Now – A Business Survival Guide

Now – A Business Survival Guide

How current are you in your business? Are you “Now” or in the Past? Here’s a book with some steps to follow to make sure you are keeping your business fresh and interesting. The first chapter called “The Time Is Now” tells us how we need to be current and constantly innovating, being careful not to become an endangered species like checkout chicks, books, CDs and cash. Life is fast but we need to stop and look around us at time and see what changing. Here’s a summary of the key points…
Current 50 year olds still think like a 30 year old… (I should know, I am one). They want to enjoy life NOW, not planning for retirement!! They probably have kids rather than grandkids. Also 25% of Australian household are single occupancy and that figure is growing and the need is to market to meet their needs not our expectation of their needs.

Chapter 2 talks about Technology Now
15 years ago the world’s most powerful computer “The Cray” was used by NASA. Today the same processing power comes in a Sony Playstation. The iphone has more processing power than the Cray! Current consumers want convience and quality. Their needs are met instantly like “Zipcar” an iTunes app that allows you to rent a car from your iphone, it books and pays for it as well as giving you direction to the car without a person in site. “E-tailing” is growing all the time, so are you keeping up with it… ahead of the trend, or just getting left behind?

Chapter 3 – Consumers Now
“Now” is the key word like using video conferencing, apps to control your house etc. The book explains how Consumers are changing in their demands. For example men are becoming more “feminine” with regards to skin care and fashion as well as being more active in their children’s lives. Women are marrying later, if at all and are earning more money!
Here’s an interesting point – Older people see themselves as younger and younger people like to see themselves as older – making the ideal marketing age to pitch your product or service to being a 35 year old if you want to attract both markets. Marketing must meet their needs i.e. can’t just buy plain old bubble bath now its Tranquilities, Euphoric etc therapies.
Time poor and having other prioritoes is building a big push to DIFM – Do It For Me services.

Chapter 4  Brand Now gives you some pointers to help you with your image…
1. Culture
2. Tribal Leaders
3. Keep it real
4. Be different
5. Don’t be phoney
6. Celebrate the legends past
7. Find a higher Purpose
8. Be your own pioneer

Chapter 5 Marketing and Advertising Now
The Old Spice ad brought an old stale brand to a top seller by using viral marketing. Google now dominates what we do online, imaginative net savvy people sell generic Viagra out of countries with less strict regulations and everyone one is using Facebook.
Location Detection systems market to you, based on your location and history. We are already learning of  Wireless marketing as the next thing direct to your phone.

Ch 6 Design Now
Packaging is more important than ever must convey a positive message as well as look good. Like the fruit juice tetra packs from Japan that look and feel like the flavour.

CH 7 Brand Entertainment Now
Consumers want to interact and have fun with your brand though competitions, interactive websites and games

Chapter 8 Brand Experience Now
USP or Unique Selling Proposition was and still is important, but now we need to highlight in this their ESP, or Experiential Selling Proposition. How can we get them to enjoy a whole experience.
An example given is The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, located in a gritty part of Dublin brick exterior gives way to a modern glass and steel. Inside it looks like a pint glass with a pub on the top floor, set in the floor is the contract signed by Sir Arthur Guinness for the brewery site a 9000 year lease for just IR£ 45 a year. (About $35). After paying entrance fee of $10 you get a “pebble” which when you get to the bar is scanned and you get a pint and the de-activated pebble is return to you as a souvenir.

Chapter 9 The Place Experience Now
In a commoditised world, a “place experience” meets both the desire to consume and to feel.
To paint the picture the example used is that of Umpqua Bank – part hotel, part retail and a little bank. Other banks want customer to bank on line/ out of bank, Umpqua encourages their customers to make themselves comfortable, they have illuminated signs with “ Sip, Surf, Shop and Bank” highlighting their services… how cool would that be! The environment must be part of the purchasing experience as well

Chapter 10 The Alchemy of Reinvention Now
Successful businesses hate change. People with great jobs hate change. Market leaders seek out and cherish dependable systems. But the choice is clear. In many instances it’s either going to be reinvention or its going to be irrelevance.
Qantas has the name but Virgin has the service and the modern attitude.

Chapter 11 Now Commandments
1. It’s more fun being a pirate than the stuffy navy
2. Don’t wait to be invited – have a go!
3. Be real
4. Turn product or service into an agent of intelligence

Written By Paul Gregory Roberts & Jess Hill and Reviewed by my friend George Koritsa from Adelaide… perhaps a challenging book to read and certainly one to make you think… a little outside the box. Keeping with the “Now” theme it is apparently also available as an iPad App

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