By Tress Fereday, Expedition PR
I’ve been working for Marketing Communications agencies for a minute or two, and have participated in my share of team building, creativity-inspiring activities. The most memorable included cardio kick boxing, disco bowling, a limo ride to a spa, splashing at a water park, and an old-school Field Day with tug-a-war and three-legged race. The purpose of these events was to inspire and to build the team dynamic to ultimately drive business … and profits, of course.
I had a lot of fun, and it did reenergize me, and my colleagues. So, when I saw this article about the Trey McIntyre Project, I was intrigued. Not that is was just another unusual motivating event for a business audience (it is that), but that this dance troupe has expanded the notion of what their business is. According to their founder, “we have a real asset, which is the creative process itself. We’re selling that.”
So, it got me thinking about businesses that stick to their business model and refuse to change where others evolve and transform.
Trains vs. Transportation
So, if you were in the railway business in the last century, things were going well until airplanes, cars, and trucks transformed how people and freight were moved. Today, Amtrak and commuter rails in large metropolitan areas are the only remnants of the glory days of consumer locomotive travel.
In hindsight, we can wonder ‘why were these companies committed to the train business vs. being in the transportation business?’ As economies and technologies changed, new companies rose up to address these new demands.
Sustainable and Advancing Business Models
A company that comes to mind that has continually evolved its business model and approach is Amazon.com. The company has been around for 18 years, and started as an online bookseller. Since then they sell pretty much … everything!
I use the site often because of its simplicity and ease-of-use. I joke that you can buy everything on Amazon, even an elephant! Now maybe you can’t buy a real elephant, but their inspired entry into e-readers and tablets have set them up for success in the digital media transition. And, analysts are touting that Amazon is positioning itself for the long-term.
What Business Are You In?
So, if asked “what business are you in” what is your answer? Metaphorically, are you in the “train” business, or instead are you addressing the “transportation” needs of your industry?
If Amazon had answered solely ‘the online book business’ year-over-year , things may be wildly different today. While many of the dot coms of the 90’s went bust because of unsustainable business models, Amazon has catapulted from $510,000 in yearly sales in 1995 to $17 billion in 2011.
The story is a quintessential start-up success story with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos starting the company literally in his garage and getting his friends to beta test the site.
If you are in the midst of launching your company or new product, then check out the free eBook compiled by Expedition PR “How to Prepare for Your Next PR Push.” You’ll learn five steps that can help you get ready to unveil your startup, and perhaps become the next Amazon.
Also, take a moment to view a bio of Jeff Bezos where he laughs a lot! Because nothing feels better than knowing exactly what business you are in.
And if you are at NY Tech Day today, stop by the Expedition PR booth. We’d love to meet you.