This Week’s Focus: I’ve been working in London a lot lately, travelling by rail into Kings Cross station. Ten years ago Kings Cross was a tired, shabby and unpleasant place to travel to and from. It has since been transformed. Critically, however, the developers didn’t simply knock the old building down and start again – although they must have been sorely tempted to do so – but, instead, worked with the existing site to create a beautiful new concourse that integrates fantastic modern architecture with the best of the original building that passengers previously hadn’t seen.
It seems to me that the development of Kings Cross is a metaphor for the development of twenty-first century businesses. It can be tempting to destroy what you have and start again to meet the demands of the digital age, or simply add a new, digital offering as an uncomfortable extension to your existing business, but the best solutions happen when you take the heritage and essence of your business and your brand and integrate it with to reflect today’s customer needs and desires.
Take Lego, for instance. The brand has been transformed at least as brilliantly as Kings Cross over the past decade or so. The creation of digital games, tie-ups with third party brands such as Star Wars and Harry Potter and even the production of its own Lego Movie have added to the appeal of the brand without losing the essence of the lego brick.
The key to success, of course, is knowing what the essence and heritage of your brand actually is and understanding what elements of that heritage you must keep and what you should let go and reinvent. So, how about your business and brand?
What is the heritage that you want to protect and highlight, and how could you better integrate its essence to reflect your customers’ needs and preferences in the modern, digital world?
Off The Record: Lego House by Ed Sheeran
I’m going to pick up the pieces
And build a Lego house
If things go wrong we can knock it down
© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.