Fight the Commodity!

A few weeks ago I attended the joint meeting between the New Orleans Chamber and the local chapter of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization). The keynote speaker, Josh Linkner, discussed numerous ways companies that failed to innovate and change leading to their demise. One point I wanted to share with you because it counteracts with you was Linkner’s example of Dollar Shave Club which started a business in a commodity based industry, razors, and went against one of the biggest juggernauts in the world, Gillette which holds a 80%+ market share. Dollar Shave Club saw a problem in the industry – men weren’t buying new razors quickly enough because of high costs and lack of remembering to shop. The club fixed those problems by selling more affordable razors that are shipped directly to your door each month and they cut through the clutter with a great ad (below).

Linkner suggested that all companies need to maintain that entrepreneur mindset and continue to ask why? He cited a great example of Little Miss Matched, which didn’t understand why socks had to match and be boring. All of their socks are purposely mismatched, but they coordinate. They even sell the socks in odd numbers so you can’t have a pair.

How can your company change the industry? Is it using technology, a different method, or better training? Remember, companies that aren’t innovating aren’t keeping up, they’re dying.