The Step Change Blog

The latest thinking on business, strategy, marketing and sales

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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 14 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.
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Recent Posts

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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May 24, 2019

What Good Business Strategy Means to a Board

Business Strategy

Boards are essential to your business’s strategic success. They can add great value to your strategy, but to do so, they need to be involved in more than just your yearly off-site strategic planning.

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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?

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November 23, 2018

How to Market an App to Skyrocket Downloads

Marketing Strategy

Marketing a new app in today’s crowded marketplace can be tricky. But when you play your cards right, you can get it in front of the right audience and convert mere viewers to active users.

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November 8, 2018

What Needs to Change when Developing a Strategy for Nonprofits

Business Strategy, Not-for-Profits

Many nonprofits today run their organisations just like any other business. Although many may not be in it for the money but solely to advance their humanitarian goal and mission, there are essential points they need to keep in mind to acquire confidence and gain trust among donors and investors, respect in the market, and support from the public.

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August 28, 2018

How to Know If Your Strategic Plan Is Really Strategic

Business Strategy

We see this happen in businesses: The senior team would go away for a two-day offsite retreat to develop a strategic plan. And when all is said and done, they would come back with a plan or a goal devoid of strategy.

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July 26, 2018

Life after the Merger: How Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media Can Redefine Their Company Culture

Business Strategy, Culture & Leadership

A four-billion dollar merger is underway between two of the country’s media player giants, Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. The new company name after the merger is Nine, and it is set to become Australia’s formidable integrated media player.

With two giants combining forces to create one formidable integrated media player, there is one worthy question that begs an answer.

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July 19, 2018

8 Questions You Need to Ask to Develop a Solid Business Strategy

Business Strategy

In the language of strategy, we often say, “There’s a need for strategy because time, dollars, and focus are scarce and limited resources.” A strong business strategy is the application of these resources for maximum leverage.

But in developing a solid business strategy, you first need to check that you’re actually doing strategy and not something else entirely — like business planning.

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June 12, 2018

Growth Hacking Tactics for Challenger Businesses

Scale, Growth Hacking

Over the years, growth hacking has been a widely used buzzword among startups. And although a lot has happened since Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010, many are still unsure about what growth hacking is and why it matters to their challenger business.

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May 30, 2018

5 Powerful Business Strategy Tips to Fuel Your Growth [VIDEO]

Business Strategy

Every year, we work with a hundred clients everywhere and anywhere, from Wellington to Toronto, and in one of our strategic sessions, Step Change chief Ashton Bishop was given a challenge: Out of all the strategy work that the team has done at Step Change, how can we add the most value in 5 minutes? Here’s his response to the 5-minute challenge with his five tips on strategy.  

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May 28, 2018

Change Management Principles: How to Lead Change and Make It Stick

Business Strategy, Culture & Leadership

No matter how far-reaching a leader’s vision may be, the reality is that transforming organisations is a difficult and arduous task. Many businesses today are so deeply rooted in operational efficiency and stability that they continue to struggle with how to effectively manage and sustain change.

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April 26, 2018

What Makes a Great Marketing Plan? [Template]

Marketing Strategy

Have you ever tried driving to a new place for the holidays without a map? Going about with your business without a marketing plan can feel like that. Sure, you might eventually get to your destination — but you risk making some costly and time-consuming turns along the way.

Wrong turns like creating a product only to find out there was no substantial demand for it or pricing your services too low.

Having a great marketing plan and executing it well can give you the confidence that you’re on the right path and that you’ll get to your goal effectively.

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April 24, 2018

The Change Chain: A Model for Moving Minds

Branding, Marketing Strategy

What really makes people decide to buy? And no, it doesn't have a lot to do with singing kittens riding bikes. Find out what does work here:

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March 9, 2018

Why People Buy: Here's What You Need to Know about Buyer Psychology

Marketing Strategy, Invisible Marketing

KitKat wasn’t always the behemoth brand that it is today. It used to be floating around with all other Nestlé products, struggling to gain traction and make a name for itself. Like KitKat, many businesses often have a great idea or product but often find it difficult to get people to buy. Because the truth is, it’s often the best marketing, and not the best product, that wins.

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February 27, 2018

How to Identify Clear Business Opportunities

Business Strategy

Matthew Osborne has always been on the lookout for different money-making opportunities. He had just started a family of his own, and he was earning less than $6 an hour — it just wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

And when you cant see that ends are meeting, your observation skills suddenly become heightened.

