Improve Or Be Improved Upon: How The World’s Most Established Companies Are Being Beaten

In Brand Differentiation, Brand Strategy

Netflix contributed to Blockbuster’s demise when it figured out how to provide easier access to movies. Uber imagined a world where a car was available at the touch of a button. And Silvercar car rental decided that the car rental experience was sorely lacking in convenience, service and standards and set about changing the face of that industry to much fanfare and thrilled customers.

Take a second to consider these examples. Each company was the underdog, and few people might have been willing to bet on them when they first appeared. So how were they able to challenge and even unseat the incumbent?

What they all recognized was a way to make life easier for the customer. They saw an existing service, and they figured out how they could improve upon it.

When they began, they didn’t have the customer base of their competitors or deep pockets to buy their way to success. Instead, they methodically focused on the end user first and revenue second, figuring that if they could improve the lives of their customers, or at least make regular tasks easier, revenue would follow. They weren’t wrong. What I find interesting about these companies is that they were all outsiders in the industry they disrupted. They saw the world differently, unencumbered by quarterly earnings reports or how it’s always been done.

What would happen to your business if a more creative mind, a fatter checkbook or a customer-first approach arrived to challenge your industry? Would you survive?

Are you reimagining your business from the inside out and from the customer’s perspective before someone else recognizes the opportunity to do it despite you?

It doesn’t take a Goliath to beat a Goliath. It just takes a resourceful David.

You may be the Goliath today, but there have never been more opportunities for enthusiastic and relentless Davids to leverage network effects, customer demand and your gaps to create the Goliath of tomorrow.

Worth considering?


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Barry Chandler is the co-founder of Storyforge, a brand strategy company focused on helping companies discover their purpose to allow them to achieve their vision, build preference and drive margin. Barry has been building award-winning businesses since launching his first company in Ireland in 2003. His last company, a digital marketing agency, was acquired in 2012 by a California-based publicly traded entertainment company which then hired him as Chief Marketing Officer. It is his belief that the greatest brands seek to change the world, improving the lives of their associates, partners and customers.