The only thing constant about today’s business market is that it’s always changing. Technology keeps business models and brand identity in flux, introducing new competition daily. Those who can’t hug the curve and remain on the road to success can end up sidelined. Even huge, solid-seeming companies have made the mistake of not adapting quickly enough and have fallen by the wayside.
So, how can a smaller firm keep up? It’s certainly a challenge, but it's manageable if you’re willing to make important, though often subtle, shifts in your business model and brand identity. These changes help you stay relevant and successful in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving marketplace. To determine what shifts may be necessary, it pays to keep your eye on the competition, including these new potential players in your business space:
- Huge mega-companies - Amazon or Google could become your competitor. They’re equipped with built-in name recognition, credibility, and reputation for innovation in many types of business, nearly limitless budgets, tons of market and consumer data and top technology. They can quickly and easily enter (and dominate) any market that catches their attention.
- Entrepreneurial upstarts - Yes, we mean startups. Fresh, bright players are today disrupting the tried-and-true business models of established companies and starting a new revolution. Entrepreneurs with newer and more efficient ways to do anything can enter the market quickly with VC or crowd funding.
- DIY - Consumers themselves can impact a professional services business. Take today's ubiquitous and high-quality digital camera. All those megapixels now available in your constant companion/phone have changed the photography business. Consumers, who used to take photos as a hobby, are now capable of professional quality photographs and can get them done more quickly on their own. Consequently, they have less need for professional photographers.
- Service: Completely describe your services and how they specifically meet the needs of your prospective clients. (Also, refer to client personas.)
- Price: Pricing refers not just to actual prices, but also to how they are communicated and how clients pay.
- Place: Describes the geographic locations where you provide service. Are you able to effectively reach prospective clients based upon your location?
- Promotion: Describe how you will promote. How will you reach your desired clientele via advertising, content marketing, inbound marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, business development, public relations, or any other forms of promotion.
- Position: Describe how you differentiate yourself relative to your competitors.
- Process: Describe your behind the scenes approach for how services are orchestrated. Do you have an innovative approach that reassures your client that the service can be performed in a more effective manner?
- People: Characterize the people you hire; describe the manner and skill in which they will execute services. (Also, refer to client personas.)
- Experience: What kind of experience do you plan to create for your clients?
Don’t become obsolete and don’t let any new competitor sneak up on you. Re-evaluate your business strategy and brand identity often - make the shifts required to stay unique and stay on top. Be prepared to make mistakes and learn to recover when you fall down. Your firm should be fearless in developing a brand that is brilliant.
For more information on shaping your brand identity, contact Colosi Marketing.