How can businesses succeed in a constantly changing society?

Consolidating a business is based on the principle of satisfying customers by investing time and resources in developing a product or service that meets customers’ expectations. However, in the marketplace, customers’ expectations and desires change dramatically over time. As a result, change may be perceived as a difficult, even unnecessary, step in the process of establishing a business strategy. Nonetheless, in order to ensure long-term market survival, organizations must embrace it and play alongside a diverse and dynamic society.

Customers’ preferences have shifted from simply purchasing products to satisfy basic human needs to obtaining products based on abstract and subjective concepts such as status, environmental awareness, or affinity. This scenario makes it more difficult for developers to create an accurate value proposition for clients where and when it is required. Despite this volatile environment, businesses can successfully navigate an ever-changing society by focusing on three key factors.

Identifying the marketplace’s key values and combining them into a value proposition. (1)

Currently, we coexist in a variety of cultures and languages, as well as numerous ways of thinking and perspectives that frequently change. There are, however, fundamental beliefs that societies share and display as common ideals. In this regard, Hofstede provides an excellent explanation of the cultural characteristics displayed by communities. For instance, a product or service provided in Indonesia, where the individuality index is relatively low, may differ slightly from one provided in New Zealand, where the index is significantly higher. Consequently, understanding the cultural dimensions of the marketplace would allow businesses to understand what customers want and share across various societies.

Furthermore, businesses must also solidify a distinct value proposition that meets client expectations. This notion is based on the idea of providing clients with more than an answer to their questions, but also a worthwhile experience that persuades them that your product is the ideal alternative available.

In 2018, for instance, in the expanding industry of streaming platforms and content providers, Vimeo faced tough competition from big platforms such as YouTube and Netflix. It was then that CEO Anjali Sud acknowledged the need for change. Vimeo understood that the core value of the marketplace was content production, and businesses were investing heavily in developing their own content. Instead of generating its own content, Vimeo focused on building technological tools to assist others in making their own. This strategy enabled the company to boost revenue and consolidate 80 million members globally by 2018. (2)

Embracing Change. (3)

Embracing change implies investing in innovation and actively participating in society. There was a time when organizations succeeded by taking as many resources as possible from the environment. Nowadays, societies require companies to consolidate innovative techniques to contribute to solving social issues. Consequently, businesses must transform their supply chains to actively engage in the resolution of aspects such as poverty, climate change, and pollution.

 Innovating in response to the community’s interests will help firms to successfully connect with their microenvironment, as well as comprehend and anticipate changes in consumer demands and perceptions, and so, to successfully consolidate a strategy to meet these new changes.

The evolution of Channel Infrastructure might be viewed as an outstanding example of embracing change. In 2019, the corporation acknowledged the rapid change in environmental laws in New Zealand, as well as the growing general awareness of the matter. These developments would provide a cost and profitability challenge to their operations, in contrast to the improving performance of massive refineries in the Asian Pacific area. As a result, in 2020, the organization chose to undergo a dramatic reorganization by shutting New Zealand’s sole refinery and changing its whole business model into an import-only fuels program. (4)

Strategic planning (5)

Understanding market dynamics and consumer perceptions would enable organizations to take the chance of providing value to their customers. However, delivering it and finding an efficient strategy to reach customers may be complex. Strategic thinking refers to accurately addressing what consumers want by putting together a clear strategy to make things happen. It comes from what authors have described as SMART objectives, creating reasonable and realistic goals and, as a consequence, developing a step-by-step pathway to get to those goals. This entails bringing together the appropriate plan to unify all company efforts toward accomplishing the suggested goals from various business divisions, such as marketing, corporate, and production.

Consolidating a successful strategy also involves making informed choices based on market statistics, company trends, financial and risk assessments, and an examination of external factors that may have an impact on business performance.

Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, might be viewed as an excellent example of business planning. Developing his fascination for rockets enabled Peter to build from scratch a vast space firm capable of contributing to the solution of transportation demands in the space revolution. It successfully created innovative and powerful 3d Printed rocket engines capable of correctly launching satellites into orbit every 72 hours while creating no space garbage. (6)

To conclude, while growing a business in a changing society might be difficult, engaging with communities to make our societies a better world for further generations, positively affects business performance since it allowed organizations to understand cultural characteristics, as well as, to consolidate a strategic plan to meet customers’ expectation. So, Let’s work together to enhance business performance and improve social dynamics.

The preceding article is the result of my learning process with tutors in the field of Applied management, as well as the following references:

(1) Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S., Volkov, M., & Kotler, P. (2018). Principles of marketing (7th edition). Melbourne: Pearson Australia.

(2) TNW Conference, Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud, 2018. Youtube.

(3) Lynch, R. (2018). Strategic Management (8th ed.). Person. 

(4) Channel Infrastructure, Annual report, 2020.

(5)Evans, V. (2013). Setting SMART Objectives. In V. Evans, Developing a business strategy (pp. 39-41). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. 

(6) TED conference of Peter Beck, 2020, YouTube.

(7) Images were taken from companies’ websites.

How business have changed over time.

Business responsibilities have shifted considerably over time. Previously, firms were focused on increasing shareholder value. Although it is still an essential matter for organizations, shareholders’ interest is not the only aspect to take into consideration at the time of consolidating a business strategy. Nowadays, consumers’ growing awareness of sustainability issues, rapid changes in resources and supply chains, and social and ethical issues have shaped companies’ missions toward a community-minded perception.

These external variables have significantly influenced how we do business nowadays. Non-financial measures such as corporate governance and corporate cultural responsibility have emerged inside organizations to have a positive influence on communities. Similarly, financial strategies such as innovation and supply chain management have been designed to maximize profits while minimizing environmental damage.

Corporate governance has become a much more stakeholder-focused concept. The idea of developing sustainable business practices, not just to address environmental challenges, but also to take into account ethical principles and socio-cultural dimensions of the marketplace, has been shaping the way organizations regulate themselves. As a result, instruments such as codes of conduct and regulatory frameworks have evolved to have a beneficial influence on social, environmental, and cultural elements, because businesses are viewed as active members of communities that must accept responsibility for their societal implications.

Similarly, culture has become increasingly important in business. Companies have received criticism over time for their unsuccessful attempts to adapt to cultural differences since organizations were focused on massively manufacturing goods for a homogeneous globe. Consumers’ growing knowledge of cultural significance has caused businesses to totally rethink their approach to new markets. Manufacturing innovative goods that meet cultural needs and embracing indigenous values are two examples of ways businesses have attempted to address and respect the cultural values of many groups throughout the world.

Changes in business responsibilities, on the other hand, have had also an influence on innovation and supply chain management. Over time, innovation has pushed businesses to maximize output while lowering costs. However, it has harmed natural resources and individual well-being. As a result, nowadays, businesses are more conscious of their responsibilities to society, prompting them to invest not just in increasing organizational efficiency, but also in developing sustainable practices that allow firms to have a positive influence on communities. Despite the cost of innovation, corporations have recognized that they must play a proactive role in addressing externalities as well as their obligations in a changing society.

The growing duties of organizations have also altered supply chain management. Companies are no longer only accountable for how things are done at their headquarters; they may also be assessed by how things are done across their whole supply chain, including the acts of their suppliers. As a result, firms have moved toward a shared accountability scheme with suppliers, and these growing consensuses have had a good influence on communities, such as improving work conditions regardless of where the product is manufactured.

It can be concluded that since business obligations have changed over time, organizations have been compelled to adjust the way they govern and develop in order to effectively adapt to a changing society. Changes in financial measures such as innovation and supply chain management, as well as non-financial measures such as corporate governance and corporate culture, have had a positive impact on communities since businesses are playing an active role in society not only to ensure the welfare of communities but also to ensure their own long-term survival. However, there is still much to be done.

This article is a brief version of a major research conducted while undertaking my studies in Applied Management. Please, feel free to contact me if you need full access to the paper.