The newsletters of Adam Hartung.

Keynote Speaker, Managing Partner, Author on Trends

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Product Lifecycle as River of Trends

by | Feb 21, 2017

Throughout history, rivers have been associated with life.  Rivers have been named since the ancients worshipped goddesses who protected this civilization lifeblood and highway.

Riverboats on Mississippi

Riverboats by Michael Blaser

We like to analogize trends with a river because both start as a trickle, far out of the popular view, but ultimately grow into wide,powerful forces of nature.  Rivers find their way around, through and over obstacles – just as trends do.  Rivers eventually change the terrain, as do trends, and those who take advantage of these changes benefit greatly – while those who ignore such changes are punished mercilessly.

The Flow of the Product Lifecycle

What better way to think of the Product “Life” Cycle than as a river?  This month I’ve included a few slides you can use to present and discuss your businesses and products flowing along the Product Life Cycle River.

Consider this: since the early 1980’s, and continuing well into the popular business books of the early 2000s, much was written about shortening the dip in sales that often follows an initial product launch.  The faster a product/service moves out of Launch (Innovators & Early Adopter customers) and onto the growth curve (Early Majority customers), the greater likelihood of long-term success – and the quicker the venture reaches profitability. Positioning new products on intersecting trends can shorten or eliminate that “launch-to-growth” gap because the benefits are easily understood.

River Lifecycle InfoGI’ve developed a way to think about the PLC as a river, from new products suggested by trends to the quiet waters of sustaining innovations and beyond.  It’s a good way to discuss the status of your products and business unit, as well as to help make investment decisions. Click Here

As part of my last newsletter, we posed an online question about trends.Subscribers to my newsletter have incorporated some of the key elements oftrends: competition and societal monitoring. Population trends, especially regarding immigration, will have a largerimpact in the next few years if the market for labor becomes more competitive.  Click Here

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“Life is like a river, sometimes  it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”

Emma Smith, Author

Actions you can take

Don’t hesitate to ask for help in making your organization more adaptable, and your strategy embedded with options to change based on market shifts. You could start with an underperforming product or brand. Think of the product or service lifecycle is like a river, changing with the landscape of trends.  Forecasting those key trends will help tell you which way the river will turn.

Watch my video discussing Netflix’ adaptable strategy and skill at pivoting.

How we can help

We are your experts at identifying trends, creating scenarios and building external, market monitoring systems.  We’ve done this kind of work for over 20 years, and bring a wealth of experience, and tools, to the task.  You don’t have to go into scenario planning alone; we can be your coach and mentor to speed learning, and success.

For more on how to include trends in your planning, I’ve created a “how-to” that you can adapt for your team.  See my Status Quo Risk Management Playbook.

Give us a call today, or send an email, so we can talk about how you can be a leader, rather than follower, in 2017 and beyond.  Or check out the rest of the website to read up on what we do so we can create the right level of engagement for you.

Forbes Posts- Hartung on Leadership, Investing, Trends

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