A Brand Is Not Enough. Create a Cool Brand

Time and tide wait for none. And when brands renege on keeping up with changing times, they lose relevance and fade into oblivion—gradually, then suddenly, to paraphrase Earnest Hemmingway.

Against this backdrop, let me ask a simple question: Will creating a brand satisfy you? I guess for most of us the answer would be an unequivocal yes.

 

[Photograph – BMW i8 at TMS 2013 by TTTNIS under Creative Commons]

 

But pause for a moment. In today’s time, the companies we admire have upped their ante. Merely creating a brand does not satisfy them; they are taking one step further by creating cool brands. What is the difference between a brand and a cool brand?

A brand merely satisfies its customers, while a cool brand makes them happy.

What is the difference between a satisfied and a happy customer?

 

 

To explain the difference, let us take you. You are proficient in your job. Whenever your company has to engage in a strategic negotiation, you are entrusted with the responsibility. You ensure it is concluded in your company’s favour. How do you feel at the end of the negotiation? Of course, satisfied because you had delivered on the promise.

When you reach office, your boss gives you fulsome praise in front of your peers: “We knew you would conclude the negotiation successfully … the company depends upon you … you have a great future with us … we see you in a bigger leadership role in due course.”

What’s your reaction to this praise? Your chest swells with pride, you walk tall, with a smile plastered on your face! How are you feeling? Satisfied or happy? Without doubt happy.

Why are you happy? The effusive praise and recognition, that too in front of your peers, boosted you self-esteem and confidence. It also helped you project yourself in the eyes of your peers the way you wanted to be projected—as an important member of the company; someone the company respects and depends upon; who has a great future with the company.

Let’s revisit this scenario to glean the leanings. When you successfully concluded the negotiation, you delivered on your promise—that you are proficient in your job. That made you feel satisfied. But when your boss praised you in front of everyone, it made you happy because it delivered two additional benefits:

  • It boosted your self-esteem and confidence.
  • You were able to project yourself the way you desired in the eye of your peers.

What is true for you is also true for a brand.

People buy a brand based on the promise it makes to its customers. When it delivers upon the promise, it satisfies its customers.

A cool brand not only delivers on the promise, thus satisfying customers, but it also scores on two additional dimensions: it boosts their self-esteem and confidence, and it helps them project themselves in the eyes of their peers the way they desire. In short, a cool brand helps us shape our identity, enhance our confidence and self-esteem and helps us project ourselves to the rest of the world. Result: cool brands make us feel happy and good about ourselves.

Let us take BMW. It promises its owners the “joy of driving”. When an owner drives it, she indeed experiences the joy of driving—thus BMW delivered on a key promise it had made to its customers.

Now how does an owner feel when she is sitting in her BMW? More confident or less confidant? Of course more confidant. And when her peers see her sitting in the BMW, what has she silently communicated about herself to her peers? “I can afford to own a BMW. I have class. I know how to appreciate the finer things in life.” Who did the talking on her behalf? The brand, BMW. And because it did it efficiently and effectively, BMW has earned the right to be labelled a cool brand.

Let us quickly measure BMW on the three attributes that form the DNA of a cool brand and see where it stands:

  • Deliver the promise: Indeed owners experience the promise held out by BMW—the joy of driving.
  • Boost the owner’s self-esteem and confidence: Indeed it does.
  • Assist the owner in projecting themselves the way they desire in the eyes of their peers: Indeed it does—that too without saying a word. Who does the talking on their behalf? BMW does.

And because BMW scores high on all three parameters, it qualifies as a cool brand.

Now you know the secret recipe to transform your brand into a cool brand. But make sure your brand scores high on all three parameters.

A word of caution: A cool brand may not be universally cool. What is cool to you may not be cool to others. Take Salman Khan. He is cool for his many followers who affectionately call him bhai. But for others he is not cool. The lesson for us: Do not feel upset when a section of the target audience refuses to acknowledge your brand as cool.

Keep another point in mind: A cool brand comes with a shelf life. What is cool for one generation may not be cool for the next generations. Take cigarettes. In the 1950s and 1960s smoking cigarettes was considered cool. In the 21st century it is no longer cool and is in fact looked down upon.

What should brands do to remain cool?

Let us take the example of Lux soap. It has managed to remain cool across generations—it was cool for grandmothers, continued to be cool for mothers and is cool for today’s generation. What is the marketing strategy it has pursued to remain cool across 80 years?

It has consistently pursued a celebrity endorsement marketing strategy. In India, implementing it involved identifying and signing leading Bollywood screen sirens that are the epitome of coolness for their generation, to endorse Lux. A partial list includes Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Madhuri Dixit and Priyanka Chopra.

