Challenge new frontiers - Change your thinking!

Dawid Malherbe reports. Albert Einstein suggested that "the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." To overcome a problem (or challenge), we need a different mindset or strategy. It was also Einstein who apparently said, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!"

Today's customers value change. They actually expect change, as long as it adds value on a spiritual, emotional and material level. However, we cannot expect better marketing outcomes if we persist in the "same level of thinking". We have to deliberately - on a creative and cognitive level - do something different to build and grow our brand. We cannot afford to be trapped by a 'cost-profit' mindset, or waste time perfecting old processes or imitating our competitors without challenging new frontiers.

The Hamsterwheel-effect

More and more businesses are doing the same things, but hoping for a different and smarter end result. This "same level of thinking" susceptibility can be called the hamsterwheel-effect. Like the hamsterwheel, businesses are moving, but they are not actually moving forward or making a lot of progress. Due to this effect, they are perhaps not gaining enough new customers, market share, or customer loyalty. It basically comes down to a zero-sum-game where winnings equal losses, as opposed to making heads-up decisions that may ensure different and better marketing outcomes.

The Five Forces

So many businesses unfortunately fall into this trap - of sameness thinking and doing - that when faced with growing forces beyond their control, they are unable to adapt or to take advantage of the challenge. In 1979 renowned Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, stated that the success or failure of a business depends on how they deal with: Interfirm rivalry, barriers to entering the market, strength of consumers (or buyers), availability of substitutes and strength of suppliers. The question arises, "how will your business overcome these and other challenges?"

Knowing Your Limitations

From a strategic marketing perspective, these challenges can be overcome by identifying and developing the unique, sustainable and competitive aspects of your business. And, the services of an accredited and independent marketing professional can help you to guide your thinking and elevate your focus. Another option is to consider conducting a marketing audit because it is such a wonderful and effective strategic tool to utilize. Both mentioned can play a critical role to empower you in your quest to overcome (and move beyond) the internal and external forces limiting your business's progress.

Maybe the time is now to step off the hamsterwheel and into the future of your brand?

Dawid J. Malherbe is a Chartered Marketer and the author of The Marketing Audit Handbook. He can help you formulating and implementing marketing strategies with a difference. Please feel free to sent an email to or join his social media platforms on Twitter @DawidMalherbe and @CrestaMarketing; and on Facebook