Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Growth for Mature Brands: War of Movement

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That is a very good question. I'll take a stab - it's about what kind of information you can sell credibly. I watched as Lexis Nexis failed to have a digital strategy for years, and yet it remained top of mind. Dun & Bradstreet, Doane's - these are all companies that are still in the game largely based upon their historical archives and data, track record and brand recognition. In my mind established consulting firms are in the same bucket. You buy a Deloitte report, a McKinsey report, etc.

Which brings me to the second point. How can you take the story you've got to a new place? Surely, the company has refreshed the way it does things, hired new talent, evolved from experience, etc. And it's not just about the logo, it is about how the communication of a different experience and the actual experience customers have. It should touch all business practices, from the way the service is conceived, to the way you answer the phone, to the way the execution takes place, etc.

I don't have observations so much as questions. How is the game changed if the mature brand is selling products versus services or information? It seems that the most vulnerable companies to being taken over by an emerging competitor are those like Zagat that are selling information. Established product companies have exponentially higher set costs and seem therefore, to innovate at a much slower pace.

Second question is how mature brands can leverage their top of mind awareness in a way that newcomers to the scene could not. Pentagram was able to slice and dice the Saks Fifth Avenue on their new identity to make something fresh and beautiful.

If a new company did this, they would lose the very legibility of the brand. Obviously this example is about the literal logo, but could it be expanded to other aspects of the business model?

@Marc - "it's all about culture" and it's not created from pressure and keeping people off balance. There needs to be a trust built upon ongoing, two-way dialogue.

@Len - there are many more options for any given business today. Even when not competing head to head for the same product or service, we are competing for how our customers choose to solve their problem. The logo is a symbol, a representation. It's what is behind it, the substance of your company story and dialogue in the marketplace, that makes a difference. Good example on Zagat vs. Yelp.

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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