Could Darwin be a marketer?

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“To adapt”: the trending verb now.

Globalization, technology, agile information access: different factors alter the way we see the world today. They’ve altered and continue altering at an astonishing speed. But how should we behave in this constantly changing environment? Is “to adapt” the solution? There are people thinking so.

a·dapt    1. To become adjusted to new conditions.

/əˈdapt/      2. To make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.

The dictionary may help us begin to grasp the meaning of what this word implies, however, the importance this word represents for marketers and entrepreneurs is not simply explained by the abovementioned definitions, there is much more to it. To adapt is more than a verb; the adaptation facing change can be literally a form of survivance. 

Looking back to 160 years ago – more specifically 1859 – the renowned biologist, Charles Darwin, published the book “Theory of Species”, in which he explains his line of thought behind his theory of animal survival. Darwin writes about adaptation being the essential feature for a specie to endure wildlife difficulties.

The survivors would be the ones that are the fastest to recognize change and act on it. This being said, can Darwin help us comprehend the importance of adaptation these days?

The corporate world is getting more competitive, more demanding, more complex and more dynamic as well. Everything changes in a heartbeat, henceforth, what we can promise today, is not the same tomorrow. The rhythm of change can be a threat to today’s businesses; however, it can also represent an opportunity for the businesses of tomorrow.

There exist indefinite cases of failure due to lack of adaptation or failed market perception: one of the most classic examples is the one of Nokia, who was leading the mobile market 20 years ago and now is just trying to withstand its competitors’ moves. Why can this happen? Because Nokia was stubborn and kept on with their ideas and prototypes and closed their eyes to its clients’ real needs and preferences. The world changes and its societies as well and that became clear in the smartphone market, for instance. Adaptability is now a competitive advantage and, still in the same market, Apple is one of the main examples of that and it’s now one of the market leaders.

On the other hand, enterprises like LEGO are still able to thrive in the market they compete in by having adapted themselves to the technological era now and having introduced new products, as the thematic dotted traditional cubes and innovative solutions as movies and videogames. The Danish company learned from a failure, understood what changed and adapted on time.

A product is valuable if one attributes value to it and for that to be true, the product must satisfy one’s needs. Since needs change, the product needs to follow or even anticipate such changes.

In my opinion, the more we hear each other and put our pride aside, the more success a brand will have. Anticipating change, being critical and agile adaptation are crucial characteristics.

So, to put all in a nutshell and coming back to Darwin again, let’s adapt in order to survive and most importantly, to live!

José Caetano

Vice President

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