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NEXT.io’s Sonja Lindenberg describes how a seemingly simple question can often throw even the most seasoned professionals off balance.

Have you ever been asked: What does your company do?

Seems like an easy enough question, doesn’t it? Yet, it’s often not always as straightforward as it seems. 

We’ve all seen those humorous business memes portraying the varied perceptions of our roles, and truth be told, they’re not far from reality.

So, if you’re struggling to articulate your answer, rest assured – you’re in good company.

In several interviews, I’ve seen high-flying, and often highly-paid, executives find it hard to provide a response.

Some assume that everyone is clued in already, while others grapple with translating complex products or services into layman’s terms.

So, what does an ideal answer entail? Many would argue for clarity, brevity, and a spark of curiosity—all within a succinct 15-second window (aka the infamous elevator pitch).

Yet, herein lies the dilemma – within any company, you’ve got a chorus of voices singing to different tunes. The sales team’s pitch is often completely different from marketing’s spiel.

Even at NEXT.io, we are not immune to the confusion. I mean, sure, we organise killer events, but we do much more than that (including running this great news portal), and, at times, we have to explain that.

About who?

This is not just an in-person problem.

Usually prompted by an unclear press release, I’ve visited countless corporate websites only to find myself lost in a maze of vague mission statements and convoluted corporate jargon. 

My first stop is usually the “About Us” page, yet, more often than not, it fails to provide the sought-after clarity, instead it merely serves as a platform for recruitment propaganda. 

Shockingly, even our own About Us page, adorned with lofty ideals of collaboration and innovation, overlooks one fundamental question: what do we actually do?

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe an “About Us” page should focus on the business itself, and, you know, explain to people what it actually does. 

It’s here that companies must articulate the problems they solve and explain their unique selling proposition.

It’s tough to persuade someone to buy from you when you can’t be clear about your concept.

I understand the challenges faced by companies selling products with complex designs or solutions that address intricate technical problems, often at a molecular level.

They grapple with illustrating what can’t be seen, presenting what can’t be brought to a meeting, and demonstrating all the features and benefits of their products in face-to-face interactions.

However, sometimes, the root of the issue lies in strategy.

During a recent earnings call, Entain interim CEO Stella David caught my attention with her directness. 

She candidly labelled Entain’s foray into “interactive entertainment” as a distraction, emphasising the company’s identity as a betting and gambling operator. 

This renewed focus, she noted, not only clarified the company’s direction, but also liberated internal staff from confusion.

The B2B and B2C question

This brings me to my next point. 

In today’s landscape, where companies straddle both B2B and B2C products, clarity becomes even more critical.

Conventional wisdom and business textbooks advise that companies should either focus on either B2B or B2C operations. 

Consumer and enterprise are two very different businesses, and it makes sense to pick one or the other. For the most part, companies have failed when trying to do both.

In the iGaming industry, we’re witnessing a variety of trends.

Some B2C companies are eyeing B2B opportunities – like Rivalry, for example.

However, other firms, such as Super Group and FansUnite, have previously sold off their B2B assets to concentrate on B2C expansion.

The new big

Another trend we’re observing is a reversal from years of mergers, acquisitions, and strategies focused on creating conglomerate-like businesses. 

Now, large companies are opting to break themselves up or spin out specific businesses, perhaps as a result of over-consolidation.

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) exemplifies this trend as it prepares to split its two business units into separate entities. 

Following suit, IGT plans to divide its land-based and online gaming operations through a spin-off.

As a result, IGT’s Global Lottery division will remain intact, focusing purely on global lottery operations.

Lastly, there’s widespread speculation about whether Entain could be the next major gambling corporation poised for a break-up.

Why this shift? Simply put, conglomerates, while massive, often become unwieldy and sluggish, swallowing substantial resources with hopes of future growth or increased value. 

Corporate boards are now reevaluating this approach, considering the benefits of agility and efficiency while offering investors cleaner, faster-growing businesses with a sole focus.

Can small and nimble become the next ‘big’ thing? 

The assumption is that investors might be willing to pay higher prices for refined, simple businesses with an obvious proof of concept, rather than diverse companies with large, convoluted portfolios. 

After all, the primary aim of a spin-off is to give a business its own unique value proposition and to send out a clear message of what it actually does and how it meets the needs of customers.

Sometimes, less can really be more.

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