If You’re Not Questioning Everything, It’s Time to Start
(a.k.a. What Channel Mastery is and why it’s crucial to your business)
July 17, 2017
“Jerry Seinfeld said that the enemy of comedy is success because as soon as you become successful, you don’t wanna be changing any routines ’cause you wanna stay successful.”
This is a quote from one of our first podcast interviews with author and innovation consultant, Tom Asacker (episode #3 of the Channel Mastery podcast ).
And it captures the essence of why Verde Strategy is investing in bringing to you the resource-based content we are in this new website, podcast and blog. Welcome!
In the game of business, we live a dichotomy. We start with innovation and white-hot, relentless desire to bring an incredible idea to just the right people.
We believe in it. We deploy an iron will to get it off the ground. (If you’re the founder, this is all you, but I know for a fact that many of you joined a business at this point, to?) We start to scale it. Then, we push for profitability. We build replicable systems. We get on our track and there we stay.
Because when we’re successful, ‘we don’t wanna be changing any routines.’
We have to commit to change – today.
There truly is no other way forward, because the market continues to change at an exponential pace.
My intention with Verde Strategy and the Channel Mastery offering is to give you a trusted resource of information, insights, case studies with analysis, managing risk, and much more. This is all intended to support you as you lead your business through this era of change.
But learning is one thing and implementation is quite another.
Implementation is where the ‘a-ha’ moments stop (we love to experience those, don’t we?) and the pain of changing begins. And? Stays.
You have to be here, in all of the glory of the discomfort, to truly hit (and continually live) the reset button today.
That will take more than resources, that will take committing to a new way of thinking and new behaviors. It will take going into the unknown (where we all are right now, like it or not), and drive a different approach to how to operate your business. Being nimble, trying and failing, studying the results and implementing change at a pace we’ve not experienced before.
This sounds daunting but it is do able.
In a perfect world, we could all adopt a beginner’s mind and the characteristics of a startup.
And, what does a startup need most to establish a foundation and build from there? Resources and support to get to the next level.
Consider Channel Mastery to be your multi-channel business accelerator.
Every business is remodeling right now and most have nary a blueprint. Because none exists.
Even if you’ve evolved beyond wholesale to a multi-channels, continual remodeling must happen. This can only become the new way of business if we start to make it a habit to question all we do – to get dramatically curious about what makes your target end consumer want to belong to your brand. This is how we develop a new instinct and launch forward.
There’s incredible opportunity in this massive retail correction we’re in, and the ongoing preference evolution defining how consumers discover, engage, share, shop and why they buy.
While there are many reasons Amazon acquired Whole Foods, one that I learned encases this opportunity and should become our North Star. I found it in a Forbes.com article written by Richard Kestenbaum, the interviewee in episode 5 of the Channel Mastery podcast.
He writes, “… consumers think about online and stores being two instruments that work together the way music is played in a two-instrument ensemble. Online and physical stores create one message and service by being together, not two separate things apart.
“Now even Amazon has recognized that online alone is not going to work.” (Forbes.com, June 16, 2017, full article link here.)
The consumer is driving and with more choices, her preferences are continually changing. You cannot deliver an exceptional brand experience for your absolute target consumer by considering channels as static. The orchestration of multiple channels?
That’s the North Star.
Perhaps even more important? Kestenbaum finished his thought by adding: “I believe that not even Amazon knows exactly how it will work but they know that nothing else has succeeded so far and this has to happen.”
We too have to step, continually, into our version of the great unknown.
We have to evolve from our current go-to-market approach and cadence, and become nimble and embrace risk. We all know that we can’t get different results if we continually do the same things.
One thing I’m not going to do? Tell you to change and then not offer you pathways toward that. Channel Mastery is here for you each and every week.
We’re going to be bringing you experts from in, and outside of our markets to help you know how to be remarkable to your target end consumer and romance them across their channels of choice.
The consumer is driving and the attention of your target end consumer is the most elusive and sought after goal today for brands. We all need the assist when it comes to chasing that moving target.
I’m incredibly motivated to help Verde’s founding markets, the passion industries of outdoor, bike, wintersport, endurance, travel, health and wellness. There’s been a giant gap for such support and resources, specifically actionable ones, created for the people leading the brands in our markets. And there most certainly has not been a trusted entity on the front lines offering continually updated best practices that stay (ideally) ahead of the shifts, bobs and weaves of the 25+ channels for tractions we’re working with today.
While it may be a lofty goal, it’s my goal and vision in how to serve you at such a time is now.
We, as passion industries, have a lot going for us.
We’ve set the gold standard for connecting with audiences with storytelling (I’m not making this up, read the article here). The very backdrop for what we offer is inherently an experience, and we know how to build tribes bonded by a shared love of those experiences. Brands in our markets wrote the book on forging emotional connections with consumers. In fact, when we’re really on our collective game, our brands are identity pieces to our end consumers.
This is an absolutely huge bonus that’s just part of who we are in the passion industries of the outdoor active lifestyle markets.
While we have that going for us, how exactly do we prioritize and evolve it as we’re also remodeling our businesses and operations?
That’s one of the questions we’ll continually finding you solutions for.
And another? Many of us have inherited legacy business structures and budgets, and we continually find ourselves clawing against the notion of “how it’s always been done” most days at work.
One of Verde clients said to me recently: “If I could wake up tomorrow and have all of my resources pointed to a direct-to-consumer business, I would be in heaven.”
We don’t have that luxury. We must build the new plane as we’re piloting the existing one.
Channel Mastery is here to help you co-pilot and co-build, concurrently. Just be prepared to go out and try with the version you have ready to test, and don’t try to get it perfect. Execute and then review the data.
The true reason for this new website and content offering is that I happen to love these markets and the people in them. I want brands in our markets to grow and thrive during this intense era of change. Motivation is individual. Sometimes, we need permission to do something different. Sometimes, we’re motivated to change because we absolutely have to. Sometimes, we commit to start but then long to go back to sleep (*) because we feel overwhelmed and don’t quite know what to focus on and tackle first.
You’re in the right place and if you stick with me, I won’t let you go back to sleep. Question everything. Try new things, continually. Stay uncomfortable!
Join me and learn to become a Multi-Channel Master in your business. It’s a movement that you’re destined to be a part of as a leader of a passion-driven brand.
My name is Kristin Carpenter-Ogden and I’m the founder of both Verde Brand Communications and Verde Strategy. I’m your Channel Mastery host. (Read more about my background here.)
Let’s do this!
(*) Don’t Go Back to Sleep, by Rumi
For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then, I walked outside.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill.
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.