Strategy sessions – preparing for 2022

September marks the start of the yearly strategic planning phase for companies in all sectors. We reflect on what has been and what this would mean for both the short- and long-term future of our businesses. Where is the market going? What are hot topics in our sector? How do we adopt and adapt? And, specifically, what will be our focus in 2022?

Our network and experience playing the commercial field across consumer, industry, ICT, services and healthcare sectors, has provided us with some initial “hot topics” that are noted on the agendas of many.

Everything As-A-Service (AAS).

A trend that has rapidly found it’s ground in our lives, both as consumers and as business people, is the service and subscription culture of traditionally product-organizations. From providing us with food in stores to delivering it to our homes. From purchasing furniture for your offices to closing a multi-year deal that includes substitutions and repairs. The foremost impact this has on the lives of consumers or clients is simply convenience. More and more services are added to the basic “product” that answers our needs. It increases our likeliness to purchase as we get more for our money or, in the case of a subscription model, initial costs are lower.

Looking at the other side of the table, the organization also enjoys various benefits from adopting such a model. Starting with the generation of direct user data. They get insights in how their products and services are used and learn more about their customer’s behavior. Additionally, they receive an immediate revenue increase from the added services.

Reassessing preferred suppliers.

Something remarkable, yet not illogical, that has caught our attention recently, is the continuing stream of businesses re-evaluating their ties with suppliers. Both distributing and manufacturing companies have been reminded by the fact that one long-term supplier partnership is not always the most reliable, flexible and cost-efficient. To ensure certainty, sourcing grounds are becoming more dispersed in terms of geographical location and means of transportation. Which is all offset against the pricing agreements and promotional deals that various suppliers can provide.

Additionally, the previously mentioned service and subscription culture, along with the increasing need and desire for custom-made solutions by virtually all markets, demands a level of flexibility. The degree to which a business can be flexible in both the design and delivery of their offerings depends on the variety of supplies. Not only in availability, but also in quality and, perhaps, other details specific to the received requests. Therefore, building on only one solid partnership has become insufficient and company’s are starting to spread their options.

The revival of brand marketing.

We have all experienced the moment of realization after looking at a pair of shoes, a bike or a laptop online, and seeing that exact same pair of shoes, bike or laptop in an advert somewhere else. The rise of digital marketing has done incredible things for the marketing effectiveness of any organization that has integrated it well. The focus (and investment) these capabilities received has undeniably had an impact on the more traditional brand marketing activities of businesses. Almost taking attention away from it.

Well, not anymore. The past year that has been dynamic, to say the least. The uncertainty surrounding us has elevated our need for comfort and stability. The chaos has surfaced topics in the people’s minds that require attention. The inability to undertake activities has left room for thinking about what is actually important in life. In short, the position, vision and role of the companies and brands in our lives have risen back to be beyond meaningful.

Companies anywhere in the world have been unable to dodge the questions regarding their stances, opinions and actions surrounding societal topics that have been headlined frequently in recent times. What is valued by people is no longer found in low prices, but also in how it makes them feel and what it may contribute to what they find important in the world. Leading to it becoming a hot topic on the 2022 agenda for many brand-driven businesses in any sector, yet mainly in consumer environments. How to blow new life into it.