It is over 60 years since Gucci first launched their classic loafer. Yet the almond shaped loafer remains timeless. Each generation has seen the snafflebit shoe undergo reinvention and adaption to the contemporary tastes of new and existing buyers, sales and pricing are higher than at any point in the product’s history. .
On Wall Street, Leadenhall Street and Queen’s Road bankers, brokers and investment managers, some of the brand’s most fervent fans, are immersed in urgently re-casting and re-inventing their own “classics”. Products and services that have been a cash cow for the firms’ success (fixed income instruments, catastrophe reinsurance and ETF’s) are at risk falling out of fashion, indeed in some cases obsolescence. Accelerants such as new sources of capital, new technologies and new regulations loom large in the rear view mirror. New products and services offering more impressive outcomes flirt and seek to lure loyal fans and their money. How do firms respond quickly and effectively? How do they ensure that their classics remain relevant for a new and “old” buyers alike? Here is the jump off point:
1. What is the ultimate result our ideal buyers want to achieve today and in future? (capital preservation, capital growth, financial security)
2. What alternatives exist with our existing product or service to meet this goal? (unbundle, re-package, re-cast)
3. What alternatives can we create with our existing product or service that better meets those goals? (new markets, new modes of distribution, new ways to integrate new technologies, capital and regulation)
4. What are the risks and rewards attached to each alternative?
5. How do we best minimise or control the risk and maximise the rewards?
6. How much risk is the organisation willing to accept in return for an appropriate level of reward?
To paraphrase, Albert Einstein, we cannot solve our clients problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. In much the same way we need to first change our thinking about our clients needs and the utility of our best selling products and services to solve them.
© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.