As the world changes rapidly, one of the greatest challenges we face in business is staying relevant in our niche. The main reason is that just as the world is changing, so are people. They have far more distractions, choices, opportunities and ways to communicate that can ultimately test just how strong the bond between customer and business actually is. Losing relevance will ultimately cost us market share and even worse, we can slip away from the entire system! This means we need to be doing everything we can to stay relevant.
Some Fashion businesses are very good at this. Some not so much. Think about the well-documented stories of Sony Walkman failing to take advantage of the digital music era, the taxi industry doing little to effectively battle UBER and many, many more examples. Fashion brands have taken charge of the internet and brands who have failed to adapt to the digital era have been left behind!
Are you spending time where your audience spends time? To stay relevant and engaged you need to be sure you are getting the right information about needs, wants, expectations, etc. from your targeted audience. This means spending time with them face to face, spending time with the virtual, spending time with them however we can. As soon as we are disconnected from our audience in any way, our relevance starts to diminish. There is no shortage of ways to communicate, the challenge for us when it comes to staying relevant is ensuring that we are communicating in ways that are relevant to the market. If our targeted audience is embracing a new social media platform and we are not, clearly there are issues ahead. This might sound ridiculously obvious, yet I constantly encounter businesses that are complaining that they can’t reach their audience but they are trying to talk via platforms that they like, but their customers no longer use. We need to be nimble and flexible and connect how our customers want to connect not how it suits us.
Are you aware of your competitors? We need to be aware of our competitors without being obsessed by them. We need to know our competitive advantage and be able to explain this to our audience. We need to know where they are heading, what their focus is and how that will impact our business. Ideally, we want to be setting the pace for our competitors to follow, and the only way that will happen is by having an incredibly deep understanding of our customers.
Do you know the trends heading your way and have a strategy to take advantage of them? When the internet came along and emails started being a thing, the first whispers came out, and emails started being a thing, it became very obvious, very quickly, that the online world (as we call it) was going to change marketing once and for all and we needed to start planning for it now. Many years later, there are still a surprising number of businesses that live in the hope that the Internet will disappear. There will always be game changers coming along, disruption is a word that we are all very familiar with, we need to be open-minded and ready for it.
Are you critically analyzing how to make your business sustainable? We all know that the old style of thinking that resists change is deadly in modern business. Whilst we don’t want change for change sake, what we do want is a culture that embraces and encourages innovative thinking to keep our business relevant. We need to be aware of the signs that might suggest our culture is not as welcoming of critical thinking as we need it to stop being resistant to change, start being problem solvers, and avoid negativity towards anything new.
Finally, are you involved with next-generation projects within your industry (The Fashion Industry); If you’re planning a career move in an industry, it’s critical you know about the latest technologies and processes in that Industry (the fashion industry in this case), be open to the newest innovations. A good way to do this is to become involved in next-generation technology. What current machines are designers using to get their work done faster, tech fibres, etc. Tapping into the new technology before everybody else adopts it would put you at the top of your fashion game
So with this few points above, you can answer the question yourself, do you think your business would stay relevant in the next 10 years and if it does, would your growth be significant? If the answer is no, then the above points will guide you through your part to success. Stay motivated, Cheers!
Until next time, stay fancy!
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