Allen Adamson, Co-Founder of Metaforce, discusses his book, “Shift Ahead” and shares how at-risk brands can regain footing in the new year.
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What is your book, “Shift Ahead,” about?

Shift Ahead asks the question “why are so many companies struggling from Sears to Barnes & Noble. Don’t they see the train coming down the track?” said author Allen Adamson. One step, he said, to avoid becoming outdated and irrelevant as a company is to “get out of their bubble,” and be observant. “Try to see what’s going on with fresh eyes every day,” he said.

Are brands beginning to show decline?

Younger consumers prefer niche brands now. Places such as Target and Sears are suffering. So the question is “How do we get fresh brands?” One example of a company that is in fact adapting is Target. They are putting startups on their shelves. They are thinking “of how to shift ahead.”

What companies aren’t adapting well?

Too many people have the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. Lots of people get caught in “analysis paralysis” when, in reality, you need to be acting. By the time a trend becomes obvious, it is too late for most companies to capitalize on the trend.

Will 2019 show some company turnaround?

Adamson thinks Target will be a survivor while Sears will not. Some companies wait too long to change. They wait until there is no gas in the tank, and by that time it is too late. “It will be interesting to see what happens this year,” Adamson said.

How did you get the idea for this book?

So many clients came to Adamson asking for help with their businesses. Traditional marketing is not going to work at all in today’s marketplace anymore, Adamson said. Companies need to adapt and bring the modern people what they want. “The time to be looking ahead in 2019 is when your business is booming,” and not when a company is failing, he said.

Does social media play a part in the downturn of some of these companies?

Certainly. “I think a powerful way to start 2019 is to listen more to social media … get out there and really look at what people are doing and saying, he said. Make sure you are seeing peripherally and what’s around you. “Not just what’s right in front of your nose.”

What authority do books give you?

The publishing business is one of those businesses that needs to shift ahead, Adamson said. “I’m not chasing Harry Potter Book sales … the benefit was the knowledge and sharing [that knowledge],” he said. For Adamson, it was about learning and personal growth. Writing forces you, Adamson said, to really think a little bit more about your thoughts. “You can’t just wing it if you’re going to write a book.”


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Posted 01.28.2019 - 12:07 pm EDT