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Posted by in Business Magazine, Robert Craven Marketing Expert

The New Normal in Business

The New Normal in Business

New normal is not just a TV programme it is a way of understanding what is confronting your business. As I have said before, most businesses are confronted with a severe case of five-year-old-itis. They are running (and planning and taking decisions) based on five-year-old assumptions about their product, their suppliers, their market and how and why and when and where their customers buy. I have to say that nearly all of those assumptions are redundant. Just think of Comet or BlockBuster or HMV to name a few who hadn’t noticed the change that was all around them. Deliver legendary, remarkable service & you are on to a winner’ Robert Craven #business Click To Tweet So what is the New Normal? Well, I don’t think we will see the heady heights of the early 1990 or 2000 growth years where people couldn’t help but make money. Today’s new normal might include: Zero growth in the economy Next to zero interest rates The ubiquity of the internet and digital media More...

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Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

10 Things Big Businesses Envy In Smaller Businesses

10 Things Big Businesses Envy In Smaller Businesses

Big businesses often bemoan their own lack of essential vitality and wonder what they could take away from the smaller and more entrepreneurial business and incorporate into their own culture. At first thought, the shopping list is negligible. After all, who would want all the hassle and grief of being an inconsequential price-taker without all the trappings of the corporate world. However, on second thoughts, there are a number of attributes that the bigger business is positively jealous of. Passion and belief in the product. Excitement. Flexibility and ability to change direction, at the drop of a hat! Responsiveness. Speed of decision-making. Communication, no silos; simple lines of accountability and control. Commitment. Closeness to customers and suppliers. A feeling of being able to make a difference; in control of your own destiny. Clear focus. The reason the small business exists is to satisfy a dream or to fill a gap, an opportunity, that others cannot see… ‘The small business exists to satisfy a dream that others cannot see.’ Robert...

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Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

To Succeed We Must Stop Being So Goddamn Normal

To Succeed We Must Stop Being So Goddamn Normal

“To succeed we must stop being so goddamn normal. In a winner-takes-all world, normal equals nothing.” [K. Nordstrom & J. Ridderstrale, Funky Business] Normal is everywhere. Wherever we look we see a thousand shades of grey and another thousand shades of beige. Just lots of dull, “me-too”, boring, look-alike, tired, safe businesses all too frightened to do anything other than look like the rest. And my word is it boring! In a room full of grey accountants how do I know which one to buy from? In a supermarket with 50 different varieties of toilet paper/toothpaste/washing powder which will I choose? If they all look identical (promising the same thing in the same way) then my decision will end up based on packaging (or branding). But if the packaging (the promises) all look identical then all I can do is buy on price. Of course the packaging that is different, that stands out, is the one that will get noticed. And as a result the greater the chance of...

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Posted by in Robert Craven Marketing Expert

Change Your Entire Business – it takes just a day

Change Your Entire Business – it takes just a day

The 25-person accounting firm, we’ll call it ABC, had an unremarkable track record. Predictable. Grey. Uninspiring. The offices were spookily quiet: no laughter, none! One meeting lasting one hour in the boardroom changed the business forever. It was agreed that everyone was bored and not working to the best of their potential. The business had become a dowdy factory, knocking out the same old tired and jaded service with little excitement or challenge. Three Key Decisions So, what did they decide to do on that fateful morning? Decision #1: Only do challenging, interesting work with interesting people. Decision #2: Put the customer experience at the forefront of the business. Decision #3: Become a business: create a marketing machine that focuses on customer wants and needs and responds with a compelling and exciting offer. As soon as these three decisions were made, the wall of doubt and self-loathing came crumbling down. It became obvious to stop charging by the hour and charge fixed price agreements, and to offer money-back guarantees....

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