Maturity curves are a well-known convention for understanding the life cycle of products, companies, and industries. These charts also reflect how organizations capitalize on an innovation from breakthrough to commoditization.
The transition from one phase to another often triggers a “rebrand” – the urge to reinvent one’s identity based on the shifting landscape. It’s important to know where you are on this curve, as each phase has identifiable themes.
Startups work to build brands on the perceived new opportunity. Companies in growth mode are all about alignment and standardization, while mature organizations fight commoditization by trying too hard to define how they are different. In a period of decline, the theme of reinvention rings true.
The bigger challenge you are facing today, however, is that these innovation cycles are shortening. Globalization, a technology-enabled long tail, and a communications revolution have immensely increased competition. Your customers are overwhelmed by choice, and you need to act more quickly than ever to meet their changing expectations.
This trend is likely to continue, but more frequent rebrands and strategic shifting is unrealistic for most organizations. Merely reacting to life cycle changes is no longer sustainable.
There is a way out. Build a Brand Platform based on emerging customer needs rather than what you or your competitors currently do. Focus instead on what you mean to your customers, what role you play in their lives. Building a smart platform for your brand will allow you to outlive these cycles and outperform reactionary competitors.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to find new sources of value, and stake your claim.