Fifty years ago if you sold shoes, you could be the best damned shoe salesman and that could be it. Today, the environment has changed and you can’t survive off of bread alone. Beyond your core function (and you should do that better than anyone else), to truly connect with your customer base you need to evolve and expand. Those who do not constantly innovate…. die.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
If someone tells you that, punch them. Nothing is permanent or certain, especially because of the web. Eric Jackson at Forbes makes a legitimate argument that Facebook and Google might be dead in the next five years. When you look at ages of the web; 1.0 search / commerce (yahoo, google, ebay, amazon), 2.0 social (facebook, linkedin, groupon) and now 3.0 mobile (instagram, foursquare), the generation prior never seems to bridge the gap.
It’s why Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram, because those nerds were doing something cool that Facebook couldn’t figure out. That cool thing was only available on mobile and Facebook has all of that money and their app still sucks. They know that a facebook killer will be on mobile and if they can’t beat ’em they’ll just buy ’em.
If you’re not continually trying new approaches or looking at problems differently, then you’re going to fail.
So like a brand, you need to continually test new ideas and changes in your life to try and improve whatever aspects you desire. Whether it’s something that’s affecting the bottom line of your checking account, your health or personal relationships, you need to try a different approach.
The most recent issue of Fast Company features the 100 Most Creative People in Business and I picked it up to see what the creatives are out doing in the world. One of the features was Sarah Robb O’Hagan the President of Gatorade (that reads funny). Even if you haven’t heard of O’Hagan, you’ve at one point consumed the electrolyte filled sports drink in one flavor or another. You’d never know but in 2007, Gatorade lost 10% marketshare while Powerade gained 13%. The business was slipping.
Their brand was stagnant. Okay we get that you sell a sports drink with electrolytes (who knows what they really do) and you can only keep selling that same thing for so long.
So to bring in new change, O’Hagan evolved Gatorade from a sports drink seller to a company devoted to athletic prowess. They’re branching into performance products (pre, during, post) as well as establishing Gatorade as the premiere hub for fitness knowledge. I think that performance supplements; protein, creatine, vitamins, etc would work well for them too. They’ve also pushed an all new Gatorade Sports Science Institute that is dedicated to helping sponsored athletes improve bodily function, while the facilities are available for use for average humans like you and I.
Other awesome examples of awesome brands:
Karmaloop is founded by Harvard graduate Greg Selkoe and is the leader worldwide for streetwear and urban fashions. Selkoe could have stopped by having a website that sells clothing, but instead he’s launching a media dynasty through KarmaloopTV and competing in flash sales with PLNDR.
They premiered a new music video today and it inspired this post.
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