Strategic transformation. More specifically brand-based strategic transformation. Disruption of status quo. Creation of a new position. Realization of ambitions. That is what we say we do – and we thought it might be a good idea to share what we actually mean.
Transformation as such has been around ever since evolution has started (for those of you who believe in that). Essentially, based on the words’ origin from late Middle English transformation means “a change of shape”. And the changing of shape is something businesses are very used to. And always have been. All over the globe companies evolve, develop, expand and innovate.
All of these changes are transformations as such – and for the most part are based on one of these four factors:
- Market Saturation
Before moving into explaining how we address this “gang of four” – and why “brand” plays the biggest role in all of it, mind this:
And sure, there are other reasons for transformation, such as global climate change, wars, cultural changes, millennial influence, artificial intelligence, scarcity of resources and so on. However, in our simplified world, we believe these four – in combination, or each by itself – play a major role in corporate movement – and are with that, the four factors we are exposed to the most in our dayjobs at thebrandproject*.
So here we go:
As Heraclitus said – the only constant is change. Products, services and companies evolve and innovate – all around us. From smaller improvements of existing products to radical changes and developments.
The car did not come from the notion of creating faster horses, the light bulp not from an improved candle. Jack Daniels did not decide on a square bottle because it seemed cool.
If you want to stay in the game or even ahead of the game, you need to take innovation serious. Dead serious. If everybody around you innovates, develops and changes, it may be time to consider a move yourself.
In todays corporate landscape innovation has become a major buzzword – however – what it really means is that you as the leader of a company or division should create arenas that foster new actions and strategies, and create incentives and motivational programs that enable your organization.
Tap into brand insight, trend and market research, and most importantly – create, develop and embrace a culture that is open to new thinking, new ideas and new ways of doing things. Because as we all know, the seven most expensive words in business today are:
“We have always done it that way”
The strategic landscape you operate in is decisively the most important driver for success or failure. The difference in todays market sphere is that almost all of us are facing global competition, which can come from major corporations or a garage in south-east Mexico.
And competition is good. It keeps us on our toes, accelerates development and creates customer value. Regardless of being the benchmark (yes, everybody is coming for you) or being a challenger – market forces demand adaptation, change and strong positioning.
- Is your message clear enough?
- Is it simple to buy from you?
- Is your product or service tailored to the market it serves?
- Are you relevant?
The fact that Blackberry did not see the iPhone coming, or that Tesla changed the face of electric transportation without actually being a car company, are examples of major disruption in traditionally relatively set markets.
Legislation can be a tough driver of forced change. Authorities may try to regulate (or deregulate) the exact market you are operating in by changing the rules and regulations to your disadvantage. Usually, you will have a little pre-warning time on your hands, but unfortunately – not always. Remember – the UK once imposed a man with a red flag to walk in front of the first motorized vehicles to make the public aware of the “danger” it imposed…
This can of course work both for and against commercial players. The case of UBER has ramped up everything from legislators racing for new rules to violent riots fuelled by angry taxi drivers in several European countries. Regardless of origin or ambition, legislation will always prevail, and proactive change or business model adaptation will create the opportunities you need to create further growth and avoid negative development.
Market Saturation – the big “What if”.
A market may simply become saturated. Or your services may no longer be needed. Market saturation is the simplest force of change, and usually, the easiest to anticipate. However possibly extremely tricky to overcome as it may require a complete readjustment of strategy, offering or the company as a whole.
- What will Hyperloop do to traditional road, rail and air transport?
- What happens to European entrepreneurs and architects if the Chinese begin to develop prefabricated housing at scale that can be shipped to any spot on the globe?
- What about energy companies once entire cities become + cities, creating more energy than they consume?
If you are seeing a trend that may end the market sphere as you know it, start acting today. Tomorrow may be a little late.
So, why the “brand” bit?
We truly believe that once change is inevitable – by choice or by force – it must come from within, and must be based on who you are and why. Your brand is the deciding factor and driver of your companies success or failure. It will give you the power to make the right choices, enable you to innovate and build the culture and the position you aspire to achieve.
Everything we do is based on your brand and your DNA – we may have to alter it, develop it, and transform it to close the gap between the company you are running today, and the one you should be running in the future – but in the end – the power of the brand you represent is the biggest force of your organization.
Use it. Transform. And give us a call if you want to talk more about it.
Robert – managing director @thebrandproject*