Did you know that more market share changes take place during a recession than at any other time in the world’s economic cycle? However, products that sell well during the good times might not do as well during a financial downturn.
In 10 years, we will see new large brands in the marketplace that were born during this current recession. The era of 2021 – 2031 will see more innovation in society than at any point in history, or so the experts say. So how can the business community move with the changes and ensure their companies aren’t the ones that will close?
Last week, Prosper² welcomed back branding expert and co-founder of BoB (Business of Brand), Linzi Boyd to join their exclusive webinar on the topic of innovation. In this session, she highlighted the importance of staying on top of relevant trends in your industry, and how being ready to move to a more “online space” will give you a one-up in your market area.
Watch the whole webinar here, or read on for the highlights.
Prosper² is a unique business that sits in the heart of the UK’s growing business community, featuring a rewards programme and private business club for SMEs. Prosper² launched a webinar series in May to cover key topics that are top-of-mind for 3 in 4 SMEs surveyed today; building recession-proof brands, the value and benefit of building communities, and the hidden opportunities for product innovation.
Hosted by managing director and founder Michael Wilson, commercial director Gerald Bradley, and Real Business editorial director Praseeda Nair, the Prosper² webinar series will run live every Thursday at 12 noon.
What does innovation mean for this new era of business?
People tend to innovate around their core product and pricing.
“It is important you innovate around the customer journey and no longer just the product,” says Boyd. “When you are in a pandemic, the most important thing you can do is look at the end-to-end of the whole customer journey. Recognise you will you create the market pull and engage your client base by delivering through an end-to-end process rather than just innovating the product.”
To start, you need to “create leverage in the revenue system,” says Boyd. “So when you do get to that important core, you have actually kept the customer engaged.”
To achieve this, you must look at what gaps are taking place in your own business. In particular, ask yourself, “how are you being agile in pivoting your business over these coming months”?
As revealed in an earlier webinar, we are currently in an “L shaped recession”, which is a downturn that ascends into a period of high growth. This means the coming months a critical time for business, as industries re-structure themselves.
Selling solutions to people
It’s important to lead with a human response and connect with the customer emotionally.
Essential to this is understanding that sometimes when you are innovating your business you might need to let go of key products that have got you to this current point of success; “it’s important to embrace what we call the ‘assets’ that sit inside your business that you can leverage off and innovate your whole customer journey.”
Why does innovation matter right now?
When the internet came along it shifted everything and changed the landscape of business.
“One of the massive things that people learned is that people born in the digital era were building an online solution for their business. This gives them a level up,” she says.
What’s more, the coronavirus pandemic has acted as an innovation accelerator and has sped this trend up.
“You won’t see trends speed up as quickly as when you enter into a recession,” says Boyd. “But now, there is also a pandemic overlapping this current recession. The pandemic and particularly lockdown has created a shift in habits whereby the whole world has moved online.”
For the first time in history, everyone has had to go online to stay in business. You couldn’t do business in the same place you once did, we all had to work in a different way and let go of things and embrace a new way of working.
Where are markets moving to?
“We are moving into a space, probably in the next three to five years (as we recover from this pandemic) where the whole world will be online,” reveals Boyd.
So, businesses, get ready for an “on and off” culture “anywhere and everywhere” she says. “This is what we call an omni-channel, where you are accessing different mediums at the same time in an integrated space online and offline.”
During this time, many different industries will have to pivot, and this is what we call ‘from and to’. But this is not a new concept, it is a phase that has been around for centuries.
The most important thing is to see where these industries are going and how your business can integrate into that space. This is how you will stay afloat.
Find out more about the Prosper² webinar series and register for the next one here.
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