Big risk for any company is that it appears old to customers. Old means irrelevant. Its products can work, prices can be fine, but it just seems out of date, from another time, not contemporary, not beneficial to whatever is a current ambition. This customer perception is a strong negative factor in their buying decision.
Competitive companies are always playing catch up with the latest trends. During Coronavirus crisis this catch up has drastically accelerated. As we are still in the Chaos phase of the crisis, no one knows what the new rules will be, but we do know that changes will be substantial.
The Coronavirus crisis has dominated most of the year and has no sign of stopping. Just by its duration, it has accelerated numerous trends and turned complete industries upside down. It is an absolute status quo destroyer. The smallest changes are that USA presidential hopeful will lose, that companies are cancelling offices, tourism is non-existent while travel is barely there. Many of these changes are directly caused by the Coronavirus, and indirectly by disruption opportunism. Either way, the world after the crisis will be very different.
Companies that do not adapt to the new rules will appear old and irrelevant. Even if their products work, customers will avoid them. Loyal customers may linger but new customers will not stick. These companies will go through a slow death simply because they did not make changes to appear relevant.
To appear relevant it is necessary to listen much more than ever. And not only to internal teams and loyal customers, but to listen to potential customers, non-competitive companies, and other industries – everyone outside the traditional circles. Status quo rules are to listen to loyal customers and compete against similar companies. The rules of the post-Coronavirus world are opposite: listen to the new and possible customers, compete against companies you never imagined as competitors. In essence, exit the bubble to survive.