The Egg has always been a symbol of the future, of hope, of re-birth, of the potential inside. Inside this tiny fragile shell is the potential for life, for the continuance of the species. Birds make intricate nests to house their eggs, snakes and turtles elaborately bury theirs. The eggs are guarded, incubated, turned, and cared for until they hatch. The Emperor penguin sits on its eggs for an impressive 67 days. It is no surprise that the egg became the key symbol for Spring.
As a metaphor for business, it is no different. The future defines our success, not what we have achieved in the past. You can have all the brand heritage and history you want, but the brands that are succeeding with today’s new consumer are those that are looking to the future. Heritage might give you the ‘permission to speak’ but as a brand, you still need something relevant to say.
Each time you address you ket market. And that is always about the future, what consumers want, how their needs are changing and how you can change your business delivery to suit the market.Google is a great example of huge company.who still recognise that the future lies, not in their current products, but in their innovation funnel. They are continuously buying and investing in start-up ventures to future-proof their businesses.
We still see brand teams intent on placing their bets on things that have worked in the past. To me that is not a winning strategy. What worked in the past has no guarantee of working in the future, not with our new consumer and ever changing economy.
The second thing of interest about an Egg is its strength. While incredibly fragile, its shape is no accident. Nature has crafted an object that is incredibly strong. If it was square (apart from being incredibly sore to lay!) it’s structure would mean any significant weight would result in collapse. End to end, an egg is unbelievably strong. In fact, it is so strong you cannot crush it between your hands. Go on. Try it when you can. Get a normal hen’s egg and place it end to end between the fleshy parts of your thumb/palm. Squeeze as HARD as you can, really go for it. Nothing, not even a hairline crack. Structurally this is where the strength is, in the curved ‘egg shape’. It is tougher than you could ever imagine.
In business and brands, it is the same. We all have 2 (or more) key strengths, things that the entire business rests upon. A magnificent R&D funnel, an outstanding customer experience culture, or a deep market knowledge. Your strengths hold your business together, they make it what it is. Capitalise on them. Learn to lean on them. See how much you can ‘squeeze’ out of them. Uber realised their strength was their network of instant connection they had built, leading to the development of Uber Eats, Uber Rush and ultimately the Uber Everything team.
Lastly, I think we can also learn from the Chocolate Egg itself. This Easter, millions of children will rush to see what chocolate delights the Easter Bunny has delivered. When I was a child, my favourite moment was opening the large hollow chocolate eggs to see what was inside. Sadly, today the mainstream confectionery brands no longer put anything inside, the additional bars or candies are packed in the outer box. It makes sense commercially of course (cheaper to produce) but it takes away the mystery. What will be inside? Small chocolates, mini-bars, candies? How many? As brands, we need to make sure we are still delighting and exciting our shoppers, at every opportunity. Deliver above a shoppers’ expectation and you achieve ‘shopper delight’. Try and build some mystery and delight into what you do.
THIS Easter…start afresh ….like a life in an Egg..