Hanken & SSE Blog
Optimising shareholder value is like riding a taxi without a destination

 

Optimising shareholder value, innovating for a competitive edge, agility and alignment are all buzzwords that can be found on any company website yet they relay very little about what the company actually does or aims to do. They are also rarely linked to a greater purpose that would strengthen a company's market position.

The changing business landscape is dominated by players such as ABC, Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, Uber, Netflix, Norwegian Air, Salesforce, AWS and Airbnb. These companies have been born or grown juvenile in the last decade but put a real pressure on incumbent companies which dominated the market before. Why has this happened?

Complacent risk. Powerful incumbents have reached comfortable market positions and become complacent about threats. Businesses are driven by KPI’s for market development and new players on the market are condemned on missing out. Nokia has been a global example of playing the strategy book right. Tesco, the flagship of the fist decade of the millennium, missed out on the internet shopping experience and haven’t recovered yet in corporate value.

Tech drive. The fast-growing companies of the last decade understand technology and have redefined the use of technology breaking old rules and the ways of working. They have turned data and user experience to business models that engage and easily scale to never seen proportions. These companies set high goals as e.g. the Alphabet Inc's Project Loon, offering internet services to rural and remote parts of the world. Learnings and ambition levels from initiatives like these function as drivers for the rest of the organisations.

In many of our talks with CEO's we discuss the rapid digital transformation that has forced companies to trial and experiment with many different new approaches. In a few cases this turns out a success, in others it can cause misalignment. This in turn means that it becomes challenging to drive the company with an outside-in perspective when the inside-out view makes the business environment so busy.

Purposeful mission.  Market challengers have a greater mission, with a purpose to build a better world. SpaceX's ambition to build a colony on Mars or Tom’s donating pairs of shoes to Africa when you buy a pair. These kinds of acts engage both employees, but also customers and even non-customers. Even family owned companies do better on the stock market because they are often built on a vision that is easy to take part in. A vision which is communicated effectively in different channels to all stakeholders of the business such as investors, customers and staff. 

Right ways to connect. A purposeful mission engages and starts movements. A good example is the Ocean clean up project. Smart usage of media platforms and shareable content that people easily want to engage with, scales globally and lifts the CEO to rock star status. But nevertheless these companies have a carefully well thought-out story that drives their business operations and are heavily linked to their purpose. The recent digital frenzy has driven many companies to focus a lot on digital, all the while forgetting about their brand story and consequently losing commercial ground.

Brand X for commercial success. Regardless of the starting point, most companies have a solid business but need to explore fresh ideas and identify new strategically aligned growth opportunities that drive profits, engage employees, excite customers and inspire investor confidence.

This is why we have gathered a group of independent experts who will help your company based on academic research and broad commercial experience. We will take you on a unique journey which includes a company specific audit to action quick-wins and a long-term development road map. Brand X will help you determine your mission-critical activities and establish the channels that are worth investing in to achieve the position you want to reach. Brand X will be the toolbox for success you always wished you had.

Join the ride, let's decide your destination together!

#goBrandX

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09 October 2018

Picture of Marc Hinnenberg
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