For Peter Grech, “2023 will continue to test organisational resilience across markets. The brands that make it through will be those that are ready to push the boundaries, inspire and empower their people, as well as stay focused on minimising the impact of rising costs whilst still bringing value to their customer base and, at the same time, retaining brand integrity. It will take leaders across industry who dare to zig, whenever everyone else is trying to zag, to raise the bar,” he asserts.

His comments were featured as part of Business Now Winter 2022/2023 edition’s cover story, which seeks to tackle the impossible: predicting what will happen in 2023.

The biggest difficulties for businesses will be the compendium of issues which lie ahead. “I believe it is the collection of uncertainties that is the most challenging to deal with right now.” Indeed, inflation, supply chain issues, the global energy crisis, rising salaries and cost-cutting in public spending will all “affect our client base and present both threats as well as opportunities. The struggle lies in the balancing act of focusing on the long-term whilst navigating the here and now. Every struggle, however, can be turned into an opportunity with a creative approach – that’s where we come in to support our clients, protecting and strengthening their brands for the long haul,” he explains.

This builds on the work the firm invested in post-COVID. “2022 was a year of great evolution, development and growth for BRND WGN. We really focused on digging deep as an organisation and forging a collective vision for the future of the WGN. It started by moving to a new HQ at The Brewhouse, investing in the team, particularly our London office, as well as refining our client offering. We also took the time to work on ourselves as people, both in terms of up-skilling but, more importantly, taking the downtime we needed after 24 months of what felt like a never-ending rollercoaster. We’re a very different organisation to who we were pre-pandemic, and we are very proud of what we have achieved,” he asserts.

The biggest focus, in this regard, has been – and will continue to be – supporting the agency’s clientele. “Our success ultimately depends on theirs, and our offering has been adapted to the nature of the current business climate and the seismic digital shift. In fact, today, our advisory team are as busy as our creative and digital teams,” he explains. This perspective has been informed by the “tough lessons” brought on by COVID, namely: “we need to keep investing in our people, into growing a sustainable business model that allows us to ride any ‘speed bumps’, whilst resuming our growth in a geographically diverse portfolio to mitigate risks,” he says.

Mr Grech also refers to the broader changes which will continue to impact the island’s economy, saying that recent research shows that “the traditional economic drivers of the past will be tested, whilst new business sectors will see an increase in revenue. Agile entrepreneurs will seize the opportunities that arise through these changes but those that don’t are bound to see an imminent decline. This situation is bound to bring about consolidation in some market segments,” he contends. In this light, “the months ahead could also be the right time for setting a new and inspiring long-term vision for Malta, that goes above partisan politics and seeks to establish new and sustainable economic drivers.”

Furthermore, on a company level, and in order to attend to these shifting sands, “companies will realise quicker than ever that today’s market differentiator is not only price, but rather a balance of value, quality, convenience and customer experience, locked in with brand reputation. Brands need to communicate honestly with their stakeholders to generate brand loyalty, and protect and grow market share. We will be there to support brand leaders through that change,” he concludes.

Click here to read Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa General Manager Alex Incorvaja’s outlook for 2023 as part of the same Business Now magazine cover story

Click here to read what Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina, who was also featured, has to say about what’s in store, particularly for the manufacturing sector

This feature was first carried in the Business Now Winter 2022/2023 edition. Business Now magazine is the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, both produced by Content House Group

Featured Image:

BRND WGN Founder and CEO Peter Grech / Photo by Alan Carville

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