Modern business owners and leaders know that maintaining attentiveness to new business developments and trends is crucial to becoming, and remaining, a relevant establishment in their field. A company who fails to recognize change or keep up with existing shifts in business protocol and technology risks becoming an extraneous entity within their industry. However, as each year approaches its end, we become even more inundated with new catchphrases, exhortations, and entrapments.
While being “in the know” is always best, how do business owners differentiate between adapting to innovative progress and jumping on the bandwagon of a fleeting, if not detrimental, corporate fad?
Pick and Choose
Of course, buying into and adopting each new aphorism published on the internet as your new company mission statement is not only ill-advised, but simply irresponsible. Nevertheless, even the most savvy business owners must know how to weed through the endless roster of superfluous buzzwords and gimmicks, while still keeping their finger on the pulse of applicable innovation and opportunities for positive transformation.
It is important to be wary of quick fixes or shortcuts which seem too good to be true, as we all know that genuine achievements are accomplished through dedication and hard work. While the business world has experienced numerous legitimate and productive advancements in procedures and technology, business owners should be sure that each new feature they embrace is well-researched and planned according to necessity, cost-effectiveness, and the impact it will ultimately have on the organization.
Consider the QR Code craze, which turned out to be a less than advantageous marketing scheme for many companies. QR Codes or “quick response codes”, were initially created by the Japanese automotive companies in 1994, and seemed to make a comeback somewhere around 2010 in the United States, appearing on a wide variety of items from clothing to food labels, and even toys. The goal was to bridge the gap between offline and online by offering further product information and incentives to consumers through a simple scan via their Smartphone. Although by 2013, 50 percent of Americans already owned a Smartphone, the fad was already losing popularity due to somewhat disappointing mobile experiences behind the code in relation to the time it took consumers to download the app and successfully complete the scan. The dissatisfaction and lack of efficiency were furthered by the fact that Apple and Android were not even preloading their devices with QR reader apps. The technology may have also been replaced when businesses began offering direct mobile apps which provided a more satisfying, beneficial, and interactive experience for the customer.
However, in the meantime, companies spent valuable dollars on the implementation of QR technology, not only on designing the digital experience itself, but on product labeling and advertising as well. While some companies may have found slightly more success than others with QR Code technology, it was certainly not the across-the-board business generator it was anticipated to be. In other words, not all advancements are one-size-fits all, which was definitely the case with QR technology, especially considering the variation and dissimilarity of industries who initially participated.
In terms of the general direction of a company, it is crucial that business leaders are conscious of newly developed terms and phrases, even if they don’t particularly agree with all of them. Understanding where the world is heading is a must, and there is always an idea or lesson to be considered within each tagline or attention-grabber that emerges. However, it’s important to contemplate the culture of your organization when tailoring these new concepts to your own company’s specific needs. Keeping with the times and remaining relevant is one thing, but clouding the fundamentals of your organization’s existence with every new trend and slogan that shows an inkling of promise will confuse your employees and create instability for the future of your company.
Business trends, or trends of any kind for that matter, have always existed and will continue to emerge indefinitely; as their presence is actually a positive sign of creativity and advancement. For every failed development, there are always several that come forward successfully; and without a few “crazy ideas”, our society would not possess a fraction of the conveniences and necessities we take for granted. As a business owner, however, proper research and mindfulness is vital to ensure your company has chosen a successful path, rather than a bandwagon to nowhere.
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