Original Research

Internet brand innovation: What is it? What core concepts does it include? Does it affect performance?

Yi-Weng Yang, Xiao-Bo Tao, Jian-Bo Tu, Pei Liu, Ji-Peng Li
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 52, No 1 | a2306 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v52i1.2306 | © 2021 Yi-Weng Yang, Xiao-Bo Tao, Jian-Bo Tu, Pei Liu, Ji-Peng Li | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 August 2020 | Published: 24 May 2021

About the author(s)

Yi-Weng Yang, Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, North China University of Technology, Beijing, China
Xiao-Bo Tao, Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, North China University of Technology, Beijing, China
Jian-Bo Tu, Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, North China University of Technology, Beijing, China
Pei Liu, Department of Marketing, School of Business, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China
Ji-Peng Li, Department of Innovation and Strategic Management, School of Business Administration, Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, Urumchi, China


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Abstract

Purpose: This article investigates the definition and core concepts of Internet brand innovation alongside their influence on performance.

Design/methodology/approach: A combined qualitative and quantitative design was used. Interviews of 42 Internet companies were conducted. Over 200 speeches of entrepreneurs were collated and a content analysis and case study of the data were conducted. A total of 309 questionnaires of Honor’s employees were collated. Partial least squares structural equation modelling was employed for data analysis.

Findings: Internet brand innovation refers to companies carrying out Internet-based brand innovations, which results in fundamental changes to existing products, marketing or business model practices. This process involves five core concepts with the following influences on performance: Internet information application mediates the relationship between Internet information acquisition and performance. Interaction and cooperation through platform positively influences performance. Internet advanced technology application and Internet strategic capability can strengthen the positive effects of Internet information acquisition on mining potential demands.

Practical implications: Internet companies should explore new avenues, focus on their main channels for conducting continuous brand innovations and build win–win ecosystems to co-create value with stakeholders.

Originality/value: This article proposes an interpretation of a new concept – Internet brand innovation. It reveals ways in which companies can conduct Internet brand innovation to improve performance. Furthermore, for Internet companies, mining potential demands is more important than meeting existing demands and disruptive innovation is more important than incremental innovation.


Keywords

Internet brand innovation; Internet companies; innovation performance; product innovation; marketing innovation; business model innovation; information acquisition; strategic capability.

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