The internet has allowed millions of people around the world to take what today might be a small bite out of your very large cake, and if enough of them do this consistently and better than you then it's inevitable they will quickly dilute what you think is a dominant position.

The reality is the digital Pandora box is open, and it isn't closing anytime soon.

The 2008 recession and now Covid has created a ‘lost generation’ of disenfranchised young people, mistrusting of brands and institutions. 

Today, advances in data and technology have fuelled a culture of creative entrepreneurialism that offers a palpable threat to legacy brands. 

It’s now easier than ever to create a global brand from your bedroom. 

And so, if the COVID recession results in another ‘lost generation’, they won’t be just be cynical of institutions and brands, they will compete against them. In time, they could replace them.

At no time in history has it been easier and cheaper to set up a business.

Fast-growing online fashion brands Boohoo and ASOS have snapped up several physical retail brands following their recent collapse - old news now of course. 

But Boohoo and ASOS are not interested in owning and running physical stores (yet), so the number of closures could creep up. 

The whole industry is in a state of flux, it's really struggling to find out how to compete in this agile multi-channel, digitally savvy consumer led world.

I have no doubt that the employees of these companies have a bigger social media footprint than the leadership teams of these struggling businesses, and they all have their own area of expertise and stories to tell. 

With the recruitment industry still stuck in 'send us your CV'  20th Century database la la land because they can't be arsed to do the legwork that great headhunters do, and with LinkedIn providing access to over 740m worldwide it seems that at long last inertia is starting to swing in favour of those that have learn't how to leverage the free to use social platforms not only for job hunting but to also grow a business. 

Many recruiters use LinkedIn in sneaky stealth mode, so those that have learnt how to make themselves stand out and share their expertise and experience in the form of content make it easier for said recruiters to find you.

For job seekers it's not only getting harder to rise above all the job hunting noise and get an acknowledgement from 'ghost recruiters' so many (as I predicted sometime ago) are leveraging their social and digital skill set and network to not just create a side hustle but also establish the building blocks for what could be your next competitor.  

The direct comparison for me is the traditional retailers that failed to recognise the potential impact of eCommerce and today the rise of social commerce have been seeing casualties for well over a decade. 

This isn't something new, it isn't a fad, it isn't about cannibalization as some of them told me many years ago.

It's about having the 3 wise monkey syndrome in the boardroom, not listening to the consumer, and frontline employees and not reacting quickly enough to what they can evidence.

If you're the biggest and best in your sector today you won't be for long, just ask Arcadia, Debenhams, and many, many others.

Now I'm not saying you can plan for every eventuality but when all the markers, research, and sector intelligence is staring directly at you then surely it isn't good stewardship to simply ignore them, or incrementally change as many traditional retailers (and recruiters) seem to have done to theirs, and their employees peril.

Here's something to think about;

If I understand the digital medium better than you I already know I don't need a database, I don't need to spend huge amounts of my budget and resource on advertising, and I can gain access to your incumbent and future customers along with talking to your brightest and best employees long before any lazy commission hungry recruiter. 

I can create conversations that will make them think differently about why they should do business with me over you, and I will 'listen' to them because you never did and the recruitment industry is stuck in a CV first mindset.

The entire buying (and recruitment) process has changed FOREVER, this is already impacting both the B2B and B2C sectors.

Today, the winners will be those that have invested in the time to truly understand the potential for the social medium, and look to up-skill not only the workforce, but also the boardroom with a understanding around what an enterprise wide 'social strategy' in today's socially savvy, digitally connected world we live in really can do to transform your future.

Now is the time to adopt a 'leverage and build' strategy, not when you're failing and playing catch up.........

If you want to learn more, feel free to drop me a message.