It is easy to get confused and delirious with all the marketing fads. Marketing and sales executives are looking for ways to drive demand and revenue. The frequency and speed of change can siphon us into the barrage of tools in marketing automation, social media, CRM and web technologies. It is fast, furious and relentless to keep up.
I have been enjoying the biography of Steve Jobs and learning how he was able to drive change continually. He had passion and focus. He could see what the masses were not yet realizing they wanted.
When he returned to Apple after a long period of time, he had a conversation with one of the founders, Mike Markulla, about how to rebuild Apple into a company that would last. I liked his input to Jobs:
Jobs’s ambition was to build a company that would endure, and he asked Markkula what the formula for that would be. Markkula replied that lasting companies know how to reinvent themselves. Hewlett-Packard had done that repeatedly; it started as an instrument company, then became a calculator company, then a computer company. “Apple has been sidelined by Microsoft in the PC business,” Markkula said. “You’ve got to reinvent the company to do some other thing, like other consumer products or devices. You’ve got to be like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis.” Jobs didn’t say much, but he agreed.
Lasting companies have the skill, culture and knowledge of how to reinvent themselves. This is a different mindset than many companies today that are experiencing the fading of their cash cow position or a business that loses relevance because of technologies and evaporating markets. Sitting on your laurels is a dangerous position when everything is always changing.
To drive demand continually means continuous change. It means never being comfortable and always innovating. Your story becomes part of your brand and your brand connects with customers based on their ever changing world.
Make reinvention your brand.