When brands are struggling, this doesn’t mean you have to come up with something brand new. Let’s take a look at pivoting, when it might work for you, and how to do so successfully.
What is ‘pivoting’?
Put simply, pivoting is the act of switching up the direction your business is going in. This might be if you have realized your products or services no longer meet the needs of your target market, or the market has become saturated enough that you need to breathe new life into your offerings to differentiate yourself.
Let’s take a look at an example. Traditional slot games tend to have a consistent formula – three reels, and one payline. With this in mind, the industry pivoted with online slots, Megaways™ slots
In other words, pivoting involves tweaking your products, services, marketing strategy, business model, and so on, enough that it makes your offerings seem fresh and new. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel! As shown by our online slots example, pivoting can be as subtle as changing single paylines to cluster wins, opening up a new way of gaming without compromising on brand goals and messaging.
When to pivot
As you can see, pivoting doesn’t need to take drastic measures. However, in order to make this subtle change in direction as successful as possible, it’s crucial to get the timing right – and, to remember that it is by no means a ‘one size fits all’ approach, or a decision to be taken lightly.
As a general rule of thumb, pivoting can work for businesses that aren’t seeing much return on investment of resources, are facing a lot of competition, or are seeing dwindling progress. It is also a consideration if customers are heavily leaning towards one specific offering, your target market isn’t interacting with you how you’d hoped, or their perspective on the industry has changed.
If these scenarios don’t match up with your business, a more subtle approach might be the first step to take. For example, Forbes lists the top three ways to truly differentiate your business in a market as providing a high-quality service that is backed by proven customer experience, solving (and demonstrating how you solve) key pain points of the target consumer, and continuing to innovate.
How to pivot
Once you have decided that pivoting is the best step forward, it is important to get a comprehensive overview of the market. What are your competitors doing? How have consumer needs, demands, and perceptions changed? Are there any untapped areas that can be capitalized on? Armed with the market research, get to the drawing board to see what direction would be best.
Perhaps this is to change your marketing strategy by expressing your values more clearly – after all, Harris Poll research found that 82% of consumers prefer to do business with a brand that shares the same values as them. Or, this might be to add a new feature to your product to differentiate it from the pack. With these ideas in mind, you can make a comprehensive plan of action – a pivoting strategy if you will – before executing your plan to a tee.