No matter how strong your brand, game-changing situations can develop. Just ask the good folks at Kodak, as that historic and much beloved brand continues to deal with unthinkably life-threatening challenges. Business books will no doubt refer to Kodak as a shining example of obsolescence and the inability to adapt to changing times, technologies, and consumer wants and needs. But could it really happen to your business? Consider:
Is there was a dramatic, game-changing advancement looming from within or around your industry? A disruptive innovation? An entirely new market approach that can make yours obsolete? Is there now? Could there possibly be?
What if your market position as the industry’s (insert your distinctive position here) weren’t completely bullet-proof? Is your brand, your intellectual property, your product or service, your primary point of distinction susceptible to being (easily) copied?
What if demand for your specific product or service dropped off dramatically? What would the conceivable reasons be (hint — and you already know this: consumer habits are constantly changing)? How would you respond?
If someone held a water pistol to your head and demanded you increase sales and/or market share this year — regardless of present day market realities — what would you do, specifically?
Over the past few decades, Kodak has been hit by competitive challenges from Japan and by the dramatic emergence of digital technology — which they actually pioneered but couldn’t keep pace with. Serious game changers for a historically strong, globally dominant brand.
As you run your business — and your brand — it’s not a bad concept to systematically consider the future and where things are headed. In the 21st century, there is, perhaps, no greater approach to assured survival than an organization’s ability to look ahead and adapt.