Since the celebrity personified coolness, Lux by association was perceived as cool.

Bottom Line: Do not be satisfied with creating just a brand. Aspire to create a cool brand that makes customers happy. For that you will have to devise a unique marketing strategy that not only helps your brand catapult into the league of cool brands but equally important, it continues to be an esteemed member of this league.

 

(Reproduced with permission from Founding Fuel Publishing Pvt Ltd. This episode is part of a special weekly show The New Rules of Business, hosted by business strategist Rajesh Srivastava for Founding Fuel, a new generation digital media and learning platform for the entrepreneurial community. Rajesh has a related column with every episode, which can be accessed here)


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author

The Reason Behind Santa’s Red Suit – Strategy With RS

Merry Christmas!

Here is a question for you?

What is the colour of Santa Claus’ suit?

Red?

Yes, you are right. But if you turn pages of history, you may discover to your consternation that it was green.

Then how did the Santa Claus’ suit turn red?

To answer that question, let me pose a question to you.

It is a hot day and you are extremely thirsty. Lord behold, you see ‘red’ colour. Which brand of soft drink will come to your mind?

Chances are good that you will remember Coca-Cola!

Why?

Since the 1920s, Coca-Cola has made a conscious effort to own ‘red’ colour ‘in the minds and hearts of people.

Why did Coca-Cola make this attempt? Research indicates that if a brand owns a colour in customer mind then whenever the customer sees the colour it is likely to remind them of the brand – increases brand recognition by up to 70%.

And that’s what happened to you when you saw red colour on a hot afternoon.

Why did Coca-Cola opt for Santa Claus? Because Santa Claus personifies Happiness – he brings happiness to people’s lives – a trait that is also associated with Coca-Cola!

How did Coca-Cola achieve strong association with Santa Claus? Through consistent advertising, which featured Santa Claus, adorned in a red suit – in favour of a green suit!

 

Bottom line:

1. Get a colour associated with your brand, it is likely to increase your brand recognition by up to 70%.

2. It is a zero cost advertising vehicles zilch to the brand.

 

 

——————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author

Is Your Brand A Noun Or A Verb? – What It Means To Verbify Your Brand – Strategy With RS

#PayTM karo? Is gradually becoming a part of our day-to-day vocabulary. From Taxi drivers to roadside vegetable vendors, everyone’s urging their customers to PayTM karo – Make online payment.

What does it mean for PayTM the brand?

A lot! Because it is on the cusp of getting the highest recognition that can be conferred on a brand – becoming verbified, which means, it migrates from being merely a ‘noun’ to becoming a ‘verb’.

When does a brand become a verb? When it starts to represent the category it has created or in which it operates.

This puts other brands that enter this category, at a disadvantage because they get referred by the ‘verfiified’ brand name and not by theirs.

Let us shift our discussion to PayTM. It was one of the pioneers in offering an online payment (cashless payment) option in India. Since its inception in 2010, it has invested heavily in promoting itself – & therefore has become synonymous with cashless payment. If a person wishes to ask somebody to send him money digitally, he simply tells the person to, ‘PayTM karo! ( Do PayTM!)

Is PayTM the 1st brand to be ‘verfied’? Of course not!

Take Colgate toothpaste. It has become a verb & stands for the toothpaste category. Many Indians, ask retailer, ‘Colgate dena? (Give me Colgate!) – When they may want to buy Pepsodent toothpaste!

Is this phenomenon restricted to India? Of course not. Many global brands also have become verbs!

· #Google which has become synonymous with search

· #Uber has become synonymous with taking a taxi

How does a brand become a verb?

Let me share with you a partial list of conditions required for a brand to become a verb –

· The brand should clearly and unambiguously stand for one thing. Take PayTM – it stands for cashless (digital) payment!

· The thing for which the brand stands should not have been popular earlier. Cashless (Digital) payment was not very popular before PayTm!

· The thing for which the brand stands should be done often. Take payment. It is done multiple times in a day. On each of these occasions, PayTM can be relied to complete this requirement!

· The product should be seen as being ‘Cool’! Take PayTM – is not digitally doing cashless transaction ‘Cool’!

BTW, in a category only one brand can wear the crown of being verbified – 2 verbs cannot co-exist and both be verbified! For example, you can ‘Google it’ not Bing it! Or you can Uber it, not Ola it and so on.

So as a brand custodian, you should aim to verbify your brand. It is the ultimate honour you can confer on your brand!

 

 

——————–

About the Author:

 

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author

Destroy Your Business To Future Proof It – The New Mantra For Success – Strategy With RS

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

—————-

About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

Message Author


Message Author

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!

 

 

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About the Author:

rajesh-srivastava-insideiim

In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.


Rajesh Srivastava

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