The casualties of the digital revolution are continuing as the giant British Home Store (BHS), went into administration last week, putting at risk 11,000 jobs. According to experts, the hecatomb has just started, as they predict that dozens more are to come.

Mary Portas, the retail guru, explains in the Guardian how she would have saved BHS. In the 70s, she says, the company was central to the shopper, delivering good quality items to people on a budget.  So what went wrong? It just became irrelevant in the digital age.

“The department store chain was too slow to change in fast-moving retail landscape,” Portas says.

“But with bit of imagination it didn’t need to end this way.”

When things start to go bad, unfortunately it’s often too late to save the boat.

Contrary to the companies that consider they are too big to fail, are the visionaries who have started their transformation on time, spotting weak or even loud signals in the marketplace.

Burberry under the leadership of Angela Arhendts, now head of retail at Apple, has initiated an ambitious transformation programme almost a decade ago.

In his article in Forbes, on Burberry’s transformation, Leo King, tells how the high-end fashion brand is now reaping the fruits of its digital transformation.

The company has been able to modernise its frontend and backend processes, with an efficiency program that saved over £50 million in recent years, he says.

What Burberry seemed to have done particularly well is to use technology to transform both its offline and online presence and leverage its value of tradition.

The store has been recreated to give a new experience for customers with a system in place to better understand their needs. They also focused on mobile commerce and boosted their social media profile.

The habits of consumers have changed irreversibly, new entrants are coming on the market with disruptive business models and companies have to adapt to stay at the forefront of their clients’ mind by creating a brand that they can relate to.

The lessons from BHS and Burberry are applicable both for big and smaller companies with a wake-up call: adapt or die.

To start a transformation journey, the first three steps are to define:

  1. Who you are. Your core strengths, why people came to you in the first place.
  2. Where you are now. What are you struggling with, what has changed in your environment?
  3. Where you need to go. What is your vision. How to be relevant in a digital age? Reimagine your business in new landscapes.

The future is not something that should be predicted but needs to be designed. And every executive, manager or business owner has the choice to start the conversation today before it’s too late.

Do you need some pointers to start that conversation in your company or to clarify your vision? Book a complimentary call with me today.

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About Francine Beleyi

Francine Beleyi is a digital strategist, change consultant and entrepreneurial journalist who helps businesses thrive in the digital age. who helps businesses thrive in the digital age. She spends her days speaking with and studying the most successful entrepreneurs in the new economy, and sharing her findings with those who are open to new ideas and want to increase their results.

Are you looking for new strategies to boost the growth of your business in the digital age? Book a complimentary call with Francine today. You can follow her on Twitter @FrancineBeleyi.