Markets needs are forever dynamic and marketers either have to set or keep up the pace with the changes. A Marketer’s main calling therefore is innovation. It starts from the product, the price, packaging and finally the mode of delivery.
As a marketer, here are the tell tale signs that your Brand is courting extinction.
1-You are not Hungry anymore.
“Stay Hungry, stay foolish”, popularized by the legendary Apple Founder and CEO Steve jobs captures the brand desire. Livings brands must always hunger for new knowledge and thirst for change. Complacency is not an option. The day the feeling of omnipotence comes over you is the day you start to decay. Yesterdays success is just that. Past.
2-You play defence, not attack.
The day you stop taking risks, you risk it all. When you start playing defense, lining your troops to defend and not expand your market share and product lines, you are approaching extinction. To attack means you are aiming at a new territory and naturally, that requires a little more preparation and strategy.
3-You start using the rear view mirror.
The day you start your sentences with …” that’s how we’ve always done it” or “we used to do it like this” and “please follow the established procedure”. That is the day you start to sink.
4-Your new product line is drying up.
Any organization that leads in innovation has its market by its horns. They are already working on the next big thing and therefore command the market. They are market driving rather than market driven. Blackberry and Nokia had a first mover advantage. They got complacent and stopped innovating. When Apple came along with more radical smart phones, they were easily replaced. Note that Apple has kept their pedal on innovation almost yearly with new improved iPhones.
5-You have never recruited new staff over the last 5 years.
A year is a long time. The only way to keep pace with generational changes is to always have people of every generation in your stable. Great companies recruit every year as a matter of policy. The ones who stopped recruiting after hitting their peak are slowly regressing to oblivion. The best way to predict the future is to see it through the eyes of a young person.
6-You are doing nothing wrong.
This simply means you stopped experimenting and trying novel ideas. “We did nothing wrong but we lost anyway”, those were the painful words of Nokia’s CEO when they conceded loss of their market share to the smart phones. Yes. You can do nothing wrong and still loose. Actually, you will lose by dong nothing wrong. In a dynamic market, be very wary if you not making mistakes. It simply means you are doing pushing the envelope. Keep experimenting. You must introduce novelty every so often to keep the customers on their feet. Remember Omo, New Blue Omo and finally New Blue Omo with Powerfoam?
7-You are playing catch up!
You complain that things are bad. You blame the economy, government, competition, technology and everything else other than yourself. Too bad. The cheese has moved. Unless you follow it and quickly, you will never see the glory days again.
8-The government owns part of your corporation or is your biggest client
Now, this is a no brainer. In Africa, if the government has part shares in your business, it is just a matter of time. You are obsolete. Nothing magical. Simply, governments by their very nature have no business being in business. Uchumi, Kenya Airways and the many walking dead parastatals are a testimony to this. Also, if in your client portfolio, the government happens to be the most profound, you don’t have a business. Yours is a political party. Your pie is as fluid and fickle as elections in Africa.
9-You’ve gone quiet.
A market is a place of madness. The louder you are, the more you are noticed. Keep quiet at your own peril. Always remind the market that you are still in the game. Make noise. All the time.
Article from African Market Media.