Ask me anything about how you can - and must - prepare your brand for the future!

Allen Adamson
Jun 13, 2018

My name is Allen Adamson. I've been in the brand business for more decades than I'd like to admit, working with a broad spectrum of consumer and corporate businesses. How organizations do – or do not - stay relevant is the subject of my most recent book, Shift Ahead. Using first-hand accounts and detailed case studies, Shift Ahead explains how the best organizations recognize when it’s time to change direction, and how they pull it off while bolstering their brands. While it sounds like a how-to for wrangling a magic 8 ball - it's actually about practical and readily applied lessons learned. Ask me anything about how to shift ahead.


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How frequently do you have to do research to keep your brand relevant to your customers?
Jun 20, 4:43PM EDT0

The pace of change is increasing so at least once a year but better to make it every quarter.

Jun 20, 5:48PM EDT0
Do you think any business/brand should have an innovation department nowadays? Why or why not?
Jun 20, 1:35PM EDT0

Yes, but innovation also has to be everyone's responsibility...cant delegate the future to one department. 

Jun 20, 5:47PM EDT0
What are the barriers that usually block the path to shift a company?
Jun 18, 7:54PM EDT0

1) Not moving fast hte time many organize shift others haev already gained an advantage.

2) Not executing well..innovation and change is hard to execute right.

Jun 19, 2:27PM EDT0
What strategies are best to follow when a disruptive innovation threatens your market? How can you prepare to make that threat an opportunity?
Jun 18, 2:03PM EDT0

Innovation does not always translate to market success.  If you can follow innovation and execute better often fast followers win.  

Jun 18, 4:10PM EDT0
How important is to keep updating your business plan in order to ensure that your company doesn’t fail or succumb?
Jun 17, 2:29AM EDT0

The faster the pace of change the more you need to frequently update.  Once a year is the minium 

Jun 18, 8:51AM EDT0
What does digital transformation really mean for today’s business leaders?
Jun 16, 5:23PM EDT0

It means always looking at your offer with " fresh eyes"...and being open to changing ( or transforming) all aspects of your business to stay relevant.

Jun 16, 5:33PM EDT0
Where should businesses start with digital transformation?
Jun 16, 7:02AM EDT0

You need to have something that is extraordinary to unlock WOM.  No one share ordinary.  Without WOM all digital is passive

Jun 16, 5:34PM EDT0
What are some of the external and internal factors that might disrupt a business or company mentioned in Shift Ahead and what analysis have you based the solutions to these disruptions on?
Jun 15, 12:45AM EDT0

Biggest internal factor is what we call the Golden Handcuffs.  Exsisting business will always be more profitible than new biz/innovation.  This makes it difficult for companies to funnel the right resources to shift their biz ahead.

Jun 15, 1:15PM EDT0
How many interviews did you conduct for Shift Ahead, how long did the process take and what was the selection process for the subjects you chose to interview?
Jun 14, 7:41PM EDT1

We conducted more than 100 interviews.  The research phase took about a year.  We try to conduct research among large and small companies.  We looked for companies in different sectors from Technology to Food.  We researched both for and not for profits.  In addition we did a significant amount of secondary research.

Jun 14, 9:12PM EDT0
What structure have you used for the content of Shift Ahead and why do you believe this particular structure suits the assistance and information your book offers?
Jun 14, 7:04PM EDT0

We wanted to combine real-life examples with teachable points.. This is what happened...this is why and here is what you can learn from the story.  We started with a review of the reasons so many organizations have trouble staying relevant and shifting their business ahead.

Jun 14, 9:13PM EDT0
When and where should one deploy Metaforce and why?
Jun 14, 6:54PM EDT0

Our focus is on helping grow client's business.  The best time to engage Metaforce is when growth is slowing.  If your business is in free fall it's often too late to shift ahead. 

Jun 14, 9:19PM EDT0
How would you describe the discipline-agnostic approach you take for identifying growth opportunities?
Jun 14, 1:55PM EDT0

Our team is comprised of senior partners with different areas of expertise.  We look at growth problem from multiple vantage points and can help find the levers to deliver impact.

Jun 14, 2:46PM EDT0
Hoes does Metaforce create “branded experiences” that reinforce your client's promise to their consumers?
Jun 14, 6:51AM EDT0

By identifying the most important experience first and making sure the organization does something extraordinary in that experience that will get shared.

Jun 14, 9:38AM EDT0
What do the best organizations know about how to stay the best in a fast-changing world?
Jun 14, 2:43AM EDT0

Success is never final. 

You need to reinvent yourself every day.

Jun 14, 9:37AM EDT0
Are there any brands that you admire? If so, which one and why?
Jun 14, 2:42AM EDT0

FedEx. They're ruthlessly focused on delivering on what their brand stands for - which is providing absolutely certainty that your package will arrive when and where it needs to be. 

Jun 14, 9:37AM EDT0
What sets Metaforce unique in terms of value and outlook they hold for brand business?
Jun 13, 9:21PM EDT0

Our ability to objectively figure out what needs to be done to drive growth - and then pivot to actually get it done. 

Jun 14, 9:35AM EDT0

How do you keep your identity as a brand when you shift direction? 

Jun 13, 7:00PM EDT0

Good question.  Some brands can stretch and sometimes you need a new brand or sometimes you need to modify your existing brand.  Start with what your new biz needs to succeed.  Then look at what your current brand stands for and look at all 3 options ...keep current, modify or create a new brand.  

Jun 13, 9:01PM EDT1
How does Metaforce help clients understand all the forces at work inside and outside your business to identify?
Jun 13, 6:54PM EDT0

Most of our works starts with an audit, competitive analysis, and custom consumer research.

Jun 13, 9:02PM EDT0
Why are some companies not able to cope with disruption and fail after being pioneers in their markets? What happens?
Jun 13, 5:39PM EDT0

They spend to much time reading emails and not enough time talking to and observing customers

They spend too much time watching their direct competitors and most disruption comes from the side not the folks right in front of their noses

Jun 13, 5:46PM EDT0
Are there any particular branding trends out there now that you like? Also, are there any branding trends you’d like to see dead and buried?
Jun 13, 5:22PM EDT0

Linking brands to relevant experiences vs messages.

 Would love to see the end of new and improved or endless line extending branding.

Jun 13, 5:27PM EDT0
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