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Business pivoting and the power of strategic sommunication – Lessons from HD+

Opinion

Gayheart Mensah

27 days ago
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In today's dynamic business landscape, pivoting and mergers present a unique opportunity for companies to drive growth and capitalize on market opportunities. By changing some aspects of the core product or services, or by combining resources, expertise, and market presence, organizations can enhance their competitive edge and achieve sustained success.

However, the process of business pivoting and merging can be very complex. It requires meticulous planning and execution, especially in managing stakeholder perceptions, particularly through communication. Companies leverage pivoting and mergers to expand their market reach, diversify their product offerings, and achieve economies of scale. It is also to create synergies, reduce cost, improve efficiencies and enhance market power.

A Case Study: HD+ Pivoting

The pivoting of the SES HD+ business offers a compelling example of how effective communication can facilitate a smooth transition and mitigate potential crises. SES HD+, Ghana’s premium, High Definition (HD) satellite broadcast service provider, announced a shift from a subscription-based platform to a Free-To-Air (FTA) model. As the business navigated this process, the brand’s parent company, SES, faced the challenge of maintaining customer trust and loyalty amidst significant changes. Unlike some past businesses in the Ghana market such as GBS and Kwese TV, which encountered difficulties going through their transitions, HD+ adopted a proactive communication strategy to ensure transparency and continuity.

HD+'s Strategic Communication Approach

HD+ exemplified how comprehensive communication can turn a potentially disruptive business re-positioning into an opportunity for positive engagement. They utilized multiple mass communication channels to keep stakeholders informed throughout the process. The company leveraged social media, press releases, stakeholder engagement, customer service hotlines, and community outreach to provide timely updates and address any concerns.

This multi-faceted communication strategy ensured that customers were well-informed and reassured about the continuity of services. By proactively managing expectations and fostering an open dialogue, HD+ successfully navigated the complexities of the process, maintaining customer trust and loyalty.

The GBS and Kwese Story
The HD+ approach, and the business pivoting involving GBS and Kwese TV, highlight the importance of strategic communication. GBS, a satellite television service, faced substantial backlash due to inadequate communication with its customers and stakeholders during its transition. This led to confusion and dissatisfaction, ultimately impacting the company's reputation and customer base.

Kwese TV, another key player in the media landscape, struggled with its pivoting process. The company's exit was marked by insufficient communication, leaving customers mostly in the dark. These examples underscore the critical need for companies to prioritize clear and consistent communication during mergers to avoid potential pitfalls.

Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The experience of HD+ offers valuable insights for companies looking to drive growth through mergers. It is important to proactively communicate the process early enough and maintain transparency throughout the process. Keeping stakeholders informed helps to build trust and reduces uncertainty. Also, keeping in mind your target audience, you will want to utilize multiple channels or communication platforms to reach a broad section of your audience. Social media, press releases, and direct customer engagement are essential tools for effective communication.

Whilst at that, it helps to address stakeholder concerns promptly and to be responsive to their enquiries. By so doing, you demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction which is crucial to managing perceptions. In all these, consistency in messaging across all channels is extremely important as it reinforces the message and prevents misinformation.

Unlocking Market Opportunities

Mergers and pivoting, when managed effectively, can unlock significant market opportunities. Companies can leverage combined strengths to innovate, enhance operational efficiency, and expand their market presence. By prioritizing strategic communication, businesses can navigate the complexities of pivoting and mergers and turn potential challenges into opportunities for growth.

The Future of Strategic Mergers

As companies continue to explore mergers as a pathway to growth, the importance of strategic communication cannot be overstated. The case of HD+ demonstrates that with proactive and comprehensive communication strategies, companies can successfully manage mergers, maintain customer trust, and capitalize on new market opportunities. Businesses must recognize the power of effective communication in driving successful pivoting and mergers, and in ensuring sustained growth in an increasingly competitive market.

 

source: Gayheart Mensah, Lead Consultant KomsKraft Consult