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Top Dog, No More.

by Shane O’Neill, Vice President

Oh, to be the top dog, king of the mountain, the unparalleled leader. You have arrived. Years of hard work and dedication have paid off. Yet, once you establish yourself as top dog, everyone can see you. They pay attention to you and what you do. More importantly, how you do it. When you hold all that power, it should be easier to stay the leader, but sometimes the passion wanes, you lose your edge, and complacency creeps in. You probably won’t even notice it; until you’re no longer top dog.

Do you know which cell phone is the best selling of all time? I’ll give you a hint, it has an A in it. Think you know? Well, it’s not Apple, it’s the Nokia 1100 – 250 million sold. It was 2003 and Nokia was at the top of the game, the worldwide leader. So much so that people didn’t even discuss the brand “Nokia”. That was a given. Instead, they just referred to the model, “The 1100”. In 2007, the year the Apple iPhone made its debut, Nokia had a 49.4% market share, worldwide. However, this new iPhone was causing a stir. It wasn’t a flip phone and had no keypad. It was different than any other phone out there and introduced the concept of buying into an ecosystem. Apple flipped the script and caught Nokia with its pants down. Within only 6 years, their market share fell to only 3%…today Nokia has a worldwide market share of only 1.3%.

You don’t have to be a top dog to see your business suffer if you stay in the same lane you’ve always been in. If sales have seen a steady decline and you haven’t reacted to the changing marketing landscape or the changing consumer expectations and experience, perhaps it’s time to find a new lane. Jewelers can be notoriously stubborn when it comes to doing anything different than what they’ve always done. Even when they decide to change things up, the reluctance still sometimes makes it mark. Digital marketing has been the primary driver in this discussion of “change” these past 10 years, but it’s much more than that. Expectations and experience have changed as well. How you approach the business changes over time and you always have to react and adapt. It requires thought and intent to acknowledge these shifts. Otherwise the passion wanes, you lose your edge, and complacency creeps in. The question is, when will you react?

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