1. You think that you are your target consumer. It happens all the time. The CEO and CMO nix an idea because it doesn’t appeal to them. Unless they fit the the demographic and psychographic profile exactly, they can’t base decisions on what they like.
2. Your touchpoints are not aligned with the market. It is very easy to spend a lot of budget and not reach the right people. If you are still using a distribution or retail network when your consumers are online, you are incurring unnecessary costs and missing big opportunities.
3. You are known by your founder, and not your product. Your founder hasn’t been with the company in 50 years. The patents and processes that he created have been outdated for decades. If the only thing you have to talk about is the past, how are your shareholders going to feel about your future? Just because your company is named after the guy that started it all, you still have to find a way to grow beyond that.
4. Your media plan stays “consistent”. Habits change. New channels open. You have to be flexible enough to be where your consumers are – and realize that it changes, often.
5. Your Brand Identity is indicative of the year you were founded. If you are still using a type treatment and mark that hint of tie-dye and bell bottoms, your consumers are not going to feel confident that you have a handle on the world they live in.
6. You can’t tell the difference between you and your competitors. You may think you know how you are better, but you can’t verbalize it. You struggle with answers about price or people or service but don’t have a clearly defined reason that explains your excellence.
7. Your product is not keeping up with the times. Turn around times, terms of service, packaging, environmental concerns and technology are all evolving. If you don’t keep up, your consumers will leave you behind.
8. You would rather broadcast to your consumes instead of conversing with them. If you are waiting until this whole ‘social media thing’ blows over you are going to be blue in the face pretty soon from holding your breath. Meanwhile your consumers are developing relationships with your competition, the ones that know who they are and what they have to offer.
9. Your consumers are aging. They discovered you when you were young and they were young. It was a match made in heaven. But now they are older and are spending less and less every year. You have to create a connection with the younger emerging demographic groups or you will lose all of your customers to attrition (aka death).
The question now is, What are you going to do about it?