The Step Change Blog

The latest thinking on business, strategy, marketing and sales

Subscribe Now

Ashton Bishop

Ashton Bishop is Australia’s Predatory Thinker — an expert in pinpointing how businesses can grow by outsmarting their competitors. His niche is in strategy, where he has spent the last 20 years working internationally on some of the world’s biggest brands. He’s a business owner and serial entrepreneur; challenging, sometimes even controversial; but always focused on what gets results.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

July 6, 2021

Insight Hunters Episode 2 — Evaluating Roles & Rewards in an Agile Company

Ashton Bishop, Insight Hunters, Better Questions

Disruption is coming. How does your business respond?

Read More
July 2, 2021

Why Strategic Plans Fail: 5 Things Most Leaders Are Missing

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons Your Strategy Is Winning or Losing

Statistically, and overwhelmingly, most strategies fail to materialise any value.

After working with over 1,000 companies in the past decade, we have seen our fair share of clients who have consistently executed their strategies — by the playbook — and as a result, created millions of dollars of incremental value. Period on period, year after year.

Others don't... so what's the difference?

Below I've pulled together my top 5 reasons why some create value and others create wastepaper.

Read More
May 25, 2021

Insight Hunters Episode 1 — Distinguishing Between Good and Right Ideas

Ashton Bishop, Insight Hunters, Better Questions

Disruption is coming. How does your business respond?

Read More
April 7, 2021

6 Things No One Has Told You about Culture

manifesto, Marketing Strategy, Culture & Leadership

Unless you’ve been running your business under a rock, you would know that businesses today are operating in a VUCA environment. In this context, it’s the quick-thinking, action-oriented, and strategic organisations that win. Those that produce strategic documents and leave them in a bottom drawer — well, they come second or simply fail to finish.

Read More
March 9, 2021

An Effective Framework for Strategic Decision-Making

Decision Making, Culture & Leadership

Companies do not come to faster decisions by osmosis — it is always the result of a better decision-making framework.In agile organisations, the ability to make nimble decisions lead to 2.5x the growth, twice the profit, and a 30% higher ROI on investments.

How can you unlock your ability to make better, smarter decisions?

Read More
February 17, 2021

6 Key Principles for Creating Lightning Strike Moments: Exponential Marketing

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Creativity, exponential marketing

Learn about the scenario planning mistakes and how you can prevent them from misfiring your strategy so you can navigate complexity efficiently.

Read More
January 11, 2021

5 of Your Favourite Step Change Articles from 2020

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Step Change, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Bendy Phones, Powerful Presence, Culture & Leadership, Fintech, Marketing Automation
After successfully navigating a year of unparalleled change and disruption, now is the time to look ahead and venture into 2021 with confidence.
 
As we distill fresh business insights and build a refined strategy, we thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the year that was 2020, through the eyes of our Step Change Blog highlights.
Read More
April 23, 2020

History’s Greatest Strategists: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Marketing Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

The more specific we can be about our category, the better chance we have to be remembered and related to by our customers. Are you in the right category?

Read More
April 17, 2020

History’s Greatest Strategists: Admiral Horatio Nelson

Marketing Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

The more specific we can be about our category, the better chance we have to be remembered and related to by our customers. Are you in the right category?

Read More
February 6, 2020

What You Need to Know about Brand Salience

Branding, Marketing Strategy

What is brand salience? And how does it impact how well your brand is seen by the world? 

Read More
December 26, 2019

Addressing the Synergy Problem in Procurement Teams and Marketing Agencies

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy

Many companies today are opting for procurement to manage their marketing spend. But marketers and agencies have always been at odds when it comes to procurement. Understanding the role that procurement plays and how it impacts marketing is crucial to not only save on costs but to pave the way for better alignment in achieving the brand’s vision.

Read More
October 31, 2019

9 Strategic Ways to Invest in Brand and Strategy in 2020

Growing your business sustainably can be a tough egg to crack in our current condition. The slowing economic growth and faltering customer confidence mean business conditions are declining. One wrong move and you could end up wasting your money on initiatives that are bound to fail. 

Read More
October 19, 2019

Developing Strategies for a Sunset Industry

The economic downturn and increasing digital disruption has led to some businesses and industries folding. We use the Step Change strategic lens to explore what businesses in a sunset industry can do to rise above.

Read More
October 11, 2019

What Would Genghis Khan Do During a Recession?

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

The latest economic figures released by the Bureau of Statistics show that the Australian economy is slowing down. What can businesses do to thrive in a recession? We turn to one of history’s greatest strategists and a ruthless warrior, Genghis Khan.

