The challenges faced by Brands are Darwinian in nature. That is, the survivors are neither the strongest, nor the smartest, but rather those who have the capacity to adapt to change. To get an idea, of the American list of Fortune 500 Brands from 1955, 429 of them no longer exist. Crazy, right? The business environment is much harsher for Brands than evolution is for species. It kills a lot of Brands and there are various different reasons for this.
Unfortunately, the problem is even more chronic in Brazil. In addition to the fact that the Brazilian economy continues to slide, the business environment is inhospitable due to bureaucracy, a lack of credit and outdated labor laws. It’s not easy to survive in a country that is in the 130th place out of the 185 most difficult countries in which to do business. The most frequent causes are: lack of planning, the practice of copying existing models, a lack of investment in the Brand and a lack of adaptation to the needs of the market, among others.
That is exactly why one must think long and hard about what can bring value to one’s business before setting up a business venture. How can the Brand help build value? A few easy questions are good filters to reflect on the relevance of your business. For example: If my Brand ceased to exist, would anyone miss it? Does my product/service make a difference in the world?
Besides the fact that the mortality rate for businesses is growing every day, the “capitalist way of life” is under threat. This leads us to wonder whether we can continue on this path of overconsumption, given the environmental problems we are facing, the high unemployment rate, and globalization itself.
In addition to the economic crisis, we are living in a time of digital revolution, which is leading to a veritable attack on several markets. NetFlix killed Blockbuster, which had been the largest American retail chain. And it wasn’t just digital streaming that killed Blockbuster. Netflix’ entrance on the market was very strategic. It created a proposition with more relevance to its consumers, delivering movies at home without charging late fees, and this was very well received by consumers, who hated paying late fees. And then when streaming arrived, BAM! The consumers who were used to receiving their movies by mail could now download them over the internet. The Brand conquered the world through the relevance of its Value Proposition.
In a similar fashion, we saw other movements occurring, such as when Kodak closed its doors, hotels complaining about the power of Airbnb, and taxi drivers around the world going on strike because of Uber. It’s hard to hold back a revolution that is offering new ways for Brands to relate to people.
In light of this scenario, the big question is: what role do Brands play? The mission of Brands is to create valuable, long-term relationships with all audiences, to stand out on the market, to evolve in order to stay relevant with its audiences, to create uniqueness to be recognized within its territory and to be consistent to build a future for the business.