We’re living in a rapidly changing world, and especially in this post-COVID era, the speed at which things are evolving is staggering. Consumer needs and market dynamics are changing rapidly, and several products and services are facing the threat of being disrupted daily.
Of course, this is not a new thing. For instance, companies that once produced and sold physical CDs started to lose relevance as more and more people switched to online music streaming. Similar to this, we saw the way Cyber Café businesses became a big thing in the 2000s in Nigeria, and gradually, they lost the battle of relevance to the rise of 2G/3G mobile phones, data dongles (modems), etc.
Are you worried about your business staying relevant with changing times and increased competition? This is where you want to pay more attention!
When the industry becomes increasingly harsh and the demands for products and services begin to wane after much marketing effort, what many businesses do is pivot or switch their products or services to something they believe will be more profitable. And while this might seem like the most brilliant move, it can cause a lot of danger to your corporate identity if you miss the following key strategies:
Key strategies to deploy in the face of disruptions
1) Have a solid mission and stay true to it.
Your mission statement should provide a clear direction and purpose for the business. When there is a solid mission in place, it gives your brand the buoyancy to easily navigate changes without losing its face in the market. So, before you start to think about changing your products or services, the first two questions you should ask yourself are:
- Is my mission still relevant in these days and times?
- Is my brand promise (value proposition) still relevant to my target audience?
One thing you must understand about products and services is that they are the physical conduits for living out your mission and the transactable touchpoints for fulfilling your brand promise. If the mission and the brand promise are still relevant, the next question should be, “Are my products and services delivering on the brand promise and helping to accomplish the mission?”
These inquiries help assess the quality of your goods and services, the user or customer experience, and the degree to which the good or service fits into the preferences, lifestyle, and needs of its intended users.
2) Conduct regular market research and competitor analysis.
It’s fatal to attempt pivoting without having a clear understanding of where the market is tilting and the kinds of disruptions taking place within the industry from other competing products or services. Many times, all you need to do is adapt your existing products and services to match the evolving preferences and tastes of your market, not make a complete change. So, regular market research and competitor analysis will help you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
And as a small business owner, you don’t have to break the bank to achieve this. All you need to do is closely monitor what your key competitors (industry giants) are doing and how the market is responding to them. You can do this by following their social platforms, joining their newsletters, being active on their comment sections, following their customer reviews, etc.
3) Always emphasize your mission and value proposition.
Always remember that your brand is about your WHY and the promise you’re making, not just the product or service. So, in a situation where your mission and value proposition are still relevant and all you’re doing is changing your products or services, while communicating the change, never forget to keep reminding your audience why you exist and how you remain committed to that cause.
This is significant because your true identity is inextricably linked to your WHY and brand promise. So, emphasizing them is important to reinforce your positioning in the minds of your audience, even when the products and services are being modified or replaced completely. This can help build trust and loyalty among your stakeholders (customers, employees, and investors) and make it easier for the company to navigate the changes.
4) Continuously reevaluate the company’s brand strategy.
To navigate the changing times and market trends, you should continuously re-evaluate your company’s brand strategy. This can help the company identify areas for improvement and capitalize on opportunities.
5) Diversify the portfolio of products and services.
A business can navigate shifting times by diversifying its portfolio of products and services. By having a range of different products and services, you can reduce your dependence on any one particular product or service. This can help mitigate the risk of any one product or service becoming irrelevant.
Overall, maintaining a company’s corporate identity while navigating changing times and the replacement of unnecessary products and services necessitates a combination of strategic thinking, effective communication, and a focus on the company’s mission and unique selling proposition. This is how to manage disruptions without losing your corporate identity. In other words, companies can successfully navigate the process and preserve their corporate identity by employing these strategies.