2018 has been quite the year. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that consumer behavior, and the brand-consumer dynamic are both changing faster and more dramatically than ever before.
It follows, then, that over half of business leaders today say their organization will not exist in its current form in five years’ time. While many might find this notion daunting, at Engine, we think that this age of disruption is something to embrace. An opportunity to thrive, to capitalize on change and increase competitive advantage.
Whatever your role or your remit, here are 4 things you can do to ensure your organization is future proof in 2019 and beyond:
A connected organization is the key to customer-centricity. From sales to service, identifying and integrating data from every touchpoint of your customer journey will give you a full 360 view of your consumer’s behavior. Not only will this help you to anticipate their needs ahead of time, so you can tailor your products, services, content and experiences accordingly, it will also leave you better positioned to make strategic decisions for growth.
But don’t stop there. Being connected isn’t just about using the power of data to connect with external audiences. It’s also about facilitating collaboration and innovation internally. By integrating internal data sets and bringing previously siloed departments closer together, you can help your teams communicate better, increase productivity and connect their thinking, resulting in faster, more intuitive customer experiences and a more profitable business.
Brand purpose is an outdated concept. Research from Engine’s Cassandra Report proves that in 2019 and beyond Millennial and Gen Z consumers will gravitate towards ‘human brands.’
For us, being ‘human’ means doing what’s best for your customers, staff and partners. It means designing intuitive, valued and meaningful brand experiences that help these people achieve their own goals, not yours. It means being ethical, transparent and authentic in your actions and communications. It also means striving to be a part of something bigger—creating a community that is connected not only to culture, but to a movement for good. In the age of Instagram, consumers understand that the brands they choose are perceived by others as a reflection of their identity. They want to align with brands that share their values.
By humanizing their brands, marketers benefit from greater advocacy, loyalty and increased revenue—all key to growth.
Successfully navigating an uncertain future is impossible without imagination. Be wary of building a business or a strategy solely within parameters that you can understand and control. The world is innovating faster than you can comprehend and the technologies of the future are closer than you think. Thinking beyond the realms of your own experience is vital to future growth.
Remember that many brains are better than one. Strive to create a culture that supports and encourages staff to conceive and come forward with new products, services and technologies for your business.
And perhaps most importantly, don’t underestimate the importance of originality. Don’t stick to the safety of the status quo. Choose creative partners who can help you to unearth enduring ideas that drive fame, connect to culture, and unite your business’s communication strategy across channels and formats.
Future-proof businesses are the ones working to solve tomorrow’s problems today. To do this, you need to connect diverse talent and technological expertise across your business and your partners’ businesses. By bringing different people with different experiences and different frustrations together you can identify problems hereto unidentified and collaborate radically to find a solution.
Finally, don’t be too proud to plan and accommodate for failure. Successful innovation is about taking smart risks, encouraging your teams to fail fast in an environment of freedom and support, in pursuit of a better future.