In this blog I have often written about companies that are struggling to adjust to their changing industry environments. In this post I wanted to share a couple of ideas on how to tackle a changing industry environment, from a company I recently read about in Fortune magazine: Levenger.
Levenger has traditionally sold products geared towards reading and writing such as desk lamps, pens and notebooks, in addition to being a micro book publisher. In recent years the rise of tablet computers and other technologies have begun to transform the reading industry beyond recognition. Cofounder Lori Leveen describes the company’s approach to tackling change head on:
Levenger are addressing their changing market environment by pursuing the following ideas:
Figure out how your products can become like candles:
A long time ago electric light bulbs made candles obsolete. However, people continue to purchase candles because they like the product. Levenger consider their changing industry as an opportunity to reinvent the future for pens and notebooks.
Find ways to stay relevant as people transition:
As people are increasingly switching from books to electronic devices, Levenger are continually looking for ways to adapt current products and introduce new ones to meet changing consumer needs. For example, Levenger recognized that people want to prop up their iPads and in response to this they began stocking a range of products that served this purpose. The picture on the left is an example of one of their products which is a miniaturized pillow designed to prop up an iPad. This Thai created product evokes social entrepreneurism as part of its sales are donated to support literacy efforts in Thai villages. Levenger is also open to listening to consumer ideas of how their products can be improved, as this tweet demonstrates:
Recognize the challenge faced:
Levenger cofounders Lori and Steve Leveen recognize that today’s children are growing up with technology:
The company certainly faces an uphill climb, but in recognizing and tackling the challenge there is hope that Levenger can adapt and thrive in years to come.
What do you think of Levenger’s ideas for tackling their changing industry environment? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.