We all know that digital transformation is an ongoing journey of improvement. But the ones who know it best are those operating in the marketplace with the improver business model.
They have similar traits, but are a different business model to the innovators and transformers. Though they might be late to the party, or the ones that have had to reinvent themselves, it’s safe to say this is the business model type that is at the cutting edge of what’s possible. By understanding the needs and wants of their customers, they emerge in the best position to lead the current market.
Adding Even More Value
If it’s one thing improvers know it’s that the only way to predict the future is to create it.
Back to Karl Benz again, we know that Mercedes-Benz were the very first to invent the true automobile. New car companies such as Ford then started to enter the market and do what Mercedes-Benz did, but better.
However, Mercedes-Benz are an improver because they were able to establish themselves within a niche market. Today, Mercedes-Benz are renowned as a provider of luxury cars around the world. With 2.76% market share (2018), they might not have as much of the market as Ford (5.83% in 2018), but what they do have is a very loyal customer base. And a USP that’s very different to Ford’s, which is to provide cars that are reliable.
Another reason for Mercedes-Benz success is that they’ve recognised that, to be successful in today’s environment; they needed to be more than just an automotive seller. With one of the most dominant Formula 1 team to ever exist, it’s safe to say that are adding value in more areas than just the USPs of the cars they sell.
Contrary to popular belief, Uber were not the innovators of the taxi-hailing app world, Taxi Magic were. Uber were the transformers and second to move. Now, there’s a newer kid on the block, that’s beginning to take Uber’s market share, Lyft. Both companies offer a very similar level of services, through Lyft’s approach to customer service is arguably warmer (and more colourful!). With Uber’s reputation on the line after numerous lawsuits, Lyft might have a USP that’s very similar to Uber, but they are just doing it better.
Ultimate Improvers: The Worlds’ Top Energy Drink
They’ve been the leaders in the energy drinks market for years, but Red Bull are so much more than just a drinks company. It all started in Thailand, when the inventor of Red Bull (marketed as Krating Daeng in Thailand) Chaleo Yoovidhya saw the opportunity to bring the energy drink to market. In Thailand energy drinks are geared towards lower-paid workers enduring long hours such as taxi, tuk-tuk and bus drivers.
However when Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz approached Chaleo with an offer to set up the company in Austria, Red Bull was born. Instead of pitching the caffeinated drink to the low-paid workers in Europe, Mateschitz decided to market the drink to young party-goers, adventure seekers and extreme sports enthusiasts. He carbonated it and swapped the medicine-like bottle for a striking blue and silver can.
Fast-forward to today and Red Bull is an energy drinks company that owns cars, sports teams and jet-planes, but doesn’t have any manufacturing plants. They break sound barriers and have one of the best-oiled marketing machines in the world.
The reason Red Bull are so successful? Because they’ve put their brand at the heart of their digital strategy. They are always innovating and finding new ways to bring more value to their offering and dominate the markets that they are operating.
Improvers all have one Thing in Common
If it’s one thing that improvers all have in common, it’s that they all recognise people are at the core of everything they do, helped but not dictated by technology.
Their cultures are primed and ready for positive disruption. They recognise that digital transformation needs to be less about the technology they use and more about solving key problems within their business and creating more value for their customers and employees.
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