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Know who you are FIRST!

Smith-Corona: For Decades, this company was one of the leading typewriter manufacturer.  Unfortunately, they fixated their vision on there product. When the world began to change toward personal computers…they denied this would effect their business.  They insisted that Typewriters would always be relevant.  Because they refused to grow and change, their business collapsed.

WHERE THEY FAILED:  The founders of Smith-Corona did not establish a proper vision for their company.  A great “vision” will lead your company to ALWAYS focus on your customer’s needs…that means changing somethings but keeping others the same.  What would have happened if they realized that they were in the business of helping customers create documents instead of producing typewriters?

CHANGE IS PART OF SUCCESS: If a company is going to stay on top…they are going to HAVE to embrace change.  Just in my life time I remember creating ads by taping clipart and text onto a page and “xeroxing” it.  The quality was horrible.  That was before I knew what JPG, RAW, TIFF, EPS, CDR, PSD, PDF, or FTP was.   But that is just one small facet of my business, now think of everything else that has changed.  I went from typing book reports in school on a typewriter to saving documents on a floppy disk in college.  To now blogging my thoughts to be stored on the internet.

NOT CHANGING IS AN EVEN BIGGER PART OF SUCCESS! The only thing more important than change is knowing WHAT NOT TO CHANGE. If you change with every new fad, your customers never learn for what they should come to you.  It is so easy to focus your attention on your product and be identified with that.  But, what happens when your product is no longer relevant?  Your business goes south. Because every one knows you as the typewriter store, when what they need is a PC.

How will a proper VISION help your company?

I am reading a book right now that was written by a marketer in the sports industry.   He has bounced all over the country saving teams and arena on the brink of failure.  Story after story, his greatest credit was teaching this industry that there weren’t in the “sports” industry afterall!

Sports Marketing:  Are they marketing “sports” or “entertainment?”   If they market sports, they will lose their crowd when their team is doing poorly.  But if they market entertainment then you will have a crowd no matter how your team is doing.  That is why you see so much pageantry and hype at games.  Win or lose…your experience is a WIN/WIN.  Now they know how to market what they do!

LET’S BEGIN THE PROCESS OF DEFINING WHO YOU ARE AS A COMPANY:
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References:
Harvard Business Review on Change, Copyright 1998.
Marketing Outrageously, Jon Spoelstra, Copyright 2001

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