With an ever-changing list of strategies, from digital to print coming in and out of favour, how can you be sure if your latest change is right for you?
Here are some high profile business changes we can all learn from.
Offering funding for local charities Funding from £1,000 up to £25,000 was offered to 362 small and large organisations as part of a customer driven strategy. Named the Aviva Community Fund this stepped away from a product message and worked to build on their already large brand reputation. Despite having multiple brands, Aviva had previously focused on product led and micro brand campaigns, so this was a fantastic strategy pull to draw the business together. Appointing Andrew Brem as head of digital was a bold strategy for an insurance firm. Brem said of the appointment to The Drum “We’ve all seen how technology has changed the way we live our lives; from buying groceries online to controlling our heating from anywhere with an app. Now is the time to bring the digital revolution to insurance; transforming the way people can buy and use our products every day.” What we can learn: Look away from your competitors and your typical industry strategies and think bigger. See your business as a whole rather than competing departments, services or products and pull together a plan that aligns common goals, even across a wide portfolio.
A quick move into digital From the live feed on the Fashion Finder page that shows community users in items sold by asps and with social media manned by staff who respond with personality to each tweet, DM and message, ASOS has focused on making a personal brand that reflects its core demographics’ online habits, integrating as one with them. The ASOS Facebook page is currently one of the most popular retail brands on Facebook, with over 3.5 million fans, in comparison with other online retailers such as Boohoo’s 2.2 million and Net-a-Porter’s 1.3 million. (Source: LinkHumans) What we can learn: Experimental strategies will always have a place. Some will fail – ASOS.com’s own investment in logistics and a China start-up business caused the decline of profits of 22% – but by trying new tactics overall they are thriving.
Undertaking new trends Debenhams teamed up with Buyapowa last Christmas in a move that allowed customers to engage with the brand and to encourage fans to purchase gift cards. Using the power of co-buying, the more people who commit to a purchase, the higher the value. This move into gamification was a strong one, and was perfectly timed for Christmas. Following this, Debenhams showed that online sales had grown by 46 per cent, with mobile accounting for a growth of 72 per cent. (Source: The Drum) What we can learn: Look to all areas of your business for results. A focus on gifting and gamification and mobile is not the most clear move when Christmas is typically strongly product focused in the sector, but with post January online sales increased by 11.7 per cent overall, the strategy has paid off. Speak to all your stakeholders to gather varied ideas.
- ArgosDefying Falling Profits In 2012 Argos announced that 75 branches would close so it could fully embrace a new digital strategy to fly in the face of falling profits of around 37% pre-tax. By launching smartphone and tablet ads, online sales grew to represent 42 per cent of the retailer’s total sales, with 125 per cent coming through the new digital channels. (The Drum) What we can learn: Some changes won’t be popular with your new business strategy. They might involve a decreased work force in favour of investment in other areas. Don’t be afraid to grab the moment for a real shift when you can. Whatever the size of your business, if you want to make a strategic change you have a lot to consider! 1) Functional capabilities – what changes do I need to make to supply chain, marketing, staff levels, architecture and tools, technical abilities? 2) Budget and resource allocation – how much is available, to what ROI, and when can it be released? 3) R&D – do you understand what consumers really need, what they value, and how to deliver that to them? Speak to us today about changing your strategy for a business that shows real growth and development.
Author Derek Findlayson