In the business world, pivoting in most cases refers to a change in a certain business segment. After it turns out that the original idea does not achieve the goal set by the owner of the company, a complete turn and change of business strategy takes place. Change can be at the product level, but also at the level of the entire business model or part of it.
The pivoting process is different for established companies in comparison to startups. Startups test out different business models in the process of finding the one that suits them, and some even change the original product, so pivoting is an indispensable part of the process. Larger companies are shortening the experimentation process and focusing on transforming one key point of the business. See what pivoting looks like in practice.
Nespresso is a brand that is built on the postulate of exclusivity. There were special shops and coffee boutiques and only there it was possible to buy the brand’s products. The initial idea was that the product could only be bought in certain Nespresso stores, unlike today where there are many shopping malls, train stations and coffee machines that sell Nespresso products.
Nespresso has not completely given up on its strategy to provide customers with a high-quality consumer experience, but it is clear that the distribution model has been upgraded and modified to retain loyal customers and attract new ones.
The initial hypothesis does not always have to be completely retained, but can be modified and upgraded.
Slack began as a tool to facilitate internal communication between members of the Tiny Speck gaming team, which was expanding at the time. Meanwhile, the company did not meet primary expectations, so the company’s founder, Stuart Butterfield, invested the remaining capital to transform the internal tool into the company’s main product.
With the help of colleagues from other companies who tested Slack, the tool became an indispensable part of the work processes of many companies, and Stewart’s company became one of the fastest growing in the country with its new product.
Innovation is sometimes hidden within the work process optimization.
Back in 2013, the company partnered with 3D Systems that allowed people to create and print toys at home. The next initiative was to invite customers to send their ideas to Hasbro and thus get a chance to make their product or design a reality. Intellectual property is a powerful generator of a company’s growth.
The biggest transformation was when the company started making animated films with the help of their All Spark animation studio. Today, they are also engaged in publishing, so before they release a collection of toys, they build a brand through stories in books filled with product illustrations.
Every opportunity for brand growth is a new opportunity to learn and explore the market.
The transformation of one of the most famous Internet platforms is a classic startup story. At first, it was a dating platform. However, after realizing and unlocking its full potential, it was transformed into a content-sharing platform we know today.
The main value of YouTube is that the content is subordinate to the viewer, so anyone can be an editor, creator or person of influence depending on preferences and needs.
Letting the customer decide for himself how to use the resources and capabilities of the product is sometimes the best way to test its usability in the market.
This company is not a classic representative of pivoting, but it shows how changing a business strategy and focusing on the market can lead to a significant increase in profits. The main idea was to provide the exact location of those who use their system according to the principle of limiting a person’s location to 3 square meters using a combination of 3 words that are specially created for different locations. The system provides accurate geographical coordinates, so that if a person is in the park, with the help of this system, the exact bench on which he or she is sitting can be located.
The company’s leaders used 3 different business models in 3 different countries. In Mongolia, which is a mostly nomadic country where there are no classic postal address codes, finding addresses works great this way. In Germany, where finding addresses is not so problematic, they have integrated an address location system into Mercedes Benz cars and thus improved the quality of navigation. In the United Kingdom, the company’s home country, the system only succeeded when the focus shifted to emergency assistance. They launched a successful marketing campaign that they advertised on the BBC, presenting the system as a life-saving application.
Changing the business strategy in accordance with the needs of the market gives the company a new breadth and perspective.
For startups, pivoting is a productive way to test out business models and find one that is compatible with the service they offer. Larger companies can make a big turnaround in increasing profits, generating traffic and increasing results if they choose the right business segment to transform.
Finally, a quality product must go through the stages of testing, pivoting and usability testing in order for the company to be sure that all its features are representative and functional in practice.