MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - 10/22/10) - Six out of ten new businesses fail. Unemployment isn't getting any better. The housing market is set for another bump in the road next quarter. And as if the cake needed icing, the FDIC is reporting that about half of America's banks -- including the four largest -- are on the bubble, and may fail by the end of the year.As serious people at serious companies are looking for answers, one expert wants them to focus on a principle that is often overlooked in hard times: innovation."The equation is simple: innovate or perish," said Robert Brands, a veteran corporate executive who now consults with companies worldwide. "At every major crossroads in the history of American business, innovation has been the driving force behind the companies that made it through the bad times. After all, as we all look for the hot new product or the 'killer app' in our respective industries, we tend to overlook the fact that someone has to create or invent it first."Brands, author of "Robert's Rules of Innovation" (www.robertsrulesofinnovation.com), believes that innovation is the governing philosophy behind companies that succeed."Innovation can help a business launch, recover or overcome even the greatest of competitive pressures," he added. "If you are a manufacturer, distributor, service provider, supplier, retailer or even a not-for-profit, the pressures of the new economy are worse than anything the business world has seen for decades. So, how do you get through it? Look at the companies that are prospering, despite the economy. Apple, Ford, Microsoft and others didn't stand pat as the economy crashed. They reinvented themselves and their product and service lines. After falling behind to Japanese competition amid the GM bailouts, Ford went back to the drawing board on their line of cars and emerged stronger than before, having one of their best quarters ever. It wasn't the mitigation of risk that accomplished that. It was innovation, creating something new to satisfy its customer base."About Robert BrandsRobert F. Brands, a veteran of companies like GTE, Kohler and Rexam, is President and founder of InnovationCoach.com. Before he opened his own firm, he delivered "at least one new product per year to market" resulting in double digit profitable growth and shareholder value.