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The truth is out there

Richard John says the business world is changing, and with more causalities on the horizon, it’s time to re-think strategy

Two snippets of news for you: First, there’s a new kid in town. It’s called ‘Jack’, named after the founder of Tesco. Why should Tesco launch a new chain of stores; part of the answer is to challenge the endless growth of Aldi and Lidl, which now control more than 13% of the UK grocery market.

Less obvious is a range of new products with grandiose names like ‘Woodside’ and ‘Willow’, replacing the traditional ‘bargain’ labelling. Branding and positioning is everything…

Why is this relevant? For years supermarkets have been nervous about such a strategy, feeling it would undermine their main brand. However, when you have an endless procession of challenges – oil prices, Brexit, competition – it’s essential to try new things. The High Street – real and virtual – is in turmoil; more casualties are inevitable.

There’s more: new brands are being launched by big hotel groups. The latest is Zip from Premier Inn, offering rooms of just 8.5sqm. There are bathrooms, air conditioning, flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi, but what more does a busy business traveller need?

So now think about your business; do you have plans for the new year to decide what your positioning strategy should be? Are you going to be trying something dramatic and unusual, or is it going to be ‘same old, same old?’ If you haven’t grasped what is happening in the economy, you’re missing out. ‘Big Data,’ ‘Dynamic Pricing,’ ‘Disintermediarisation,’ ‘Co-opetition’; these aren’t just expressions dreamt up within ivory tower academia. These are happening and will continue to happen. It may be time that you looked at your offerings and started tripping out what your customers no longer want to pay for. 

I hope you have a Happy New Year. But there are no guarantees.