Kickstarting growth with a new perspective
Looking at the business landscape, we’re continuing to see the trend of stalling and declining growth for brands. With so much happening in today’s marketplace, the idea of creating and expanding growth is one full of complexity and challenge - which causes paralysis in many organizations. Instead of finding and striving for their potential, many organizations are simply testing many different tactics to see what works - leaving strategy behind.
The issues that we’re seeing that are causing this chaos are nothing new, but they are all happening and accelerating at the same time. They are:
Consumer Expectations are RISING - They are expecting more from the brands they’re doing business with.
Advertising is becoming EXTREMELY ineffective - Traditional campaigns don’t move the growth needle like they used to.
Technology is FUELING disruption in all industries - It’s changing the holistic value proposition and relationship with consumers.
Organizations are more SILOED than ever before - As more channels and service departments get added to the value propositions for a company, the more silos are built to handle the specific task.
However, there is some good news on the horizon. There are some companies out there that are thriving despite the transformative landscape, as they have found a way to ride the waves and make them a part of their strategy. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Amazon, Warby Parker, Ford have all started to transform their organizations to create growth in new ways. Here is a look at their playbooks.
Experience Systems Thinking
The overarching characteristic of the thriving companies is that they practice Experience Systems Thinking. They create a continuous and connected experience between their brands and their consumers that add increasing value over time. This allows them to stay ahead of, or even create, the next transformative behavioral shift. This operational model and strategy allows them to not only put their consumers first, but they can lead that consumer with their brand promise.
The first pillar underneath experience systems thinking is being people obsessed. The companies that are thriving today understand that their businesses and brands are built to service people and is made up of people. Having that human connection and understanding creates a level of empathy that delivers increasing value over time. By simply understanding the people on both sides of the organization, a company can build the appropriate propositions (products & services) to fulfill the needs and expectations of the right people.
These companies also understand that a brand is much more than just a product or service - it’s the entirety of the relationship with the consumer. From first glimpse all the way through to loyalty and advocacy, the relationship with the consumer is the key focus for any communications, consumer experience or commerce strategies. Understanding this holistic relationship, thriving brands continue to find ways to service and add value to their consumers.
Enabled by Technology
Thriving companies are enabled by tech. Whether they are a growth stage DTC company or a digitally transformed incumbent, these companies use digital and technology as a driving force for their organization - beyond simply advertising. They look at how technology and data can streamline their operations, make consumer relationships stronger, build better product and service propositions or even innovate new products and services for their category.
There is a term that is being used now called “Continuous Beta” which I really like. It’s the assumption that a business is continuously striving to create new value and new relationships in the marketplace based on an operational process of Launch, Test, Learn, Grow. The companies that are thriving today can all be viewed as companies that are in continuous beta, always striving for better.