Swiss Army Knives...

In marketing, versatility is everything

Brooke Ashman | Global Marketing Strategist
1 min
What can the Swiss Army Knife teach us about marketing?

As the name suggests, the knives were originally made exclusively for Switzerland’s armed forces. But their inventor, Karl Elsener, saw the potential for his product to be used by everyday people and pivoted to marketing it as a versatile, reliable tool for everything from opening cans and bottles to cutting through branches.

Since then, the product has evolved. The original had a tool to punch holes in your belt. The latest has a biometric fingerprint scanner. Over the decades, Victorinox listened to their customers and tracked how their needs were changing. Then they adapted the product to keep up.

And as new uses were discovered, the company pivoted their marketing to highlight those features too – keeping the product relevant and in demand.

The Swiss Army Knife is versatile by nature. But it’s a versatile approach to marketing that has ensured its continued success. Marketing teams who are out there listening to customers, adapting to and pre-empting their needs, will succeed. They’re the first to know when things change. Acting as a compass when the business is navigating new terrain.

This might sound like marketing 101, but if these vital customer insights aren’t communicated and filtered throughout the business, they risk becoming diluted, or missed entirely.

It's not enough to just gather insights. They must also be able to communicate those insights and collaborate with other departments to drive action.

Your marketing department should be part of a frictionless feedback loop. This requires strong cross-functional relationships and a company culture that values innovation and agility. A commitment to collaboration, innovation, and customer-centricity across the entire organisation – from the CEO down to the frontline employees.

Action might mean pivoting to new products, investing in new technology, or adapting messaging and branding to really resonate with your customers’ current needs.

Versatility is the key to staying alive in the face of market disruptions. And your marketing department is one of the most versatile assets you have.

Your marketing department should be part of a frictionless feedback loop. This requires strong cross-functional relationships and a company culture that values innovation and agility.
Brooke Ashman

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