Miruna Codeanu

Hey mass market company, adapt or die!

In espresso on August 21, 2015 at 7:15 am

Change. We’ve been living under the idea that change is more vital to our lives than ever. We were brought up in a society where change

source: Business Insider

source: Business Insider

seemed to happen at a faster pace than ever. I, personally, was brought up in a society that managed to move from an ex communist stuck in time state to a developing economy, member of the EU and NATO. Then, there was technology. During my generation’s lifetime, technology probably changed the most in the shortest period of time, shaping new habits and making humans adapt to the technologies they had built.

Adaptation. Adapting is essential. We’ve been constantly told that we have to learn to unlearn and then learn again. In other to survive we have to morph along with the changes. Nonetheless, change is not easy for societies. Societies and communities like routine and change can be a stress factor, thus leading to the development of change resistance.  Businesses are small communities, where a small change can be beneficial, causing increased productivity, or can create social costs due to stress.

I have been saying this for the past few years. We are constantly transitioning. We seem to be living in different societies, where change is more or less obvious, which makes the business world a very complicated place to live in. We are part consumerist, part post-consumerist, part sharing economy. Post consumerism had to bring along the death of mass consumption as we know it: consuming for status. Corporate manufacturers are massively associated with consumerism. Companies like McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Starbucks are the indicator of consumerism. Only that these companies are changing. Their ability to adapt to change will make all the difference in the world. McDonald’s has been trying to adapt: moving towards a greener menu, trying to appeal to the new consumer, but doesn’t seem to manage so well. However, Starbucks seems like the an illustration of Darwinism in the business world. In the past few weeks there have been so many signals about the absolutely amazing capability of Starbucks to morph. The next few years will be about the capabilities of businesses to show they can understand the present times.

Sharing economy. Starbucks shows they understand the sharing economy. A few weeks ago, Starbucks announced an agreement with Lyft that could be beneficial for both drivers and employees. Lyft’s drivers can benefit from a Gold Level in Starbucks loyalty program, and drivers and Starbucks’ employees gather loyalty points during their drive.

source: starbucks.com

source: starbucks.com

Technology. Starbucks also seems to be getting technology right, or at least a bit more than other companies. At the end of July, Starbucks partnered with The New York Times to give access for free to its articles via the Starbucks mobile app for its loyalty program members. My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members will also be able to earn stars through paid digital and print subscriptions to The New York Times.

Design. Don’t know if you have noticed but lately, design is getting a higher and higher importance in our lives. It is about the experience services can provide. In hotels and restaurants, design is becoming available to masses, it’s not about the quality of food or the experience the personnel is offering, but also about the design. Starbucks seems to be understanding that, as it announced that some of its coffee shops will be changed into bars in a sustained effort to expand its business beyond coffee, changing the design along with that.

If a business is a living organism, the future holds unlimited possibilities for those able to adapt.

 

 

 

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