In these tough economic times everyone is looking for a new strategy to survive or even to prosper in the constantly changing consumer market. But it is not just the economic climate that is changing the market; the attitudes, behavior and demands of consumers themselves are actually shifting as they change what they expect from a transaction. Times have changed, the most crucial words for businesses today are efficiency and simplicity.
A good example of this can be found within gadgets and this is one industry in particular where the changes are even faster than the traditional generational divide. As outlined in a talk by Sir Ken Robinson, if you are an adult, of 30 or over there is a very good chance that you will wear a wrist-watch everyday to keep track of the time, but if you are under 30 there is a good chance that you will never wear one, or perhaps you may wear one just as an accessory.
This is because the attitude towards watches has changed, they are a relic of the past because they have been replaced by computers, phones and other digital gadgets that tell the time as well as doing a great number of other functions. The watch is a single function device and so it is now outdated and made obsolete by other more useful devices.
Consumers like to have all the options
The same logic can be applied to business, think of the local butchers that is being slowly replaced and overtaken by the supermarket. This isn’t just because large supermarkets can afford to offer lower prices, it is also because the butchers is a single function shop, whereas the supermarket is a business model that appeals to the efficient ethos of modern life. This is useful because it can appeal to smaller businesses. Rather than simply suggesting that businesses try to grow to the size of massive companies like Walmart before they have the opportunity to tackle them, the solution is simply about making your service convenient to your client base.
This is a strategy that has been taken on board by a reasonable amount of small businesses that realize that they can make the lives of their customers more convenient whilst also making it easier to run the business itself. Sherman wellness center, for example, is a group of a dentists in Los Angeles, but they also operate as a podiatry clinic, tattoo removal specialists as well as a cosmetic and medical clinic. Rather than offering separate locations, names and businesses for these practices, they are allowing their patients the comfort of knowing that they can be treated within the familiar environment of their local wellness center.
This strategy isn’t about developing a brand or umbrella corporation, it is simply about offering the ‘under one roof’ convenience to a customer base that will really appreciate it. When small businesses operate like this they are actually far superior to the big brands because they offer all of the convenience while still maintaining the friendly, familiar and unique service that you would get from your local store without resorting to conveyor belt ubiquity.
For information on business branding see this article.