Posts Tagged ‘environmental analysis’

Taking charge in a new electric world

July 4, 2010

As I said last week, a big strategic challenge for any business is recognising shifts in the external environment which may represent threats or opportunities to existing sources of income.

One clearly declining ‘product’ in the face of technological change (i.e. the rise of mobile phones) has been the public phonebox.

It’s very cool to see a telecoms company thiking laterally about this costly legacy infrastructure. Telekom Austria has started converting some of their phoneboxes into recharge stations for electric vehicles.

How clever to tap into a hot trend early. Phoneboxes are likely to be in high-traffic areas, are hard for NIMBY residents to object to (given they boxes are already in situ), and may well have some of the power infrastructure (they are lit at least).

While I have little-to-no faith in Aussie equivalent Telstra being so proactive, this does strike me as an example Better Place should be looking at.

What other public infrastructure could be adapted to better/greener use?

h/t: Springwise

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Pregnant with new ideas

July 1, 2010

A big strategic challenge for any business is recognising shifts in the external environment which may represent threats or opportunities to existing sources of income.

I noticed a splendid example of responding to demographic change at my local gym this week.

In Melbourne’s inner suburbs there has been a mini baby-boom over the last couple of years. Coupled with the increased cost of housing pushing out the student/early 20s population, businesses such as gyms faced a slightly different mix of potential customers.

Female patrons have been the target of yoga and other Les Mills classes for a few years now. But these don’t specifically cater to the growing expectant mums market.

So, the strategic innovation is to run ‘Preggi Bellies‘ classes. It certainly turned heads to see twenty or more heavily pregnant women milling around before their class. Some of them were regular gym patrons. Others, I suspect, are new customers, who may well hang around for the post-natal ‘Back to Body‘ classes. Rather than lose business from pregnancy, the gym may well be boosting its revenue.

A bit of research reveals both courses are franchised product available to all gyms. Nevertheless, it is still an example of a firm responding proactively and ensuring a threat (of declining patronage) is turned into an opportunity.