All ventures worth a grain of salt should have a clear vision of where they’re heading before they get underway. This is the planning stage, where you define the identity of your business, how you’ll market it, and naturally who you’ll be marketing it too. Fail to do any of these things and it’s unlikely that your business will get very far. There’s nothing more damaging to an ambitious business than having too many open ended questions and not enough answers. But that is only your starting point, not how you’ll be operating. That requires a much more adaptable approach.
There is only two brands that can get away with not changing the fundamental style of their brand, and they are: McDonald’s and Coca Cola, and even those two big players are facing more trouble than they’ve ever faced. For everybody else, a look has to be updated before it looks dated. What’s funny – no: annoying! – is that we’re so preconditioned to be adverse to change. Take a look at the fuss that’s kicked up every time Facebook subtly changes the layout of their homepage! But though you might love your initial design, as time moves on it’ll only look more dated…and then will only come back in style many decades down the line when it looks vintage. We’re sure you can’t wait that long to be a success. Change your style often.
Keeping Your Identity Loose
You should start out with a vision for your business; you should not religiously stick to it regardless of whatever else happens. Have you ever noticed how a band or television show takes a few years to really get into the groove of their sound/identity? You should be the same. Don’t hold on to the first idea you had, no matter how good may it be. While you can keep the general theme (say, in line with a cause you care about), the nuts and bolts of the business should always be under scrutiny and be able to be altered to suit needs. Besides from keeping things fresh, it’ll also keep the business fun for you to be involved in. As soon as you’re settled, you’re on the way down!
Changing As The Customer Changes
Ah, great! You have a clear, adaptable approach. You’ve set up your business in such a way that it’s always evolving, never static, always looking towards whatever is round its own individual next bend. That may be all good and well..but what about, you know, the people who matter – the customers? They’re what counts. As such, you need to be paying close attention to e-commerce trends to determine what people are spending are money on, and how they’re doing it. You’re one part of a massive society; and essentially, you’re unable to dictate anything (though give it a go!), so making sure you’re aware of the broader, wider trends will ensure you’re not left behind.
There are a few heads of companies out there who see their company’s social media accounts as the be all and end all of their success, and treat them accordingly, with the same level and care normally only reserved for a newborn baby. This is the wrong approach. Social marketing needs to be agile, adaptable, creative. Those who manage your social media account shouldn’t have a set list of rules they need to follow. They should be free to do whatever they want, more or less, following a set of loose parameters. If you give your workers a list of the exact type of posts you want, you’ll soon find your social media accounts to be a creative vacuum. However, give them free license to do whatever they please so long as they don’t break a few golden rules and you’ll have accounts bursting with exciting and creative content: which is exactly what you want!
Life is in Innovation
No brand, no matter how big or small, is able to make it through the murky business world without pushing the boat out and trying something new every now and again. Think of it this way: you’re not in the business of whatever industry you’re in; you’re in the business of innovation, of trying to do new things while at the same time keeping a firm eye on what has worked in the past. Keep your brand adaptable and you’ll have a business that is alive and ready to go in any exciting new direction that presents itself. And that’s your path to success.