An article by Donald Cooper, MBA...
Hitachi, the excellent Japanese electronics company, has chosen as its brand positioning statement “Inspire the Next!” My own thought is that they’d be much better off with, “Creating the next!” It’s great to be ‘inspired’, but we need to use that inspiration to actually ‘create’ something. ‘Creating’ is the ultimate act of renewal.
By “creating the next”, we’re no longer a commodity, beaten up on price. We are now new, exciting, fresh and in front of the pack.
Are you “creating the next” in your business, in your market and in your industry...or would your company’s slogan more realistically be “Catching up to what was.”
What is the ‘next’ that you must create to be a profitable market leader in 3 to 5 years? What does ‘the next’ look like in your industry or market? Can you picture it? Will you create it? How much time do you even spend thinking about stuff like this?
So often, ‘the next’ is created by people who are new to the game. They have no ‘unlearning’ to do. They jump in and disrupt everything while the traditional players cry, “Unfair competition!”
Sony never made a camera with film but are a market leader in digital photography, while Kodak is almost out of business. Most of the internet travel sites have been started by folks who never owned a traditional travel agency.
So, what are the most important things to do in your business, right now…
- To create the next ‘big idea’ in product or service innovation? Think ‘amazing’ here! What has never been done before?
- To create the next new way that you’ll communicate your compelling value in a way that ‘grabs’ your target customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors and makes you famous? Remember, if you can’t effectively communicate your value, it doesn’t exist.
- To create the next new business model that will transform your industry? Think Costco, Amazon.com and Southwest Airlines.
- To create the next technology that will change how your industry operates? Think of how the internet has impacted the Travel Agency business and the music industry.
- To create the next level of operational efficiency that will give you a significant cost advantage over your competitors?
- To create an internal business environment that makes you the place that the best people in your industry want to work?
Just keep asking the one simple question that can transform your business, “What’s possible …and what’s next?”…then create “the next”.
Now, here’s the bad news. If you’re not “creating the next” in these six key areas of your business, somebody else is and you’re falling behind. And ‘behind’ is a very bad place to be.