The High-Tech Era: Adapting For Survival
Adapting For Survival
Consumers are expecting constant innovation in the high-tech era we live in today and if companies can’t keep up, the consequences aren’t as forgiving. Brands aren’t as resilient today as they once were and many are being forced from a highly competitive market because they lack the qualities it takes to survive. Nokia was once a leading company in hardware but fell behind as companies such as Apple and Google recognized the potential of the software. Both Apple and Google remain leaders of the technology industry because they are able to anticipate the future rather than react to what has already been done.
Years ago, it was common to connect with your customers through a basic website. However, many companies have realized that you now need to target mobile users in order to keep up with the technological advancements. If you aren’t providing your customers with information right to their fingertips, they’ll likely forget about your brand altogether. Mobile apps have become a lifestyle tool used to communicate, learn, shop, plan, play, and work. Personalizing your mobile app based on the user’s preferences will enhance the overall user experience and increase user retention. Today, mobile devices are extensions of people’s lives and if your content isn’t personalized to each user, you’ll risk losing a trusted connection and a loyal customer.
How to be Adaptive
Some companies are successful at adapting to the changes in the digital world and some are unable to do so. Companies that thrive in a technologically demanding environment understand these basic principles.
1. Know Your Audience:
Steve Jobs said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Knowing the market trends and foreseeing what’s next to come by anticipating the needs of your audience is what will get you ahead of your competition. When you’re unable to foresee future trends and demands, you won’t have the time or the resources to adapt and adjust in accordance with the changes. Being a leader in the tech industry means being able to foresee how the market demands will change. For example, banking once required a lot more effort and now, many banks are realizing that users want access to banking without leaving their home to visit a branch. Companies that are able to adapt to change anticipate gaps, problems, and most importantly, customer needs in the market – always thinking about their next step.
2. Monitor Your Competition:
Knowing your customers is one thing, but knowing your competition is just as significant. Understanding what’s already on the market and demonstrating how your product or brand is more valuable and unique in comparison to your competition will win over potential customers. Nokia focused too much on hardware and not on what their competition was doing, which was software. There’s a fine line between imitating the competition and paving your own path. It’s important to be innovative while keeping a close eye on the competition.
3. Plan For The Future:
Take responsibility to push new ideas and challenge existing strategies by planning for the future. Cut your losses with every setback, analyze what went wrong, and act on your next move. Resilient companies are able to seize the opportunities before they are even presented.
4. Inspire Innovation:
Find new ways to inspire innovation by encouraging creativity within your team. Mock discoveries and brainstorming sessions are good ways for the team to think of new possibilities before a project is started. Compare similar products in the market and analyze its pros and cons to determine the user’s pain points. Getting together with your team to inspire new ideas will help to create high-quality, innovative products. Innovation should come from actively planning and not merely imitating products that are already on the market. Stand out from the competition by determining a creative process to develop products that advance far beyond the competition.
Nokia overestimated the strength of its brand and didn’t understand their audience well enough. Long after the iPhone’s release, Nokia persisted in making assumptions of what their customers wanted and insisted that its superior hardware designs would eventually win over users. Meanwhile, Apple and other companies alike were flourishing as the smartphone was advancing and mobile apps were becoming part of a billion dollar industry.
The Timeline of The Mobile App
- 2007: Apple released the first iPhone with default apps including Maps, Photos, Messages, and Weather
- 2008: The App Store launched with 552 apps
- 2008: Android Market (Google Play Store) launched
- 2009: Blackberry World launched
- 2009: Apple App Store downloads exceed 1 billion
- 2009: Nokia continues to release low-end entry level phones and music phones like the Nokia X6 and X3
- 2010: Windows Phone Store launched
- 2011: Total Apple App Store downloads exceed 10 billion
- 2011: Amazon App Store launched
- 2012: Total Apple App Store downloads exceed 25 billion
- 2013: Over 1 million apps on the Apple App Store
- 2014: Nokia CEO Stephen Elop sells off the smartphone division to Microsoft
According to Statista, In 2009, worldwide mobile app downloads amounted to 2.52 billion and are expected to reach 268.69 billion in 2017. Mobile phones were originally used for telephony, then quickly advanced for gaming and utilities, and now to apps that dominate the user experience to maximize usefulness. For survival in the high-tech era, companies of all sizes must understand their audience’s wants and exceed their expectations.
Number of iOS Apps Downloaded, 2008-2015
Companies that adapt to changes in the business environment are always resilient, adaptable, innovative, and agile. Most importantly, if something doesn’t work, they learn from it and move forward, always planning for the future. Consumers in the high-tech era expect constant innovation and when companies cannot deliver this, they are quickly dismissed and inevitably fall behind.
As the possibilities for mobile app development continue to evolve, more companies are beginning to recognize the benefit that a mobile app can have on their brand. Mobile apps themselves have advanced since 2008 and will continue to do so in the future. Years ago, many companies connected with their users through their website. Now, there are numerous ways to engage and connect with a large audience through personalized integrations such as beacons, geo-fencing, push notifications, and localization. Apps are evolving faster than ever with new features for personalized content to enhance the overall user experience. The digital world has a profound impact on emerging consumers and if you can’t meet their needs, you’ll lose them to your biggest competitors and risk becoming extinct in the growing digital world.