This simile could sometimes be the reflection of many fashion companies on the scene today.
Companies that want to lose weight and sign up to the gym as a New Year’s Resolution but who after the hangover and after seeing competitors’ results end up back in the humdrum of everyday life.
Change is change. Though it may sound clichéd, it’s the truth. If you do the same as always, the results are the same as always.To really change, you have to be brave and realistic: nothing changes if nothing changes.
The fashion business today, especially in Europe due to aggressive pricing policies and in Asia due to the rapid turnover of new items and designs (and low prices), means you have to be either super fit or one of the leaders of the pack.
‘See now, buy now and share now’ is not just a war cry of millennials or Gen Zs, but also a war cry of housewives who are sharing and comparing options more often and more wisely. It’s not just about having stock… you need to have stock that changes every day. No longer is it a question of selling what you’ve always sold, but selling whatever is wanted and whenever.
The top business models today aren’t built around content; they’re simply containers that include what customers want. Trying to tell customers what they want is these days presumptuous and idealistic; customers want what they want, when they want it and how they want it. Organizations now have to give customers what they want, when they want it and how they want it. This is the revolt of the consumer against years of companies dictating fashions and products.
So how to change? Rebooting the business, a control+alt+delete as such, and creating a business where the focal points are the customer and the vital need to give an immediate response to what they want and when they want it. We’re talking about a customer-centric model, where all areas of the company ultimately focus on this goal, which is the sole raison d’être of the business.
Speed, control of business risks and flexibility are the fundamentals of any business model that wants to survive the cut-throat fashion industry; a business model that should be ‘pull’, instead of the old-school ‘push’ that set out to impose fashions or products.
Companies serve customers and not vice versa; companies must look after and protect their customers and not vice versa; companies must win over and surprise customers to capture their attention and retain their loyalty.
I know it all sounds like a cliché and that everything seems common sense… but how many companies actually do this today? Two? Three? And, what a surprise, they’re the market leaders! Amazon, Inditex, etc.And which are fat and flabby? You know them, don’t you?
Be water, my friend.