What can we learn from HMV’s and Jessop’s high street failure?

January 15, 2013

HMV’s antecedents go back to the 1890’s and Jessop’s 1935, but like Woolworth in the past, they have joined a list of Public names that have failed, putting many out of work and yet another nail in the high street coffin. But what went wrong?

Man with tablet PCI don’t think that’s too much of a secret. Change of market needs, change of customer purchase methods combined with the burden of high overheads. More interesting is why? Why do two successful, well-established and popular brands get in this position?

I think three reasons stand clear, head and shoulders above the rest. The deadly combination is Leadership that lacks vision, poor marketing and business development inertia.

And once the tipping point is reached and marketing advantage lost, as these two giants show, there is no return and no amount of public nostalgia about support helps. The only things that do, are sales and cash in the bank from customer’s buying.

In the UK, most of these death cries go unnoticed because of our 4.8M businesses, 4.6M or 96% of them are micro businesses employing 0-9 people.

So when it hits the fan, there’s hardly a blip on the news radar.

But make no mistake, business failures are regular, painful and common, which is why owners should wake up to the need to keep in touch and make marketing and business development a priority.

Know your customer’s needs and know what they want to buy would be my mantra. And it shouldn’t be an annual research activity but a continuous process embedded into business DNA.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

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