Dave Oury is the president and managing partner of Medical Leverage, a healthcare communications company.
My company turned 20 in October. That’s a feat within itself, as most companies never make it to their first birthday. It’s hard to stay relevant in an ever-changing world, much less through the last two decades, which have seen such rapid-fire technological and social change. If you’re imagining how great it will be to see your company hit its 20th birthday, here are some tips to get you there.
1. Get Continuous Feedback
The trick to staying relevant is knowing exactly what people think of your brand at all times. This way, you know if your brand’s reputation is faltering ever so slightly, so you can right the ship before it capsizes.
Getting feedback can be done through a number of vehicles, such as reviews, in-person meetings with clients, feedback from opinion leaders in your industry, and even asking your employees what they think about how to position your brand. Relevance is a moving target, and it’s up to you to keep your eyes on the horizon to see where the market is moving so you can ride along.
2. Listen For New Opportunities
Nothing keeps people excited about your brand like bringing the newest and coolest innovations to the market. Look at Apple. Founded in 1976, Apple was one of the very first computer companies, and it remains the height of cool tech sophistication today. Apple did that in a lot of ways, including being at the forefront of design, but one thing the company did better than anyone was coming out with innovative technology. Apple still keeps its devotees in a froth, even if all they’re doing is finding new ways to put another camera on a smartphone.
MORE FOR YOU
The best way to find new opportunities is to be a good listener. Listen for the problems people are having in the world, and look for ways your company can solve them. Don’t just ask your customers. Think bigger. Ask people who don’t use your product what they’d like; you may find a way to grab a whole new audience. Ask your employees with various natural talents and interests if they can find a way to improve on your current product or service using their own unique lens.
What are your competitors doing? What are they missing? What are the greater trends in pop culture and the world at large that you can integrate into what you’re doing? There are always new ways to reinvent the wheel. Get creative, think big, and find the next new opportunity to tantalize your market.
3. Consider All Generations
Every product on the market is marketed at a specific target audience. Yours is, too. But what if you could tweak your product or service to make it relevant for a different generation?
When looking for new opportunities or new ways to improve your product, tap into the insight of all generations, not just the one you believe is your target market. Each generation will offer valuable insight you couldn’t get anywhere else.
When you broaden the horizons of your brand by designing for different generations, you elevate the experience for everyone. It’s like when public spaces began adding handicap ramps for people in wheelchairs, and parents pushing strollers enjoyed the benefit, too.
4. Try New Ideas Constantly
Lots of companies went broke in the Covid-19 pandemic, but we doubled our revenue. How? Because we set our attention on helping customers adapt to the “new normal.” Not everything we did was a smash hit right out of the box, but we kept trying new ideas, especially the ones that weren’t super expensive, then we went with what worked.
Always be looking for ways to diversify or improve, and never get so comfortable with where you are in the market that you put all your eggs in one basket. Be your own idea laboratory. Try new ideas, test and iterate incessantly.
Staying Relevant Means Rethinking What Your Business Does
Whatever industry you’re in, staying relevant comes down to constantly rethinking how to position your brand, better serve your current customers, expand your market, and anticipate meeting customer needs as the markets change. Embrace the new while keeping the vision of what makes your company great, and you’ll be able to stay relevant for the next generation of customers.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Dave Oury, Forbes Councils Member