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The last few years have seen many major brands disappearing from the market due to their reluctance to innovate. The COVID-19 pandemic has cemented the need for businesses to adapt to a digital future and innovate, or risk being left behind.

 

Corporate longevity is on the decline. In the 1960s, a typical S&P 500 company was estimated to last more than 60 years—these days, the average lifespan is just 18 years.

Companies like Kodak, Compaq, Toys R Us and Blockbuster have learnt the lessons of brand erosion and subsequently have all been bought out, or ceased to exist. On the other hand, companies such as Samsung, Wal-Mart, Google, Nike and Costco have all been listed as one of the 50 most innovative companies of 2020 by a survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group. There is no denying that part of their successful strategies in keeping up with the times is the adoption of the latest technology.

Costco has become known for how effective they use their consumer data. The chain also uses data monitoring sensors in its warehouses to save money on water usage and to spot any potential leaks before they happen. When looking at a company like American-based Wal-Mart, they made significant changes to their business, including their e-commerce and omnichannel offerings. For example, earlier this year they launched ‘NextDay Delivery, which guarantees one-day delivery to a majority of the US. This is especially useful during the current pandemic.

According to Gartner, consumer trust in both government and large brands had eroded long before the coronavirus. Therefore companies, who already had a difficult time innovating before the pandemic, will be suffering the consequences even more.

Now innovation is no easy feat, and unless you’re a start-up that is hoping to get bought by a bigger company, innovating can’t be a one off thing. Innovation really is about longevity.

Innovation is not just an outcome, but a mindset which brands must build into their business culture. – Christopher Nurko, Chief Information Officer at Interbrand

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the issues of those being left behind in the “digital-first economy”. Businesses who have not yet digitally transformed their work culture and business models will have to do so to avoid disappointment. According to Nurko, “companies emerging stronger in the second phase of COVID-19 will be innovating and adjusting their business models to embrace the new market conditions they operate in. Those that recognize how to internalize the external expectations of their audiences and offer innovative approaches to deliver new value will be those that not only survive but thrive in the months ahead.”

Mobiddiction has always worked off the premise that innovation must be a continued strategy and when the pandemic hit, the team were able to leverage this attitude to develop and build Virt-Real. A world-first virtual reality online event platform, Virt-Real leverages our previous experience with AR and VR and delivers engaging events online for brands and businesses.

Creating a digitally led culture is important and businesses need to catch up quickly before it’s too late. – Mike Vasavada, Mobiddiction CEO

There have been a number of other Australian businesses that have used the pandemic as a way to develop new products, including Melbourne-based Pact Group who decided to start producing hand sanitiser in mid-February. The company is usually a provider of manufacturing, packaging and recycling solutions and had never thought they would be making hand sanitizer. Sanjay Dayal, chief executive of Pact Group said: “Innovation is not necessarily about new products but the way you do things and the risk you take.”

It is understandable that some businesses choose not to innovate because they are scared of failure, but as John McGuire, Chief Design Officer of Aurecon says: “Failing is an integral part of the innovation process.”

We could not agree more.


If you’re a business seeking to innovate, optimise and leverage digital tools to create economies of scale (be it process driven change or implementing new digital processes) then please reach out to us for an initial consultation.

 

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