Complacency Doesn’t Breed Small Business Success
No longer is it enough to just be status quo if we want to get ahead in business.
If Steve Jobs had been complacent, he would have never been able to propel Apple Inc. to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011. He would have never left such a tremendous legacy as a timeless innovator.
In 1996, when he reflected on Apple’s sales approach, Jobs shifted focus towards exploring new avenues of brand perception. Determined to improve upon the Apple brand image, Jobs resolved to elevate customer perception and build a stronger brand within his industry.
He could have turned the other cheek or stuck his head in the sand. Instead, he challenged himself, his employees, and the company to explicitly identify Apple’s weaknesses. From these points of contention, their team was able to develop solutions addressing these hurdles. This difficult, humbling experience paid off massively, as Apple is now revered by its diehard consumers, respected in its ultra-competitive industry, and universally acknowledged as one of the largest brands worldwide.
As business professionals, we all have a lot on our plate and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. That’s why there’s usually apprehension when adding on more. If it’s not broken, why fix it? But this is the key difference in mentality between someone who feigns success and someone who breeds success.
Sure, we have a relatively successful business and the sales figures are within an acceptable range, but why wouldn’t we want better? Why not start dreaming and thinking bigger about our company?
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown
It’s easy to push our company flaws and weaknesses under the rug but it takes a true leader to look within the organization and identify how to continuously improve the product and service to exceed customer expectations. We become comfortable with the status quo, so much so that the familiarity blinds us to anything that may be awry—like customer perception with the company’s image and website.
It’s easy to see some of these clear-cut obstacles from a marketing perspective. If a discrepancy between the image and story exists in what we are projecting to the market, consumers will be confused and disappointed. And a confused mind will always say no, so it remains vitally important to project one unified, integrated image on all of the marketing touchpoints, lines of communications and business principles. Our business needs to project the same brand image when we speak with a customer on the phone as when we publish content on our site.
“A brand is a customer’s understanding about a product, service, or company. It’s not what YOU say it is, but what THEY say it is.” – Marty Neumeier
To project an image of elegance, every detail of the brand should be premium, exclusive and high-end. If simplicity is the image you’re going for, keep clutter to a minimum. Less is more.
I encourage you to look within your business and do a reality check of your image, principles, and goals. Remember, perspective is everything so look at your company’s challenges as areas of opportunities, not as devastating weaknesses.