Over the past two weeks I’ve spoken to two groups about business changes happening in the UK and thought I’d share some of the discussion.
As we all know the past few years has been full of stories of greed, corruption and poor business practice. MP’s expenses, Bonuses for failure, phone hacking, payments to officials by journalists and even match-fixing in sport. No wonder some people wonder if the whole world in on the make!
Marketing being reviewed
So it’s come as no surprise to me that many business teams are looking at their marketing and highlighting their ethical and moral values image to customers and to each other. It includes behaviour of staff both inside and outside of work, guarantee of product satisfaction, standards of production, client handling, remuneration and so on.
Extravagant displays of wealth
But how will this translate in the future? I think that extravagant displays of wealth by companies and their employees are a thing of the past in order to avoid this reflecting badly on companies. Gone are the days when bankers will be photographed swilling Krug after their bonus payments. Not because they aren’t buying Krug or getting a bonus but because the Bank doesn’t want such photographed splashed all over the media and causing adverse comment from clients and regulators. Teams are being warned to avoid displays of wealth that may reflect badly on the employer.
One wonders how business will display to clients in the future?
Will offices be more spartanly decorated, how much will be spent on flowers and art, whether to have leather or plastic visitors chairs for reception and how will employees dress?
I also suspect that in the future customers will favour businesses that look as if they don’t spend too much on employee comfort. This will be especially true of professional firms such as solicitors and accountants that charge fees and supply a service. On the other hand they won’t want to look as if they are short of money!
Yet I can’t see the customer abandoning their desire for the latest Apple Iphone and even the latest fashion clothing item.
It looks like being an interesting balancing act for business.