his career as an edu­cator, Suarez has worked for Boston Uni­ver­sity, MIT, London Busi­ness School, Hitot­sub­ashi Uni­ver­sity in Japan, and Adolfo Ibáñez Uni­ver­sity and ESE Busi­ness School in Chile.

In addi­tion, as an insti­tu­tional and pri­vate entre­pre­neur, Suarez founded the Strategy and Inno­va­tion Depart­ment at Boston Uni­ver­sity, launched an inter­na­tional MBA pro­gram at Adolfo Ibáñez Uni­ver­sity, devel­oped a soft­ware com­pany, and offers strategy and inno­va­tion con­sulting for sev­eral firms in the soft­ware, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, man­u­fac­turing and finan­cial sectors.

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Labeling new products key in emerging markets

Sunday MBA provides ideas on running better businesses and succeeding in the modern workplace, this week from MIT Sloan Management Review.

Companies that launch innovative products in new industries need to understand the dynamics of new product categories. One of the elements of new categories is the name by which new product categories are known. Time it right, and you’re selling a “smartphone.” Time it wrong, and you’re trying to move a “PDA phone” or an “all-in-one device.”

Research by Fernando F. Suarez and Stine Grodal, both of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, shows that names are no small matter. Their multiyear research finds that “a company’s labeling strategy can have important performance implications for products in nascent markets.”

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The Importance of Category Labels

Review of F. Suarez and S. Grodal article in MIT Sloan Management review, “Mastering the ‘Name your Product Category’ Game" by David Aaker.

I've stated many times before that the only way to grow, with some exceptions, is to innovate and create “must haves” that define a new subcategory (or category) and then manage that subcategory so that it wins in the marketplace and so that your brand becomes an exemplar. When this happens, subcategory competition becomes the focus rather than brand competition, and this can be a foreign concept to most marketers.

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