Britefire is a strategy company specializing in business innovation and digital marketing. We help companies, brands, and executives worldwide to thrive in rapidly evolving, disrupted markets.
The founders of Britefire have been digital innovators since before the web was born. With global corporate strategy and digital start-up pedigrees, we bring to the boardroom a unique blend of skills, methodologies, insight, and experience.
We’re driven by design thinking, and inspired by emergent trends in social, local, mobile consumer behavior.
Today, entire industries are re-imagined overnight. Unfortunately, it is usually tech-enabled customers who do the re-imagining, leaving business leaders scrambling to retain control. No industry is immune. In turbulent digital landscapes, you need
- forward-thinking advisors who can foresee opportunities and disruptions, and help you craft a powerful strategy to evolve your business or your brand
- professional digital development resources who can help you implement those strategies
- experienced mentors or trainers who can help you and your people gain the insight and skills that will build teams that are agile, innovative, and digitally competent.
Partner with people who know how to navigate the territory. Get Britefire on your team!
Every organisation, in every sector of human endeavor, has had its strategy impacted by the emergence of digitally empowered customers, who are disrupting established marketing practices and business models. New competitors appear daily, using socially networked mobile technologies to discover and satisfy previously ignored customer needs. The proliferation of innovative new businesses is breath-taking; the impact on major market players can be devastating.
Today, the life expectancy of a company in the Fortune 500 is less than 15 years – a quarter of what it was three decades ago. In fact, 70 per cent of the companies in the 2005 Fortune 1,000 no longer exist. As technology and consumer behavior evolve faster than the ability of companies to keep up, established corporations find it difficult to stay competitive. The processes and practices they perfected to attain market dominance in the past, now restrain them from the smart innovation necessary to identify and exploit emergent growth opportunities.
The world of business has flattened and become fluid, and geography and size have become irrelevant as barriers to competitive entry. But that’s a two-edged sword. No business today is too big to fail, or too small to succeed.
Disruption is a process in which small entities with relatively limited resources successfully take on the establishment. Typically, they do this by strategically targeting segments of the market left under-served or over-served when dominant companies put more and more attention on their most profitable customers. As incumbent businesses add increasingly sophisticated product features that mainstream customers just don’t value, their prices rise and their relevance to mainstream customers falls. Disruptors get into the market by satisfying needs ignored by the big players, or by exploiting lower overhead to provide more focused solutions at a lower price. The established big players typically ignore or belittle the efforts of small new entrants, especially as much disruption is rather slow. But those smaller businesses then grow into preferred providers to core mainstream customers, improving quality while retaining the competitive advantages that allowed them to enter in the first place. By the time the established businesses realize they have lost substantial market share it is too late – they have been disrupted.
Not all disruption is innovative, and not all innovation is disruptive. So what is disruptive innovation?
Disruptive innovation exploits either market sectors which have needs that are not yet satisfied, or existing customers with needs for simpler, less expensive solutions. Most innovation does not disrupt markets. In fact most innovation is market-sustaining – a new flavour, a more creative pack design, a range extension, a faster delivery system. It is only when innovation re-imagines market needs and as a result displaces incumbents in customer perceptions – effectively redefining markets – that disruptive innovation takes place.
For dominant companies, the challenge is to disrupt before they are disrupted, or, at the very least, to be agile enough to recognize disruptive shifts, and to respond early with customer-centric changes that lock in loyalty. This challenge requires enlightened leadership, heightened awareness of consumer thinking, willingness to experiment, shortened decision-making cycles, and a constantly updated understanding of evolving digital consumer behavior.
Disruptive innovation is an ongoing process. It is not a once-off step-shift. It requires a commitment to continual improvement in the way we understand and drive our markets. Old-school TQM was about the quality of our product or service, and it required insights into our manufacturing or execution systems; disruptive innovation is about the quality of our business model and our business strategy, and it requires insights into customer thinking and behavior.
For most companies, this is a revolution in corporate culture. And revolutions are not readily embraced in the boardroom.
The catalyst for transformation of corporate culture or business models cannot easily come from within an established organisation. Let Britefire be your catalyst!