New life in an industry that has almost come to a standstill: the bottle and the label

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The question is not whether your company is affected by corona, but when, how violently and for how long. Is your core business, which has been your formula for success, under pressure for a long time or is it no longer viable at all? Then think about the label of your business.

How do you manage in the travel industry?

An entrepreneur in the travel industry is struggling with a turnover that has shrunk to 2% in recent months and there is hardly any recovery in the coming quarter. He came to me for advice. At first he thought of obvious measures, such as firing staff, reducing office space and stopping all investments. In short: decimate all fixed costs to the bare essentials to get through this period. Hoping for better times.

"But are you going to make it with that?" I asked.

It was painfully quiet for a few seconds. "No, but what am I supposed to do?"

I therefore invited him to an executive webinar in which we discuss our business models with ten entrepreneurs from different industries.

Clamp in your bottle without being able to read your label

The entrepreneur told his story and almost immediately an industry-foreign entrepreneur responded with the eye opener: "You are in your bottle and you can no longer read your own label!

Look, you once invented your business: the bottle you believed sacred in. To make this clear to the outside world, you also came up with a nice proposition, the label, so that everyone understands what you are doing. Then your organization grew, your proposition changed with the market and you started to serve even more customers. And now you are so compartmentalized in what you do that you are stuck in your own bottle! "


He gave an example of a sorting system manufacturer. This manufacturer has changed its label from the product "sorting system for a warehouse" to "providing services", offering the customer that he can process at least a thousand packages per hour. So he does not get paid for his produced and delivered sorting system, but for the number of packages per hour that the same sorting system processes. In the eyes of his customer, he therefore does not only supply a sorting system, but the complete organization, monitoring and preventive maintenance according to his insight and knowledge, in order to be able to fulfill the promised output. He delivers and that always has more value than just the product!


Is your label still correct?

After this explanation, the community came to life and one question after another was presented to the entrepreneur:

Perhaps you are alienated from what you once put on your label?

Do your customers experience something different than what is on your label?

How would you describe the effect of your product on your customer's process?

What value can you and your colleagues create around your product with your knowledge, experience and network?

Revision of your label

Finally, the entrepreneur confessed: "I've always been so busy with the day-to-day worries that I didn't take the time to think about it."

But thanks to corona that was resolved: "No more excuses and continue now!" Was the unanimous observation.


Sometimes as an entrepreneur you just have to recognize that you are stuck in your bottle, in which you are lived by the issues of the day, the growth of your organization and the whims of your customers.


Overhauling your label by definition means pioneering, and that comes with risks and uncertainties. But if you indicate what the most basic effect is what you want to bring about with your product to the customer, you will touch the core of your raison d'être.

New label

With the help of the community, this entrepreneur discovered that his core business was not traveling, but organizing mobility, with which his customers can build their own business. We asked in-depth questions:

What services can you think of around this?

What role do you want to play in this?

What will end up on your new label?


He started working with new energy. He has discovered that services are very different from just selling travel.

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