It is probably the grossest simplification ever and obvious but consumers are changing their behavior.
And this has big impacts on us as business owners and leaders.
We must adapt our businesses to this round of changes and the ones that will follow.
How you prove yourself and how you win the hearts and minds of those that will give you their hard earned money is no longer the same.
Let’s look at what’s happening and how it’s impacting us.
#1: Bigger Isn’t Better
It used to be that there was a “safety” with big companies. But those days seem to be eroding.
So the goal of being big and having consumers trust you due to that size are gone.
On the other hand there is a lot of opportunity available for companies, regardless of size to earn trust, and in turn business, from consumers.
#2: Consumers Are Looking Deeper
It used to be that marketing copy and fliers could win the day. At some point in the past consumers would actually listen to the brands they interact with.
Fast forward to today when trust is much lower. Consumers might listen to you and your message as a starting off point. But things like online reviews, articles and other information about your business are going to be important factors in your business.
From a marketing and branding standpoint this means more and more businesses are spending time and energy on what others say about them with less focus on their direct outbound message.
Good marketing, today, is often about getting other trusted persons and influencers to say great things about you.
#3: General Advertising Isn’t What It Used To Be
With this shift just generally putting your name out there isn’t what it used to be.
Now it’s about getting trust and following that is tuned into your message.
Unless you are massive and cover a broad range of buyers general mass messages about your business are going to go nowhere.
The key to success, these days, is getting focused messages to the right people at the right time.
#4: Brands Mean More
And while advertising (generally) isn’t what it used to be branding is where the action is.
When customers are looking deeper (as discussed above) what matters is who they think you are. In other words, your brand.
It is key that you get your brand message tight and consistent. Tell people who you are, what you do and what expertise you have regularly (without being crazy about it).
The brand is what drives business in days when consumers are more skeptical. They want to know that they are buying something they believe in.
#5: Deeper Alignment Is Needed
The key used to be getting something done for a customer and getting it done well.
Now it’s about more. It’s about alignment. How all of the pieces fit together.
As part of knowing you can get the job done from your brand consumers also want to feel connected to that brand. We see more and more cases where consumers are proud of their suppliers. And that’s a win-win. Your consumer gets a deeper emotional experience and you often get free advertising.
What To Do Next
Your whole marketing and branding strategy needs to be adjusted based on this new reality. That means taking more time to communicate who you are and getting people to believe it.
Work with your marketing staff to spend less time on just getting your brand known and spend more time on getting your brand known for sometime.
LET’S DO MORE: If you are a business owner or leader let’s be in touch more. I’d love for you to read my online work and give me your honest feedback: join my mailing list, follow me on LinkedIn and jump into my Facebook Group.
NOTE: This article is a piece develop a small portion of the content of the book tentatively called The Journey: Finding Your Place From Entrepreneur to CEO being co-authored by The Our Shawn McBride and Ann Gatty. If you want updates on the book including the possibility of joining our release team or getting one of the first copies please join our mailing list here.
DISCLAIMER: This article talks about legal issues. I am a lawyer licensed in multiple US jurisdictions, but I am not your lawyer unless we have signed an engagement agreement. Please view this material as educational and general in nature (as it is). Consult counsel you have retained for advice on your specific facts and circumstances and applicable laws. Do not rely on the statements in this article as legal advice.
By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.
You’ll quickly notice his unusual suits which he uses open the conversation of how businesses should Do Business Differently™.
The Our Shawn is based in DeLand, Florida (between Orlando, Florida and Daytona Beach, Florida) and Dallas, Texas where he keeps offices. You can also find Shawn on webinars or traveling nationally or internationally for speaking engagements.
Check me out at: www.planningdoneright.com
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