Have you ever wondered what business would be like if the industry you’re in suddenly changed overnight? I know this sounds rather nutty, but seriously. What would you do? What typically ushers in sudden change is technology and new ways of thinking about and solving existing customer problems.
A reset of your business model may require a total re-engineering of what you offer and how you deliver your products and services. In many cases, this also involves a re-monetization and even a re-brand.
If you find yourself in this position where your industry is changing (maybe not overnight), but it is changing enough to make you feel uncomfortable, that’s a sign to start reimagining your business model. Marketers may think this is a perfect scenario for a rebrand…but wait. That may not be the answer. It, in fact, could be your demise.
In my 30 plus years of working for and serving brands, I’ve had my share of seeing first-hand wasted resources that are really untapped gold mines. Many times, these resources are assets (physical or intellectual) that are just plain underutilized or not used at all. This mainly happens because the industry isn’t headed in a direction that sees a need to change because everything is working fine –until a new player enters the market and shakes up everything –game over. My suggestion is to look around inside your business and think of new ways to use assets and resources that could be used in other ways.
Here are a few examples of some companies you probably already know about and even used. They’ve proven that re-imagining their business model actually works.
Each of these companies has taken a brand and is solving customer problems in new and different ways and in some cases; they are creating a new market segment, or a new delivery model never seen before.
The Value of “Value”
I know this may sound silly but hear me out. Take a hard look at what value your business is offering to your customers. Step into an exercise that involves redefining value. Have you answered these questions in your business before? — How is the brand value being created? — Is our brand value proposition syncing with the customer value proposition? Whoa… that’s heavy-duty stuff right there.
If you haven’t answered those yet, I suggest you get started. Most companies spend time developing the brand value proposition and don’t think about the customer’s perspective or their value proposition on this. Hmm-bad idea. Don’t forget, meeting the customers’ needs are why your business exists right?
When the brand and the customer value propositions align, together, they will create a potent mix of brand equity, loyalty, and market strength. Sometimes this is a new business model altogether.
Drivers of Change
Sometimes these drivers of change are not seen or even evident in your business or you’re your industry. It’s a good idea to look at other industries to see what their drivers are and then see if you can adopt those same practices (or similar). You will be surprised at how other industries that are totally different than yours can inspire and spark new ways of thinking for your business– thus creating drivers of change. It is the new drivers that will transform your business model, help you to remonetize and also help you figure out how you will do business and solve customer problems in new ways.
The customers tend to be the instigators of change because they are the ones who actually reach into their pocket (or smartphone) and pay. So, the drivers will be attached to the customer value system. If your customer is a stay at home mom who doesn’t have time to get out and shop for her busy family, and her husband is also on the go; Amazon knows this and has built the perfect driver of change to connect products to their smartphones and then deliver to their door within 24 hours. The driver is the instant accessibility, delivery and convenience Amazon provides. Shopping malls watch out, Amazon is coming after your shoppers. For the digital natives like Millennials and Gen-Zers, Amazon has you pegged.
Sometimes drivers just can’t be adopted because brands are just too far behind and never invested in staying viable. Stress cracks occur over time. Cracks in the brand’s foundation can be a result of not having a solid understanding of the ecosystem surrounding your business, customer needs, competition, advancement in technology, and how all of this should constantly evolve. Many businesses fall into this category. Don’t let it happen to you.
Let’s say you’ve discovered the untapped resources in the business, redefined value for the brand and for the customer, and then adopted new drivers of change. First of all, you should be a rock star if you were part of a team that accomplished that.
The last part of critical thinking is to make sure all of this new strategic thinking is actually economically logical. Can you sustain your business with this new business model and remonetization in-place? All the CFOs, MBAs, CMOs and IT professionals in the world won’t matter if the product doesn’t sell. So, spend some time studying your competition, their price points, what value they are delivering and how it’s delivered. Once you get through with this exercise, you will have a clearer picture of your reimagined business model and if it’s viable or not. Remember, if it makes economic sense, you’re probably on to something, and if it doesn’t, you need to start re-thinking…again.
YourBrandExposed is committed to providing admissions/marketing insights and strategies for colleges and universities and their leaders looking to advance their mission and model for next-generation survival.
Photo Credit: CC0 License | Pexels.com – Bruce Mars