Survival of the fittest

In nature we talk about the survival of the fittest, a term made famous by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species. He suggested that the animals that are best able to adapt to their changing environment will prove to be the most successful in surviving and reproducing in the long term.

The same could be said for the world of business. Even a company that holds a market-leading position has no room for complacency. There are many examples of businesses that have been slow to react to a changing market and have lost market share, or even failed, as a result – Kodak springs to mind due to their apparent failure to recognise that film would inevitably be replaced by digital. This environmental change may come in a number of different ways – changing consumer demand, changing buyer behaviour, new competitors, new technology, new routes to market… the list goes on.

Many businesses are, right now, subject to a series of significant market changes. Changes that have been either caused by, or amplified by, the pandemic. The businesses that are best able to adapt to these changes will be ones that survive and thrive; those who expect a return to the ‘old normal’ – and do nothing as a result – will struggle.

This is not to belittle the enormous challenges that many businesses have faced in the last 12 months and are likely to continue to face for much of this year too. The solutions for some sectors – hospitality and travel amongst others – where the market has evaporated overnight, are far from obvious or straight forward. Nonetheless, even for these most hard-hit of businesses, if they can survive the next few months (and I sincerely wish everyone the best in this respect), there will be a need to adapt to the changing demands of their customers as we come out of the pandemic.

Some businesses have thrived during the pandemic – the online fashion retailers, Zoom, cycle shops, delivery companies, Netflix, PC manufacturers and Amazon to name but a few. They will have their own challenges as we come out of the pandemic: how to maintain their level of sales and use their strengthened position to leverage further growth rather than slipping back to their pre-pandemic position.

In practical terms, I believe there are five key questions that every business leader should be asking themselves:

  • Is our website working as well as it could?
  • Should our business be offering online transactions?
  • What could we do to diversify our customer base?
  • How can we innovate and differentiate our products and services?
  • How can we become more flexible, agile and adaptable?

I will explore each of these questions in more detail in a series of five blogs under the title ‘Five steps to post-pandemic business success’. Follow 49 Red on LinkedIn or visit our website at www.49red.co.uk/news to see more.

The team at 49 Red can offer strategic advice that is tailored to the needs of your business. Whether you need a post-pandemic business or marketing strategy, a new or improved website, an e-commerce website, help with your SEO, content marketing, market analysis, a comprehensive digital marketing campaign… whatever you need, we are here to help with cost-effective, no-nonsense marketing. Contact Hugh Moss on 07808 365214 or email hugh.moss@49red.co.uk to find out more.