There is a change going on in the banking industry that is not about balance sheets and liquidity. It’s about what people need a high-street branch for, and how the banks are trying to get better utilisation out of hectares of retail space. It is not news to anyone that banking is in a state of flux. The relationship between the banker and the customer is shifting, the category is over-banked in every developed country of the world, reputations have suffered around the economic meltdown, and New Zealand’s banks are under scrutiny for tax irregularities. In effect the shine has gone off.More
When self-confessed 'bike nut' Tim White came back from a couple of years in Canada he had a dream of setting up a different kind of bike shop. Over the last recession-hit year he’s done just that, creating T. White's Bikes, a success story (just voted Metro Magazine’s best Bike Shop in Auckland 2009) that has bike addicts and casual riders flocking to his Symonds Street store. Some even come for a haircut.
A lot of T. White’s Bikes success is down to Tim’s total understanding of his target market and his focus on the current fixed gear/single speed trend. But he’s also applied several important strategies (read beliefs).More
We’ve all seen great examples of whole new sectors morphing out of latent needs. We’ve seen businesses adapting to and leveraging changing consumer patterns and behaviours. Innovation abounds, as new businesses appear and old ones evolve to survive. Often, ideas that looked odd (or even crazy) before their time, seem beautifully obvious when they take hold - yeah, read iPod if you must. But also think fast food, ballpoint pens, mobile phones, wine coolers, internet banking or budget air travel. Once things are adopted and in use, how they are packaged, sold and used can evolve – sometimes radically.More
If everyone’s doing things the same way, is it a risk to do things differently? Depends on what you’ve got to lose and what your motivation is. Looking back through history, we usually categorise and refer to milestones. The details of cumulative successes, failures, risks, rewards and wrong turns slip away and only eureka moments and the end results are remembered by the masses. When looking forward and trying to predict the future though, unless you’re gambling, the details are very much top of mind – especially if you’ve got a lot to lose. Many who have put a lot on the line and really changed the way we do things followed the course they did because they truly believed in what they were doing, absolutely understood the details and had the tenacity to keep on keeping on when things got tough. So when is a pilot a success? When history says so.More
Money is an enigma. Despite being integral to our day-to- day lives, our money and how it works remains much of a mystery. We know what it is, we may have an idea about for how much of it we need, many of us worry about how fast it runs through our bank accounts - but many of us don’t understand what it truly means to us. As many banks have found out, a high number of transactions does not translate into high engagement – with money or with your bank. In a world awash with cashless transactions, going into the branch needs to offer new ways to engage with money and bank staff or they’ll be a redundant part of the offer. As relationships with banks change, and the power in that relationship shifts to the customer, as mobile and out of branch service and access grow – we can’t help but wonder how different the future will look like for an organisation that helps consumers get closer to their money. Is it going to be the bank as we know it today – or someone else entirely?
When Mike MacKenzie bought into an established family shoe business, he and his business partners wanted to create a new kind of specialist sports shoe store, and “set new standards in sports shoe retailing”. Almost 20 years later this vision and some good old fashioned business nous have seen Smith’s Shoe Store achieve double digit, month-on-month, sales growth during the recession.More
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