Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
Picture Source: http://www.journeyguy.com/images/2013/11/130311b.complacent.jpg
By: Samantha Kautz
“In a highly competitive environment, the status quo is not good enough” (Schaefer 29). Brands have a tendency to become complacent. There is nothing more dangerous than a brand that is comfortable and unwilling to seek change and opportunity.
There is always room for improvement and opportunity. Brands become stagnant because they are achieving success in their strategies, but just like in Schaefer’s soup story, anyone at any time can come in and shake up the market or niche that the brand is firmly grounded in. Although giving free soup to customers is a great idea, there was an even better one lying just ahead that the competitor took advantage of. If the car dealer had been constantly prepared and looking for new ways to stand out, they might have been able to get even further ahead before the competitor was even a problem.
Today, at the University of Tampa’s Annual Fellows Forum, Eric Affeldt, President and CEO of ClubCorp, spoke of companies and brands who have become “successfully stagnant.” He warned that the most detrimental weakness of a business is tenured employees who are comfortable and happy where they are at. These types of people feel safe and are not enthusiastic about pushing the company forward and looking for new and innovative opportunities to get ahead in the industry.
Affeldt told the audience “if it is not broke, break it!” Strange words but full of sense. We as innovators and brand leaders need to be constantly evolving and pushing the brand forward. That is the only way that a company can break through a heavily saturated market. To be noticed, one must break through the status quo, as Shaefer stated. We cannot be as good as our competitors or wait to see what their next move is to compete with. We need to be ahead and allow our competitors to look at us and compete with our ideas.
The easiest way to stay ahead is to do research and look at what segments need to be addressed. Just as Schaefer explains, focus on sub-categories and be willing to further specify a brand’s niche (36).