It has been said that Rome collapsed under its own weight.
By the third century, Rome suffered from what we would consider a cash flow problem.
When something becomes too big and there is a reduction in the returns on investment, it becomes almost impossible to sustain a massive infrastructure.
It becomes natural that people break away from the status quo and fragment.
Rome had barbarians break away from the Roman army and we have smaller brands being created out a similar scenario.
Summary: By the time something collapses, you can bet that every system that used to function is gone.
Each large legacy company likely feels similarly to how Rome did prior to year 455-that they will last forever.
Are you a part of a company deemed too big to fail?
Toys R’ Us, True Religion Apparel INC, GYMBOREE, Rue 21, Gander Mountain, and roughly 35 other major retail companies have gone bankrupt and/or totally restructured since 2017.
Is your company next?
How can this be happening?
Old rules make what is necessary to maintain healthy profit margin in today’s world impossible.
Many existing business structures are now out of the relevant line of sight to their target buyers.
Many legacy companies have been outdated by a newer, faster, better system going on around them.
As a culture, we have changed our purchase behavior.
We are always on the edge of making different decisions.
The primary cause for this shift in behavior?
Time has become the commodity of exchange.
Not keeping up with the Joneses.
But rather, keeping up with the age of the internet as well as a new generation of incoming brands that are redefining retail — direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies that build, market, sell, and ship their products themselves, without any middlemen.
Those of us studying and tracking what is going on in the retail world can see that these collapses are just the beginning.
If you want to save your brand you will figure out what your brand sounds like and make an Alexa briefing for it.
If you want to save our brand you will reverse engineer what problem your brand can solve and how to bring together your consumers to discuss this thing that you do together and share in their enjoyment of your product or service together.
We have developed speed for consumers, but have not shifted our methods for getting attention.
The technology that is giving us instant connection is leaving us disconnected.
Our resources have given macro decision makers a false sense of true knowledge.
True knowledge comes from the micro movements that are reshaping the behavioral psychology of consumers.
Constant competitiveness has left open a massive vacuum for smaller more agile companies to come in and take consume attention like a thief in the night.
Companies that will ultimately fail could prevent it now with a minimal budget and a specialized startup team.
A back to the basics lesson in human nature hold more of a solution than a implementing a new operational strategy.
As a company you need:
More context and less jargon.
To know the most efficient way to develop people who can lead themselves.
Followers that will buy.
As consumers, we need to be immersed in order to feel a connection to your product or service.
We need to be in the middle of the action and be able to act in that moment.
- Make digital an executive priority.
- Enhance the physical store experience.
- Integrate in-store technologies to engage clients.
- Personalize product or service recommendations based on customer data.
- Build partnerships. Support and cultivate smaller and more agile brands.
- Bootstrap robust loyalty & rewards programs.
Your fingers should be on the pulse of the consumer- impacting them directly.
Here is the main problems you will face:
- Most large companies are to busy with the status quo, staying afloat for the 90 day financial review cycle everyone historically based decisions on.
- It take time and a deep understanding of how to undertake the necessary shifts in your resources and time is running out.
Where to start:
- Get advice from those who understand how other brands are successfully navigating their company through these shifts.
- Have a budget ready for when your advisor tells you who you need to help you. Keep in mind that this budget will likely be what saves your company from collapse.
- Kill the politics. Yes, you have done things with particular companies for years. This will not foster easy conversations with those partners.
- Please ask yourself what is more important? Survival or status quo? You will have to pick.
We are one of several companies that work exclusively on managing this shift with you as a trusted advisor.
Ultimately you have to accept that The Retail Apocalypse is not an isolated threat.
I implore you to do anything you possibly can to not be on this list.
You have to decide that the survival of your company is worth making some isolated changes and get the momentum started.
Yes, you may get push back from your senior leadership team.
No, it may not be in your job title to do something about this. However, know that no matter what you will be historically correct and that alone will put you in a position to be of high value as this movement of change presses forward.
Will you step up?