Let me start by telling you a true story.
When in 2001, Best Buy, the then largest U.S. retailer of consumer electronics, wished to expand their influence amongst media hungry youth aged 15-25, its directors boldly laid out more than half a million dollars (USD $685 million) to purchase Musicland, a collection of 1,300 brick-and-mortar outlets retailing CDs and DVDs.
Confident in their experience-gathered knowledge of how young people had been buying and consuming media up to that point, Best Buy executives failed to see the sea change underway. Young people on the fringes had stopped buying traditional, album-length CDs from physical shops and were, instead, consuming pirated and paid-per-song MP3s and streaming music, sourced online.
While the signs of change may not have been apparent to Best Buy’s executive suite (likely a group of 40- and 50-year olds), the shift was arguably every day knowledge amongst the brand’s retail staff (hundreds of thousands of employees who, aged precisely in the acquisition's target demographic, likely included inaugural Napster, RealPlayer and MP3 player fans).
Best Buy went ahead and bought Musicland, loosing millions in a deal that would never pay off. Looking back upon their failed strategy, it's impossible not to ask: how could they have made such a bungle when the signs of the future were all around them?
By studying emerging change affecting business and design across all sectors, trends investigations help brands and decision makers of all sorts to avoid costly missteps like the one outlined above.
Why drive innovation forward by looking in the rearview mirror? Inspire your next business move with future forward insight instead.
Published by: LibbyGarrett in Uncategorized