Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Innovation vs. Stagnation

If you’re honest with yourself regarding your company, you might find that you focus more on maintaining the status quo, i.e. stagnation, than on flexing your business with the current needs of your marketplace, i.e. innovation.

Let’s begin with your company image.

You have a logo that you love. You are very attached to this logo. It cost you a pretty penny when it was first created. It has brand recognition value, this is true, but is it relevant to today? Do the colors give the right message? Is the font appropriate for your brand message?

How about your storefront or website.

Take a good hard, critical look at them both. Do they convey the quality that’s within? Or do they look old and tattered or like Uncle Ralph was your main designer?

Is your message clearly stated?

When someone enters your store or website, can they easily tell what the features and benefits of your product selection are? Are you giving a confusing message by cluttering up your store or website with competing vendor messages or POP displays? This can happen on websites as well as in brick-and-mortar stores.

Are you ahead of the curve – or behind the 8-ball?

If gray is the new black, do you communicate this to your customers. Can they tell just from looking at your store or website that you offer the latest goods and services? Or are your products or services “old school” and outdated.

Do you pay the price for Innovation?

The new and trendy can cost more, but in the long run they can be the difference between being remembered or being forgotten and passed over for businesses that appear to be more aware of what’s going on in the current marketplace.

Can you take risks for your customers?

If you are too worried about the price of innovation or following trends you will be left behind by your customers. It only takes one negative experience, and particularly in the case of websites, to lose a potentially new customer, or bore an old customer so much that they leave and go to the new-kid-on-the-block.

Innovation = relevance. Stagnation = obsolescence.