Just a few years ago, companies like Walmart ruled the retail universe. With their massive scale, they could compete better than anyone on pricing. If you were to ask them who their greatest competitor was, they likely would have said, “Target.”
Today, however, their real competitor has emerged.
It is not Target.
It is Amazon.
And so it is, that this holiday season found Walmart raising prices online in order to draw people into stores. They were trying to be present in Amazon’s world of online shopping while also attempting to draw the retail shoppers into their brick and mortar storefronts.
This is a signal that the world of retail is changing, and many companies are trying to figure out where they now fit in this new economy.
The fact is, these changes are not just in the retail sector. With the emergence of automated technology and artificial intelligence, every company is feeling the effects of change.
How can you ensure your company maintains a competitive advantage in this changing market?
Here are three T’s you can incorporate to ensure you stay in the running.
Corporate leaders tend to watch the trends and then join the forming wave to ride it to the crest. This approach, once highly profitable, is now starting to weaken. The most successful businesses are those which set the trends and those which are nimble enough to recognize them very early on and adapt quickly to implement them. Visionaries are the trend setters.
If you are getting your ideas from the newspaper, you are likely behind the curve. Visionaries and innovators will help pull you ahead of it.
Do you have visionaries on your team? Are you collaborating with other visionary leaders to create complementary partnerships?
As sales have taken on new forms and outlets, so has marketing. Marketing is more targeted than ever. It is also more relevant and fast-paced than ever before. If you are a business owner sensing a compelling need to reach more, connect faster, and engage on a deeper level all at once, you are recognizing this change.
How do you stand out in the carnival-barking atmosphere that has become the marketing norm?
One answer may be to be the whisperer in the crowd.
The fact is, competing with those screaming for marketing attention has a noise-cancelling effect. And sometimes, the person doing the opposite is the voice that is heard.
An example here would be someone like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Steve Jobs. They are the quiet voices who have been heard loud and clear amidst the clamor.
Why is this?
It is because they are experts in what they do. They exemplify innovation, quality, and wisdom in their respective fields. And they don’t have to yell or display flashing lights to get attention. They simply applied their expertise, innovation, intuition, and quality to needs that people didn’t even know they had until they created that need. They envisioned the future and their target market – and then found ways to serve that market. As they emerged, so did their market.
Do you have a team of experts in each area of your business? Do you have team members with a desire to serve others? Never underestimate the value of the introverts on your team – they may be just the marketing whisper you need in order to be heard by your target market.
In a world of increasing automation, there still remains a place for the human factor. While we like efficiencies and immediate results, there is something in us as humans that desires to have a meaningful connection with other humans. It is what built the platform of social media. As that platform ironically becomes increasingly anti-social, the pendulum swings to automation. This is the chase of the modern business owner and leader.
Yet, in the world of automation, companies that offer a meaningful customer service experience stand out. Business owners who make a personal and thoughtful connection to their constituents create loyalty. And business leaders who show up in the “real world” get results.
While technology has definite merits, never neglect the human connection.
You may be the most efficient person in the world, but you cannot compete with a machine when it comes to mechanical processes. You can, however, compete – and win – in the area of thoughtful connection.
Do you have a team that creates memorable customer experiences? Do you and your team find ways to thoughtfully serve each other, your customers, and your partners? Do you as a leader hide behind the e-mail curtain, or do you make your presence known to your internal team and external vendors and clients?
You can compete in today’s market. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of crossing a few T’s, as the adage goes.
- Trends – Are you setting the trends with a team of innovators?
- Target – Are you standing out from the crowd with a team of experts?
- Thoughtfulness – Are you serving your people with a team of connectors?
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.