Darwin would be proud
In business, as in nature, it’s adapt or perish. There are five forms of adaptation: migration, hibernation, dormancy, camouflage, and estivation. Companies, large and small, who are surviving or thriving in this COVID environment are the ones who are not only doing things differently, through migration and camouflage, but also doing different things. The ability to do things differently comes from a willingness to make do, pivot, bob and weave, and find alternatives: Zoom conferencing, Wal Mart drive ins, curbside delivery, repurposing manufacturing capabilities, altering warranties or terms of sale. Doing what it takes to keep the core business moving forward.
But, doing different things requires a much deeper gut check, a clean sheet of paper, more creative thinking. You build up by breaking down. In our experience with clients across a range of categories it starts with a recognition that your business is not what you make. It’s not the products or services you sell: it’s a deeper dive into what you stand for. In half, or full, day strategic planning sessions we’ve seen the light bulb go on again and again as marketers peel the onion and discover the real business they are in. Using values laddering, and other techniques, we can deeply understand the needs and desires of your consumers, you can find what you really stand for and begin to do different things. Often more profitable things, because you’ve based your business not on what you do, but what people value.
This is a perfect time to assemble your team, bring in an objective, third party moderator, and dig deep into the business you are really in. Doing different things is a combination of migration and camouflage. Very Darwinian.