Businesses that do not innovate eventually go out of business. This is evident most prominently in the fact that so many traditional brands have gone out of business or are struggling up and down the UK.
We’ve seen names like BHS, Woolworths, Maplin, Thomas Cook, and Flybe all disappear. In part, this is because they did not adapt their business models to better suit the needs of customers.
However, some companies are embracing these ever-changing demands and are being rewarded for it.
Argos is a company that almost everyone in the UK recognises. Together with Index, the company produced catalogues for its products instead of displaying them on its shelves. You could then browse the catalogue at home, like you can from a computer today.
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Index lost its owners £100 million and was bought by Argos in 2005 after failing to change its operations.
Argos, on the other hand, has done away with its paper catalogues, moved many of its branches to be located inside Sainsbury’s stores, and has started offering new services to compete with online retailers like Amazon.
Now, the company uses its network of stores as mini distribution centres, offering same and next day delivery to customers and allows people to buy online and collect in-store just a few minutes later.
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PokerStars is one of the biggest online poker and iGaming brands in the world. Launching in 2001, the company made a name for itself two years later when Chris Moneymaker became the first person to win the World Series of Poker after first qualifying through an online satellite tournament.
It has continued to innovate its product lineup to offer an exciting environment for adventure-seeking people, embracing new technologies to do so. One of the most notable examples of this was in 2012 when it released downloadable smartphone apps, something that is taken for granted today.
It also launched a virtual reality poker game at the end of 2018, and recently added its “Home Games” feature that lets players run their own poker clubs for them and their friends.
Each of these new innovations has been designed to create a safe and entertaining environment for its users. To better reflect this, the company recently undertook a rebranding exercise.
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This led to the creation of the PokerStars “I’M IN” campaign, which will use a mix of traditional and digital marketing techniques to show off the company’s “tools and features” to new and existing players.
Chip is a much newer company compared to the others on this list. Instead of adapting its old business practices, Chip is a new business that’s challenging the traditional approach taken by most banks.
Having been founded in 2017, Chip recently underwent an investment round on the Crowdcube platform, raising over £10 million from funders. This is after another funding round earlier in the year which raised £2.5 million.
It offers a modern way for consumers to save for their future by putting away small amounts of money each month using artificial intelligence. Instead of a network of branches, Chip lets its users manage their money on the go from their smartphones.
It’s acquired more than 250,000 users and helped them to save more than £165 million. That’s the equivalent of £660 each, more than six times more than around one-quarter of all Brits.
The company aims to add investments and competitive interest rates in the coming months.
Amazon is a company that has changed many aspects of our lives. Even if you don’t buy from them yourself, their innovations have influenced the world around you.
Most consumers now expect fast shipping, hassle-free returns, and great prices. Until Amazon introduced its Prime service, consumers usually had to pay extra for next day delivery.
Amazon has achieved this innovation by building efficient and technologically advanced warehouses. It stores products on shelves that can be moved around by small robots. When a user places an order, these robots bring the shelf to the picking station, where an employee takes the item, scans it, and sends it to be packed. This saves each employee hours of time each day.
To speed up delivery even more, the company plans to use drones in the future.
But physical goods aren’t the only area where the company uses technology to innovate. Its Amazon Web Services are an integral part of the internet. Amazon lets businesses rent server space and processing capacity on a pay as you go basis, giving them the flexibility to grow without expensive upfront server costs.
Many companies around the world, including Netflix, Facebook, the BBC, and Twitch all use Amazon’s server to distribute content to their customers.