What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Businesses? Adapt!
Two weeks ago, I met with a potential new client who happened to be in his early 30s. As usual, I wore a suit and tie to our meeting. I thought one could never go wrong dressing like that, and that it’s always a safe bet; but for the first time, I felt there was a generational disconnect. Had I dressed neatly, but more casually, I would have been perceived more as a peer that the potential client could trust and relate to.
Lesson learned: All businesses have to be finely attuned to the new millennial customer, even when it comes to appearance, and adapt accordingly.
Adapting is less about demographics and the ethnicity of your clientele, as it used to be, and more about:
- The use of technology;
- The types of products or services you offer;
- The convenience of the service you provide;
- A strong Internet presence; and
- Your comfort with social media.
Technology and the Changing Business Landscape
We live in a world of convenience.
Many customers use their handheld devices to do virtually everything – from researching businesses to shopping. My 23-year-old son thinks it is ludicrous to go to a retail store like Best Buy to get new earbuds when he could buy them online, from his phone, in 5 minutes.
My clients that have adapted to current practices have a leg up on their competitors. One of my clients has a successful business in which he sells his products only on the Internet. More and more of my clients have retained my services to negotiate agreements with major companies like Amazon and WalMart.com to have their products sold through those sites in addition to their own website.
Even in instances where companies do not sell products online, a strong Internet presence is an essential component of business promotion.
Next Steps on the Road to Adaptability
Given the trend toward online information gathering and shopping, it is important for companies to collect data and engage in analytics. Client habits and preferences can be gleaned from this information, then used—from a promotional and marketing standpoint—to meet existing and new customer needs.
Additionally, tech savvy employees are a critical component of today’s successful businesses. Maintaining your website and social media presence and keeping up with the many technological opportunities in your industry are time consuming and can hinder the growth of your business if not done regularly. If budgets allow, companies should have a designated person solely responsible for technology. If you instead sit back and wait to be solicited for relevant technological services, you’re already late to the game.
Change in Action
The food industry is an prime example of how changing consumer needs have affected businesses.
Despite the trend toward speed and convenience, consumers seem to spend hours analyzing food labels, menus and ingredients, whether at a retail store, a restaurant or on-line. Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, lactose-free and other like products can no longer be deemed specialty foods. Other than for the occasional indulgence, that’s how a large portion of the population eats today.
Whole Foods, for example, is well-known for selling those types of products; however, traditional supermarkets and restaurants now devote large sections of their stores or allocate large portions of their menus to these more healthy food choices.
To survive, businesses must adapt to the ever-changing needs of the consumer, or face extinction as the alternative.
Let us help you adapt. Call Levine Law, LLC at (516) 921-6700.
Tel. (516) 921-6700