The economy may be limping back into the global race, but businesses everywhere are still suffering from bad turns and low profits. What are the secrets of the ones who aren’t? Here are just six companies that are thriving despite all odds.
Dropbox never stops expanding. More importantly, it never stops adapting to new technology. While other brands lose customers because of their refusal to create mobile sites or adapt their functionality to various devices, Dropbox skyrocketed to more than 200 million users in 2014 by providing their services on every phone, computer and tablet there is. This proves that it’s important to keep up with technology, especially when your customers are.
Google could have stopped innovating long ago and simply relaxed in the billions made from its search engine. Instead, it continues to push the envelope by trying new things every year, including Google Glass, Google Now and even Google vehicles. It’s important to not get too comfortable with success and always push for better products and new ideas.
While most universities are hiking tuition costs to cover their debts, Swarthmore College has embraced a “no loans” policy that makes it easy for students to get an education without breaking the bank. Other colleges have been following Swarthmore’s example, too, turning to private advisers and consultants to help them grow without standing on the backs of their consumers to do it.
Netflix has mastered the art of good PR. From buzzworthy shows to witty customer service interactions that have gone viral, they’ve been in the news over and over again, and much of it has been positive. They’ve also courted intrigue by refusing to release things like viewership numbers and demographic data, forcing everyone in the industry to speculate about them at length. Everything adds up to more name recognition for Netflix.
Nike went green in 2014, partnering with big-name agencies to raise awareness for sustainability while also releasing apps to evaluate the environmental impact of various business practices. This newer, more eco-friendly image struck a chord with the public and capitalized on green living trends, making Nike one of the most financially successful companies of recent times. Businesses that do their part to help the environment is a great way to get recognized.
Airbnb doubled its business in the past year, and part of it was due to the simplest of changes: A designer put hearts instead of stars beside “favorite” listings. This tiny little upgrade inspired all new kinds of user-led ideas and increased customer engagement by 30 percent. Airbnb wasn’t afraid to make a change and roll with it, surviving where its more static competitors failed.
These are just six companies that are making the bad economy work for them. Follow their example if you’d like your own business to succeed despite all hardships and shortcomings. It’s possible to beat the odds and become a profitable and successful company, even with today’s economy.