When your favorite sports team fails, you go back and look at what went wrong. Three things frequently come to mind.
- Financial mismanagement.
- Poor drafts that result in having too few good players from previous drafts.
- Free agent signings that become "busts".
As a Green Bay Packers fan, I've seen the impact of (2) over the past five years. This year, the team staggers to the finish line, missing a core of 15 players +/- that should fuel success but aren't because the wrong players were drafted since 2013. As too few draft choices panned out, the team was forced to sign free agents ... and the free agent signings didn't pan out either. The result? A 6-8-1 record heading into the Toilet Bowl game against Detroit.
Why bring this up?
The same issues plague your business. Ask your CFO about financial mismanagement. There was a quarter at Lands' End back in the 1990s when business was ok but profit was bad because of the mismanagement of exchange rates between the US and Japan and Germany and the UK and I can still hear the Finance folks being berated by Gary Comer.
Poor drafts in sports are like bad merchandising classes. You look at "Class Of" reporting, right? RIGHT??? Two bad years of new merchandise mean three tepid years (unless you are a fashion brand) of subsequent existing merchandise performance. New merchandise classes are like draft classes in the NFL.
Free agent signings are like trying to make big splashes in partnerships (or influencer marketing) and then seeing it go horribly wrong.
As we head toward 2019, run your darn "Class Of" report and see if your brand is suffering from the same issues that sports teams suffer from.