In brief

In brief

  • Today’s disruptive competitors are making themselves relevant by continuously reinventing relationships and redefining customer experiences.
  • Companies that don’t make themselves relevant are already feeling the effects—to the tune of $1 trillion in potential revenue in the United States.
  • Companies that adopt new capabilities to be more agile, responsive and innovative will achieve strong, sustainable growth in their industry.

Every company is looking to drive sustainable growth. Having a consistent, loyal customer base is key, but the days of customer loyalty are fading fast—the roles have been reversed. Today, when products and services are being catered to the consumer, businesses must constantly adapt to compete and remain relevant.


Revenue at stake in the United States alone that companies lost to competitors in 2017 by not being relevant enough in the moment


Instances when customers switch from one brand to another due to a lack of relevance

1out of 4

Customers who say they’d quit doing business with a business that wasn’t relevant


Likelihood that companies perceived as relevant by their customers will be recommended by friends and family

So how do you become relevant and stay that way forever? You keep moving.

Today’s companies must constantly adapt, and redefine their products and services to satisfy customers today, and ultimately, forecast trends for tomorrow. Their goal? To become a fluid, high-vitality organization that:

  • Leverages smart, connected data to deliver intelligent experiences to customers, partners and employees in real time
  • Embraces new ideas, behaviors and technologies to engage in responsive innovation
  • Thinks and acts like an agile organism to make confident decisions at speed and at scale

By constantly evolving to meet customer demands, companies become hyper-relevant and ultimately transform themselves into a Living Business.

But what does that look like?

"Successful companies today realize that customer expectations are shaped by the most relevant, real-time, dynamic experiences they encounter across any and all industries. These companies have realized that to be relevant, they must build vitality into all they do. They know it’s not about customer loyalty any longer, it’s about company loyalty to customers."

– OMAR ABBOSH, Group Chief Executive – Communications, Media and Technology

Five transformational pathways

Most executives are feeling intense pressure to become relevant. But per a survey we conducted, the difference between the high performers and the other companies is telling:

  • Eighty-nine percent of high performers believe that their business needs a "much more iterative, dynamic, agile approach to doing business compared to three years ago."
  • Ninety-one percent of high performers agreed that "business reinvention is required to be successful in today's context." Among lower-performing organizations, 67 percent agreed.
  • High performers were unsurprisingly far more adept than others at bridging the gap between their knowledge of what is needed to succeed and doing what it takes. The knowledge-achievement gap among other companies was up to seven times greater.

What’s more, high-performing organizations excelled across five sets of capabilities to become high-vitality or living businesses:

  • Target core and disruptive growth initiatives that fuel continuous innovation.
  • Design products and services as hyper-relevant platforms.
  • Build prototype and scale new and innovative experiences.
  • Scale a broad and essential set of ecosystem partners.
  • Rewire culture and workforce by infusing and powering a mindset that keeps customers at the core.

Our research finds that companies that excel at these five capabilities are three times more likely to achieve above-average revenue and profit growth, and 50 percent more likely to weather business cycles and disruption in their industries.

About the research

To identify a clear path forward for today’s large organizations, we undertook a major research initiative to determine why living businesses consistently outperform their peers across all capabilities.


Executives surveyed across 10 industries


Countries were included in our survey to understand how the changing digital needs of customers are impacting how businesses deliver intelligent experiences, responsive innovation and ultimately, better outcomes.

About the Authors

John Zealley

Senior Managing Director – Customer and Channels Function, Consumer Goods and Services Industry

Glen Hartman

Senior Managing Director – Lead for Accenture Interactive North America and Global Digital Marketing

Mark Curtis

Chief Client Officer – Fjord (Accenture Interactive)

Nikki Mendonça

Global President – Accenture Interactive Operations

Joshua Bellin

Senior Principal – Accenture Research​


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