So he did find his opportunity. And in the most unusual of places.

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February 6, 2018

How Would Warren Buffett and Jack Welch Launch Your New Brand?

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

There are many different ways to launch a new brand, and any one of them can jumpstart your products from scratch. But it helps to take inspiration from some of the world’s greatest strategists because, after all, their success has been tried and tested.

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January 24, 2018

Grow a Business in a Recession: What Would Florence Nightingale or Che Guevara do?

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

Growing a business is hard in the best of times. However, in the worst of times, such as the conditions found during a recession, growing a business is next to impossible unless the right strategy is developed.

A prime example is the modern-day Great Recession where more than 170,000 small businesses closed their doors between 2008 and 2010, according to the US Census Bureau.

While the loss of over three million small-business jobs was catastrophic for many individuals, there is an opportunity to learn lessons in an effort to remain prepared should a future lengthy recession occur.

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January 12, 2018

Are You a Leader or a Manager? You Might Not Like the Answer.

Powerful Presence, Culture & Leadership

If you can’t simply define management and leadership then you can’t hope to be effective at either. We’ve got it down to a word for each. At the end of this article you should be able to see what great looks like — no matter what side of the divide you come down on.

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December 19, 2017

Is Hubris Syndrome Distorting Your Leaders’ Decision-Making?

Culture & Leadership

Today’s dynamic global economy has us facing a challenging task of steering our organisations towards success.

The stress from rising competition and regulation, resource management, revenue generation, and customer retention only shows that we have the toughest jobs in the market.

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December 14, 2017

The Power of Predatory

Predatory Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Webinars deliver tremendous value both to the business and the audience. It’s a great and cut-through way to share, engage, connect, and educate your audience wherever they are in the world. That’s why we’ve always been fans of webinars.

Recently, Step Change had the privilege of leveraging the power of webinars.

Our CEO, Ashton Bishop, presented “Predatory Marketing: Repositioning the Competition to Build Business” to 76 CEOs, CMOs, and Marketing Directors for a series powered by GoToWebinar.

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October 26, 2017

The Business Models behind the Best Billion-Dollar Unicorns

Business Strategy

Unicorns are no longer a myth. At least not in business.

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October 20, 2017

History’s Greatest Strategists: Assemble Your Ultimate Advisory Board

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

With only the final few seats available, we want to give you the opportunity to tackle disruption head on by assembling your ultimate advisory board.

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September 15, 2017

How Genghis Khan and Mother Teresa Would Beat Amazon in Australia

Business Strategy, Power of Model Thinking, Decision Making, Popular Posts, History's Greatest Strategists

If you had to make a list of some of the most powerful brands in history, online retail giant Amazon would undoubtedly be right at the top. According to one recent study, the company saw $2.371 billion in net income in 2016 on the back of $136 billion in net sales — and that’s just in the United States. The company is also growing at a rate of about 27% year-over-year and currently employs more than 341,000 people. All of this is to say that the fact that Amazon has decided to make its long-awaited move into Australia should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody. 

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September 6, 2017

How to Define Your Brand to Make You Stand Out

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Brand Archetypes

Your brand is anything that comes from your company as a specific source. To the consumer, it symbolises what they can expect when they do business with you. And in today’s crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your brand stands out from the crowd. 

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September 1, 2017

The Business Case for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organisation

Business Strategy

Why does your business exist? What are you out to do?

These questions seem easy to answer. But working with different businesses all over Australia for almost a decade now, we’ve observed that not all businesses are aligned with their organisations purpose.

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August 29, 2017

How to Craft a Unique Selling Proposition

Marketing Strategy

Are you selling a product or a service? If you are, then you know that having a selling proposition will make an impact and ultimately make the sale. However, it is not enough to just have a selling proposition. It needs to be enticing. It needs to be original and clever. And most importantly, the message needs to make customers buy.

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August 10, 2017

Interest Rates Increase: What That Means for Businesses in Australia

Business Strategy

When a country’s central bank increases interest rates, it creates a ripple effect that impacts the entire economy. Even with a 0.25% increase, you have to adjust your marketing strategy to respond to the drop in discretionary income as well as the currency’s relative increased strength. 

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