How does a company decide when it is time to transform/rebrand/change? There are businesses who differentiate themselves by their “old-fashioned” nature. Comfort foods like baked cookies, fudge and salt water taffy come to mind as things that don’t need change in order to be delicious.
comfort is not always the answer
While it is true that there are businesses built on principle, product or service that remain evergreen, others become stale with time. What passed as acceptable 2o years ago might be irrelevant today. Who dictates what, when and why it is time for change?
Trends can be examined, metrics analyzed, focus groups (hey, did I just refer to the customer???) can be studied…The almanac can be referenced or better yet, just ask the oracle. You may not get the answer you desire from all or any of these methods, but as in Greek tragedy, don’t fight your fate. You will always lose!
down to the core (competency that is)
Understanding what makes you remarkable in the marketplace is key to success. In a global economy, consumers are awarded infinite alternatives. Underestimate these choices and watch your customers walk or click somewhere else. Slick marketing and promotions will only take you so far. as Grandma used to say, “the proof is in the pudding.” (what does that really mean anyway?)
Core competencies are the reason you have any business at all. Who is your demographic? What do they want or need? Perhaps you are in a good position to increase your market share by expanding your client base. Are you really paying attention to your customers’ demands? If so, the indicators for change should be evident.
what is my favorite word ever???
Drum roll please… HUBRIS! The OED defines it as: Presumption, orig. towards the gods; pride, excessive self-confidence. I can’t help myself. Anytime I have the opportunity to use Hubris in a complete sentence, it makes me giddy. But, that is another story (or past post) for another time.
The point of the hubris reference is that it is arrogant to assume customers habits will change because you think they should. When dealing with an established clientele, change can still occur but it must be given in small doses. Trust is broken when too many changes occur too quickly.
If you no longer find your demographic worthy of your time or money, maybe it is time to rethink why you are in business at all. Start fresh and build something with a new base in mind.
lesson learned: know where you want to be
Do your research. Know and understand your core competencies. Will your customers follow you when you change? Will your employees buy in? Will Jupiter align with Mars? (OK I know that was me getting silly)
Don’t let your own self importance lead the way to your demise. Change can be good. Change is scary but personal growth occurs as a result.