Disrupter or Disrupted? Pick One

The world’s largest taxi company owns no cars.  (Uber). 

The world’s leading hotelier owns no rooms (AirBNB). 

Retail giant Amazon had no bricks and mortar stores (until last year – bought Whole Foods)

Change is happening faster each year.  Either you adapt to the changing marketplace or your customers will switch out to a better solution.  As the saying goes, if you are not growing, you are dying. 

If you look at the above examples you will notice that these fast growing companies have one thing in common – their business model is creating new ways to connect sellers and buyers.  The internet is the new Mall.  Instead of traveling to the Mall to shop the various retailers, one can now travel to the web to find their retailer.  What does this mean for your business?  Are you leveraging the internet to the maximum potential?

But let’s get to the core issue.  How can you evolve/grow your brand.

First, are you ready to embrace change?  I mean, take a really dive deep about your mission, your competitive advantage: what and how you deliver value to your consumer.  Truly it is easier for an upstart to challenge the status quo with new innovative ways to create consumer value than to move a large existing company, but it can/must be done to maintain relevancy.  To prevent being overcome, you need to discover new methods of doing business, while maintaining/transitioning your base.  To evolve, not become extinct is the key. 

Time is our most important commodity!  Can you find a way to provide quicker, easier product delivery?  Can you simplify the purchase process for your customers (make it easy to say “yes”).   Any way you can provide stress relief in the process is an advantage.  What can you do to lessen that pain? 

Understand your key customers and define time challenges for their interface in your business/category.  Do the research, via trade associations/magazines, syndicated research (many times available via the web) and simply speaking with your current customers.  Are there examples in other categories that are transferrable to your process? 

Once you uncover the pain points, abandon your preconceived notions and look at this with a new vision.  (This is where a consultant can help, to help bring a clear view of the issues).  Find a NEW way of bringing VALUE to your category in your marketplace.

Phase two: Messaging.  Involve a communications specialist to help you craft a succinct message that embodies your new/evolved offering.   More on this in a later blog.

Be brave, be creative, be bold.