When it comes to online business you should not be afraid to reinvent yourself.
There was a time when brand loyalty was common. In that world there was the oft-told adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
In those days ‘new and improved’ was eyed with suspicion and generations passed down the belief that there was no product better than the one grandma used.
A story is told of an eight year-old girl wanting to help her mom make supper. The mom was making pot roast and proceeded to cut the tip off the roast before she put it in the oven to cook.
When the girl asked her mother why she cut the tip the mother looked confused. All she knew for sure was her mother always did that before she cooked a roast so she just kept the tradition alive. The mother thought there had to be some significance to the practice so when she had a moment she called her own mother to ask about the ritual.
The grandmother laughed until tears tickled the edge of her eyes. “The only reason I cut the tip of the roast off was the pan I used was too small. It was the only way to make it fit.”
Sometimes we accept traditions simply because they are traditions. We may not know why it’s a custom, but it makes us feel better somehow.
On the other hand there are lots of people like the little girl in the story that ask simple questions like, “Why?”
This is the new generation that demands more from a business than simple tradition. If they are going to give you their customer loyalty they have to know why it is even remotely important for them to do so.
Businesses that have existed for an extended period of time often find they need to re-aim the business cannon to fight for a new generation of business.
In traditional stores you will find this means a routine upgrade of products and overall appearance. A careful business tries not to discourage existing customers from remaining customers, but they do make a valiant effort at becoming relevant to a new generation.
Those who fail to reinvent their image are often ignored or mislabeled.
Many fast foot restaurants have been around for a few decades. Those restaurants have to update the look of their buildings, be responsive to consumer demands for specific food items and appeal to those growing up in the 21st century and not the 1950s.
Online businesses need to keep that in mind, too. You can work to develop a web presence and in a year or so the website may show signs of aging. Consumers like to find new material; new content and even a slightly revised look from time to time when they visit your site. This need is essentially that of customers that believe that the site is moving toward something even better than what it is right now.
Keep moving forward and the chances are good that others will be more comfortable moving with you.
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