If you're an established company that's been around for a while you may wistfully yearn for the exciting days of being a nimble startup with an innovate-or-die mentality.
You can get that agility and hunger back. Just ask 20-year-old telecom company Dialogic. After years of declining revenues the company pivoted, intentionally resuscitating its startup identity. As a result, for the past five quarters Dialogic has achieved positive operating profits.
Here are five strategies Dialogic marketing and strategy SVP Andrew Goldberg says helped the 450-employee New Jersey-based company invigorate its brand and jump-start a culture of creativity, flexibility and innovation.
Think about what made your company successful in the first place.
Are you still doing it? If so, it working? If not, would returning to your foundations of success help you get back on track? "A company that is executing and is still hurting in the market [has] a much bigger market disruption problem. Then there's a more significant business model change that they have to look at versus getting back to basics," he says.
It may be clich, but plenty of companies invest too much money into initiatives longer than they should when it may be better to cut losses, learn some lessons and move on. "It's very rare that somebody sits in a room and comes up with one great idea. They probably had 10 bad ideas that lead to a good idea and then 10 good ideas get to the great idea," Goldberg says.
Instead of looking for people who have experience in your space, cast a wider net. Learning your industry is the easy part. The fresh perspective an outsider can bring might be life-saving. "Especially when you're struggling," he says.
Assess the disruption coming from your competitors.
Some industries become commoditized and price becomes a big driver, regardless of who has the better product or solution. The important thing is looking closely at how your competitors are beating you, which tells you how much disruption you need to bring to your business.
Ask your customers.
Established companies often have loyal customers who would rather do business with a trusted brand versus a newcomer that might not be around in a year. Leverage that fidelity and ask your customers what they want with the mindset that startups usually don't end up delivering the product they envisioned at the start. "That [has to] be true for companies that are trying to bring the startup 2.0 mentality," Goldberg says. "There's no better person than your own customers to help you weigh in on that."