Playboy, in an effort to reinvent, has made the decision to discontinue images of naked women. They’re just too easy to find everywhere else. Movie theaters are struggling because most of us would rather skip the crowds and watch things on demand at home. Instagram has made having a point of view as hassle free as it gets – no need to start a blog – just create an account and press play.
We are living in a time where it’s easy to blame digital for the elimination of entire categories. People blame a sharing economy – Air BnB and Uber – for putting their competitors out of business, or at least at a disadvantage. But digital is just the medium. What it’s done is teach us to think and interact with our worlds in a totally different way – and it’s been a bit like boiling a frog (sorry)…so gradual we aren’t even aware of how much we want short cuts, efficiencies, ease in our consumption.
Port this behavior over into your own business now. See if you’ve adapted to the very things that make you happy or bring you down about the experiences in your consumer world. Is your website responsive? Are you using tactics from five years ago to build your list, convert customers or drive new business?
All you have to do when it comes to relevance is look around. As brands reinvent, go out of business and new miracle utilities are born, the messages are as good as on the wall. Just look at the battle between the WSJ and NYT. As one pulls ahead, the other retools (and catches up) because they both know that a paper in the hand is worth a lot less than a subscriber online these days. You don’t have to invent an app that aggregates fitness sign ups or makes getting a blow out easier (as they already exist), but you do have to continually think of shortcuts on behalf of your customer.
Watch. Listen. Learn. Adapt.