After more than 100 years, Ringling Brothers is closing its doors.
Like SeaWorld, Ringling Brothers has long resisted change and ignoring the realities of an evolving consumer base, who by-and-large do not want to see animals used for entertainment or be held in confinement.
Be it a result of internal perspectives being disconnected from external realities or some other disconnect, over the last 20 years the Ringling Brother brand screamed of being a dinosaur.
Even when Cirque du Soleil entered the scene causing a disruption for the traditional circus operation, Ringling only made surface level "changes" that communicated a doubling down on tradition and being an inflexible brand.
Hind sight is 20-20, but truth be told the writing was on the wall years ago. It has been interesting to watch Ringling's commercials, for example, which showed they didn't get it when it came to changing with the times. They missed opportunities to become a newer, better version of themselves and their mission to entertain.
Had they leveraged their assets in new and creative ways, I wonder what new form of entertainment we'd be enjoying or socially conscious voice Ringling could be in the world.
In comparison is the SeaWorld example, Rather than dig its heels in, SeaWorld chose to evolve. Not only has it made the commitment to make significant changes from the inside out, but the organization actually did the unthinkable -- it partnered with long-time critics to position itself as a leading environmental partner.
(Now, of course, proof is needed over time in how the company delivers to validate this to be true, but if they can do so successfully will tap into a broader customer base. They already have my attention.)
Consumers are changing. Technology is empowering this change by exposing people to alternatives - be it how we watch movies, stay in touch with our friends and families, support our favorite charities, show up at work, and/or shop for groceries.
Organizations willing to explore the potential and make important shifts can, like many tenured brands, find exciting opportunity ahead that better aligns with what consumers want and need.
This is the Gokotta Group's blog.
It is the place for us to make note of changing times, new ways of thinking, and provide examples of how greater impact is being created. It's also a spot we can focus on people. And, occasionally, showcase the type of projects the Gokotta team supports (see "Case Studies" below).