To merely survive in such a constantly changing world is not enough. Survival was more than enough in the agrarian economy two hundred years ago and enough in the industrial economy of the 20th century. In today’s information economy, technology sends many of us back home because of being irrelevant and obsolete. The sweeping progress of the artificial intelligence will act just like the hungry lion in the agrarian era. To flee from this monster you must be more adaptable and relevant than your nearest competitor. If you can outpace him, the lion will eat him and you are set for life. Yesterday’s lion is today’s technology.
How can you tell that you are left behind and in the danger of being lunch to your modern-day ruthless monster? Simply when you stop listening to the ever changing needs of your customers and being inflexible; when you stop learning from your competitors and sticking to your outdated tactics; when you like typing on your old Nokia mobile and refuse to try typing on an iPhone; when you insist on being loyal to your old habits that brought you undesirable results and refuse to learn new habits of excellence. You know you are irrelevant when you catch yourself fearing of the new and embracing the Status Que.
To be and stay relevant you need to intentionally upgrade yourself. Thriving brands do that so why don’t you? Look at Microsoft’s new versions that challenge but itself and come up with new versions to stay relevant to their customers. Bill Gates was asserting more than once that he welcomes the unhappy and complaining customer who tells him what is wrong with his product. The relevant brands are those who listen to what people needs NOW. Brands realize that to stay relevant is to find the right way to stay connected with their customers who provide them with insights and build a two-way flow of information.
Our today’s brand is one that failed to stay relevant. In the year 2010, he has won FIFA Men’s football coach of the year award for his innovative tactics in the world of football. That “Special One” is the Portuguese Jose Mourinho. He led Inter Milan to the European Championship league title in 2009-2010 along with Italian Football League and Coppa Italia. The first time for an Italian team to win a treble. That was his peak. He was relevant at that time; learning and studying his competitors’ maneuvers and listening to his aides and team mates. But to stay relevant requires being attentive to your vanity.
The moment you stop being relevant is the moment you stop listening and reconnecting with those around you. Mourinho did just that. He nicknamed himself: “The Special One.” His ego prevents him from keeping up the good work that he got used to. He kept on insulting his fellow coaches, his players, as well as his aides. Josep Guardiola, on the other hand, is a stark manifestation of how the brand stays relevant. Guardiola keeps on listening and optimizing his performance every single day.
Staying relevant in today’s economy needs adapting to the changing needs. To meet these needs, you must be humble enough to challenge yourself through listening to others’ needs and adapt accordingly.