Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 8, 2009

Being averse to change…

I’m sometimes amazed at how averse intelligent people – even those who have worked in the corporate world – are to change. One of my jobs is for a company that has been around for almost 100 years (97 to be exact). The company has survived the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the stagflation of the 70s, the S&L Bailout of the 80s, the bubble burst of the 90s, and the post-9/11 recession. The company has not been able to do this by keeping things the same. However, although the business model that we follow today is not the same as yesteryear, the demographic that we sell to has largely been the same for the past 25-years. The problem with that, though, is that our main demographic is now reaching into their fifth, sixth, and seventh decades. Their wallets are getting lighter, and they are going to start passing on soon. In order for this great company that I work for to continue, and continue to be successful, they/we need to bring fresh blood to our consumer base. That means we need to overhaul, redesign, and/or add new fashions and styles to our line-up. A company that makes my peers think of their grandmother’s elasticized jeans is not going to pull in a generation that wants to be fashion forward. A woman I work with (and now we get to the crux of this venting session), a woman that spent time on Wall Street, claims that by redesigning and adding new product to our line we are abandoning or losing our Brand. That logic is faulty for me. Why does change automatically mean “disaster”? I think the addition of a younger, dare I say it, hipper line is just the breath of fresh air this company needs. I look at the new line and I see things that my die-hard J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Banana Republic friends are going to want to wear. We will always be a casual outdoors company. We will always have a guarantee that puts the rest of the retail world to shame. What’s wrong with being fashionable at the same time?


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