Read More
October 5, 2019

Beat Your Competitors at Disruptive Innovation

Business Strategy

Many Australian companies are complacent about the effect of disruption in their industries. But disruption today can displace market leaders, their products, and their services. Responding to disruption means businesses need to think fast and act fast.

Read More
September 6, 2019

How to Increase Conversion through Subconscious Marketing

Marketing Strategy

With over 90% of a prospect’s buying decisions influenced by their subconscious mind, many leading companies are targeting the subconscious in their marketing campaigns. But how does this work, and does it really make a difference? 

Read More
August 29, 2019

Marketing Innovative Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Marketing Strategy, FMCG

In the race towards brand growth and relevance, leading FMCG businesses rely heavily on innovation. Those who rest on their laurels are finding themselves at the back of the pack. In this article, you will learn that with great innovation comes great marketing.

Read More
August 23, 2019

What Makes a Unique Value Proposition?

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Challenger Brands

Value is in the eye of the beholder. In a world teeming with new product offerings, a critical question we need to ask today is: in a sea of undifferentiated offerings, how do we make our product or service stand out so people will buy from us?

Read More
August 9, 2019

What Is Customer-Led Transformation?

Business Strategy, Customer Centricity, Transformation

There’s no getting around it. Today’s consumers hold the power to dictate business outcomes. But with more businesses struggling with their digital transformation initiatives, how can taking a customer-led approach to transformation lead to better results? 

Read More
July 19, 2019

How to Become a Customer-Centric Organisation

Step Change, Culture & Leadership, Customer Centricity, Transformation

It’s easy to say your business is customer-centric; in fact, many businesses would claim they are putting their customers at the heart of what they do. 

Read More
July 11, 2019

What Is Challenger Brand Marketing?

Marketing Strategy, Challenger Brands

Are you a challenger brand looking for the right marketing strategy that can help you stand out from market leaders in your industry?  We take a look at challenger brand marketing and how adopting a challenger mindset in your category can set you up to win. 

Read More
June 7, 2019

8 Examples of Challenger Brands in Australia

Challenger Brands

Standing out as a brand in a noisy market is next to impossible. If you’re not Amazon or Google or Apple, then your brand could drown in the sea of brands trying to win the war for attention. That is unless you adopt the challenger mindset.

Read More
May 31, 2019

What Is a Challenger Brand?

Marketing Strategy, Challenger Brands

Challenger brands don’t spend the money that market leaders do for promotion, R&D, or operations. So how do successful challengers outperform market leaders even with scarce resources?

Read More
May 24, 2019

What Good Business Strategy Means to a Board

Business Strategy

UPDATED as of 03 July 2020.

Boards are essential for strategic success, but for them to add greater value into your strategy, they need to be involved. That means going beyond the yearly off-site strategic planning.

Read More
May 23, 2019

What Australia’s Fastest-Growing Brands Are Doing in Their Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy, Digital, Healthcare, Professional Services, Saas, Real Estate, Travel

How did Australia’s fastest-growing brands get to where they are? In this article, we look at some of today’s rising stars and the marketing strategy that helped drive them to the top.  

Read More
May 14, 2019

How to Build and Improve Your Strategic Plans

As your business strives for growth, having the right strategy in place paves the road to success. But what does it take to deliver the best strategy? And how do you ensure you create a strong strategic plan that you can fully implement from start to finish?

Read More
May 10, 2019

Distinctive vs Differentiated Brands

Branding

Should brands aim to be different or distinctive? What is the difference between the two, and how do these strategies add value to the branding equation? We take a closer look at shared evidence and form our own conclusions on why distinctiveness stumps differentiation.

Read More
May 3, 2019

Brand Growth: How to Make Your Brand Distinct

Branding

Many brands aim for differentiation in their growth strategy. But is being different all it really takes to stand out?

Read More
April 26, 2019

How Madonna Would Have Handled the Financial Services Royal Commission

Business Strategy, Finance, Marketing Strategy

Australian banks and financial institutions are losing the faith of the consumer. It isn’t a problem of regulation or profit alone. It’s a problem of public perception.

Read More
April 23, 2019

Integrated Campaigns Deliver 1.5x more Value

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy, The Big 6 Challenges

UPDATED as of 03 July 2020.

Whether it’s launching a new product line, executing a brand awareness or implementing your internal comms strategy, there is one thing we know that’s certain: collaboration and integration across multiple teams are keys to get the job done and get results. But this is not always easy.

Read More