The last five years have been a bit of a blow to both business and consumers. Everyone has the brand that went under during the recession and it really shocked them. Blockbusters, Clintons, HMV, each were brands that we often felt a strong bond and fondness for, even if we never went in there.
Many analysts blamed technology; the internet, the Cloud. They make it easier for online stores; the high street doesn’t get a look in. So where do we put Blackberry then? That’s a tech firm, that’s a huge brand that really captured the imagination. And look at them? Blackberry looks like it’s in serious trouble and if tech firms can’t get it right then it must be pretty bleak.
There are a lot of issues with Blackberry. It might be something as simple as the fact that their target audience has upped and moved elsewhere. Younger kids who used BBM constantly have moved to Apple. The business folk who preferred the QWERTY keyboard on the Blackberry are switching brands because there’s more choice.
Every brand faces a downturn. Brand experts often say the minute you’re the zeitgeist you need to start preparing from the downturn. No one can be top forever and if all you’ve done is prepare for the good times then when it starts to turn you’re in trouble.
No one is saying that’s what happened at Blackberry but it just goes to show that if you’ve got the gadget or service that everyone wants today it’s absolutely no guarantee that it’s the same thing that everyone will want tomorrow.
How can the Cloud help? Can the Cloud help?
Creating more of a streamlined and targeted strategy in terms of technology helps to cut overheads. The Cloud helps to facilitate this and can leave you with extra time for innovation. Think of Apple, they spend as much time coming up with new products as they do making sure you’re happy with the old one. How? Because they put as much energy into innovation as they do for maintenance. If you feel like your business is just keeping the day today going then you’re not able to innovate and plan for the future.
The Cloud also supports with Big Data. There’s never been more information out there that we can grasp about our customers. Who they are, where they are, what they want, how they interact with us? We might need help navigating the data but it’s valuable because everything we need to feed into our strategy is right there. The customer is always right. We have to be able to develop products and services that they want and need and by understanding what they are already telling us then that process becomes much easier. The Cloud can help organise this information making it easier to translate and access so it feeds into to our strategy for growth and development. Apple has it right, they track mood and behaviour so that they understand what product we might all want in five to ten years’ time.
Even big brands can go to the wall. It’s rarely one mistake that causes a downfall but a series of smaller ones tied together by a unifying principle; we didn’t plan for the change. If all your focus is on one goal; success – then what happens when your customer changes? The Cloud can help you plan and prepare for change, making it easier for you to stay ahead and stay popular.