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Knowing how to take market opportunities, one of the keys to success

Today, the pressure of competition is pushing innovation in business models up the list of priorities. Now, the way in which companies do business is as important if not more important tha the activities themselves.

Kodak, icon of American industry, global leader in the photography sector, in existence for 132 years, 7,600 employees, 2.34 billion dollar turnover, swept away by a change imposed on the business model.

The Accor group, European hotel leader,  6th in the world, 180,000 employees on 5 continents, 3,700 hotels, 480,000 hotel rooms, 5.45 billion euro turnover, in existance for nearly 5 decades; is being overtaken by a company created 7 yeas ago, which recorded more than 10 million reservations with 250,000 properties on offer. Airbnb is competing with the giants of the industrry with a turnover of 21 billion euros compared to 11 billion for the Accor group.

Protect yourself from attack by "Raiders"

Today, the foremost hotel chain in the world doesn't have any rooms (Airbnb). The foremost taxi company in the world doesn't have any vehicles (Uber) and the foremost media company in the world doesn't have any journalists (Facebook)

The new Raiders are attacking. Companies which build their prosperity on income protection have some concerns.

The « digital Raiders » are making traditional companies, built on income protection, suffer.

The Raiders want to change the rules of the game, flout the regulations, capture market share and break the value chain by weakening established income.

The Raiders are the ones who eat into your profit margins and steal your clients. They replace the rules of the game with new rules which make your core business peripheral to your sector.

It's better to take these changes in hand before they take you by the throat.

Fasten your seatbelts - it's going to be a bumpy ride

Improving your offer whilst respecting your values, processes, resources remains a doable exercise. Adjusting this triptych in response to market opportunities is much more complicated.

It's a real zone of turbulance for established business models, the barriers created by new business models are a real protective cocoon for young businesses, but a threat to the longevity of existing businesses.

Kodak was aware of digital technology, it was well aware of it, it had access to the processes before anyone else and had the means to implement them. But, imagine yourself as the CEO of Kodak, contemplating digital photography, what advantages could he possibly find in an innovation that called into question a very profitable activity? It would be difficult for him to find the motivation when the option concerned would result in a loss of 99% of existing turnover. It would involve a process of mourning for the wealth created by the exisiting model, mourning for the harshly implemented procedures, mourning for the wasted skills of employees and mourning for the equipment which still had plenty of life left in it. We can understand why in such a situation, enthusiasm might be lacking.....

When the wind changes, some people build walls, others windmills

The species which survive are not the strongest, nor the most intelligent, but those which adapt best to change.

If companies are skilled at constant incremental innovations in their existing activity because their values, process and resources are adapted to this type of innovation, they very often fail in breakthrough innovations because they don't have the capacity to adjust this triptych to the opportunities of the market., 

If the substitution of products is rapid, the life expectancy of such companies is often short. On the other hand, business model innvoations are more difficult especially for established companies but longer lasting and less sensitive to competition. The business model raises the entrance barriers to competitors and often creates barriers to exit for clients resulting in significant long term stability.

If the positioning of the brand is flexible in the competitive context, if its image varies according to the reaction to it from consumers, then the identity acquired by the business model is sustainable over time and difficult for competitors to imitate