Business definition of transformation in an organizational context as "a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness." In this uber-competitive and fast paced business world we have created, the expectations are higher than ever for innovative companies that move with the needs of the consumer. Your business is no different, and must stay with the trend of transformation... or die. To prove this point, and a few others, I talked with Richard Hartell, Global President of Publicis Media Business Transformation, a practice responsible for research you need to know about.

Why Constant Brand Transformation Is the New Normal

Based on the definition of transformation I shared above, it only makes sense that you would want your business constantly shifting towards higher levels of effectiveness. But it has to be the right kind of change and, more importantly, it has to be change that is perceived as positive and geared towards growth by your consumer base. Perception is always half the battle, maybe even more.

What Richard has found over and over again in their research is that business transformation is actually human transformation. The focus on where the future is going is always focused on tech but the real challenge is talent and agility, which means keeping your people in a constant state of evolution, changing with your market quick enough to beat the trends.

Interestingly enough, while many brands talk about being 'on a path to change', a large percentage of those companies aren't actually making the right changes, or their changes aren't being perceived in a positive manner by their consumers.

Let's Talk About That Brand Perception Gap

As consumers, we aren't judging companies by their biggest competitors anymore. Instead, we are judging companies by our last best experience with them. A lot of business hasn't caught up with this trend yet, spending time and money compiling data on their competitors, rather than compiling data on how they can be better than last time, or how they can become more effective in the eyes of their consumers.

It seems even large corporations fall victim to over-confidence, or The Dunning-Kruger Effect, believing their abilities are much more than they actually are. In number form, that translates to 86% of execs believing that they are meeting consumers expectations, while only 61% of consumers felt their expectations were actually being met. The difference in those two numbers represents gaps you can exploit.

Your Small Business Can Take Advantage of These Gaps

Yea, I know. It's a bit startling to imagine how much companies put into reaching their consumers, and still manage to get it wrong... a lot. Lucky for you, and your small business, you can take advantage of these gaps. Democratized innovation, accessibility to the tools and resources necessary to build and scale a business using an existing ecosystem, is a huge disruptor and will continue to be, as we move forward. Technology has put the power in our hands, in the hands of entrepreneurs, by doing away with so many entry barriers that once existed. In the past, a user's only role was to have a need. Now, a user's role is whatever they choose it to be. We can innovate for ourselves, and that changes everything.

The last really interesting tidbit I want to share with you is this: Richard emphasized the areas where the gaps are the most lucrative, the areas people care about the most. "People care most about disruption in markets where their money, time, and data sits. When we looked at the numbers it was very clear that it's most lucrative to chase the money and chase the data. These are the markets that are more easily disrupt-able, like banking, auto, and consumer electronics."