The Secret to Mark Your Presence on the Fortune 500 List
Being in the Fortune 500 catalog is a dream for almost every organization in the US. But what does it take to reach there? Of course, the thing that counts most is your business’s annual revenue but it isn’t the only factor that matters. You must also know the perfect way to leverage technology and innovation to grow your business, and that too, proactively.
Let’s get into the intricacies of what makes a business worthy of the Fortune 500 list.
Table of Contents
- What Other Lists Does Fortune Reveal?
- What Makes A Business Fortune 500 Worthy?
- Is it the Marketing Strategy?
- Or, Is It About Adapting to Technological Innovations?
- The Only Constant Thing in this World is Change!
- Therefore, Be Agile & Open to Connecting & Improve
- Key Takeaways to Reach Fortune 500
- Over to You
The Fortune 500 List
Fortune magazine compiles a list of 500 top-performing companies in the US every year based on their annual revenues. Ever since 1955, Fortune has been releasing this list of top companies including both private and public sectors. The companies which mark their presence on Fortune 500 list are considered to be the most prestigious and top-quality for the year.
Recently, Fortune magazine announced its 68th list based on the fiscal year 2021. The revenue threshold for this year remained to be 6.4 billion which is up 19% from the previous year (PRNNewsWire). Moreover, Fortune 500 companies comprised two-thirds of the entire US GDP with 16.1 trillion in revenues.
Here are the top 10 scorers in the Fortune 500 list of 2022.
- Walmart (for the 10th straight year)
- CVS Health
- UnitedHealth Group
- Exxon Mobil
- Berkshire Hathaway
What Other Lists Does Fortune Reveal?
Apart from selecting the top 500 companies in the US, Fortune magazine also exhibits different types of lists that you can focus on. Being a part of any of these Fortune lists can offer global exposure to any business.
40 Under 40:
This is an annual list of influential young leaders in the US.
100 Best Companies to Work For:
This is another list based on data analytics that highlights the top 100 companies in the US that professionals can target to work for. The main criteria here are the work environment, employees’ satisfaction, and contentment.
Most Powerful Women:
This list brings you some most influential women from different corners of the world. Basically, there are four major criteria to get listed here:
- Size & importance of a woman’s business and its global impact.
- Direction and current status of her business
- Woman’s success journey
- Cultural & Social influence
World’s 50 Great Leaders:
This is a list of some great business leaders who have transformed their businesses, government, and philanthropy.
World’s Most Admired Companies:
Another list by Fortune exhibits some exceptionally-performing businesses. The criteria here are the data gathered from more than 3750 business executives, analysts, directors, and experts.
All the 500 companies listed this year are selected from 232 different cities in 37 states of the US among which the maximum number of companies (53) were from Texas. New York fell to second place with 51 companies and California at number 3 with 50 companies.
So, what does it take to reach this pinnacle and get global exposure?
What Makes A Business Fortune 500 Worthy?
Is it the Marketing Strategy?
We have often noticed several brands creating a buzz in markets from different corners of the world. Many factors worked for these companies. Some had visionary leaders while others had massive budgets, and for some, it was a stroke of luck that worked.
But there is one common thing that all these brands leaned on, and that is their “Marketing Strategy”.
Your marketing strategy must align with the core competencies of your business. Identifying business goals is not sufficient enough, you must research your market, identify the type of audience, and then develop strategies to support your marketing goals.
Case in Point-Coca-Cola Maintaining Consistency for Over 130 Years
The pandemic had severe consequences on every business but Coca-Cola managed to grab 93rd position in this year’s Fortune 500 list. The thing that worked for Coca-Cola is its consistency which remained intact for the past many years. In fact, the Coke formula remains the most safeguarded corporate secret in the history of the United States.
Whether it’s the taste or its red-colored logo, things have hardly changed for Coke. Hence, you must focus on the core functionalities of your business and try to strengthen them. Today, most business owners are so quick to adapt to changes without even pondering over their hard-core specialties. They keep exploring umpteen options to elevate the level of their sales & profitability without considering their customers’ behavior and taste.
Marketing In The Digital Era
We are living in a digital age where every business, whether big or small, is looking forward to leveraging the fullest potential of digital marketing. There are several types of digital marketing techniques that businesses around the world try out to reach wider audiences. Let’s have a look at some startling facts about digital marketing.
- For every dollar spent on email marketing, it averages a return of $44. In the US, more than 90% of people over the age of 15 still consider emails as a part of everyday life.
- Social media has become an incredibly powerful marketing tool in the past few years. There are 1.5 billion social media users across the globe out of which 55% of users consider social media platforms best for exploring new products and services.
- Organic Google searches account for 43% of eCommerce traffic. Apart from this, 65% of people compare prices on mobiles when physically present in a store. On average, a US consumer spends $1800 on eCommerce sites. Even mobile commerce is not the way back, 51% of shoppers make an online purchase through their smartphones.
- 90% of people also claimed that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions.
- 72% of online marketers consider content creation as their most promising and effective SEO tactic. (WPForms, 2022)
Or, Is It About Adapting to Technological Innovations?
This is the most dominating aspect for every business around the world irrespective of its nature and size. If we take the example of Apple Inc., it has perfectly blended technological innovations in its marketing strategy. From iPod to iPhones to iPads, every product has come up with advanced features to enhance the user experience every time.
If we look at the top 10 list of companies listed on the Fortune 500, we will notice that all have a well-planned digital presence. Whether through a mobile app, or through a fully functional website, these companies have desperately invested in digital transformation. However, having a digital presence has now become a necessity rather than an advantage.
According to Statista, global spending on digital transformation will reach USD 2.4 trillion by the end of 2024. Moreover, the United States has been ranked as the most digitally competitive country in the world. The global spending on digital transformation has also reached USD 1.8 trillion this year and is expected to reach USD 2.8 trillion by 2025. (Global digital transformation spending 2025 | Statista)
The Only Constant Thing in this World is Change!
Securing among the top 500 companies on Fortune’s list is a hard nut to crack. It’s something that doesn’t come overnight, you have to get prepared for it mentally with a digitally innovative mindset.
You will be surprised to know that only 56 out of those inaugural Fortune 500 companies still exist today on the list. This simply means only 10% of the companies that were once listed on the Fortune 500 have maintained their sustainability today. Long-Bell Lumber, Great Western Sugar, American Can Company, and many more have lost their ranks from this most coveted corporate list. Now, the question arises, why did these companies fail to secure their place on the Fortune 500 list? Or, what makes those 56 companies so special to maintain their credibility even after 6 decades?
The straight answer to this is the evolution of the market. Consumer needs and preferences keep changing along with time. Technological innovations and their implementation in business processes have disrupted conventional market conditions. Keeping that in mind, product innovation along with adopting the latest technologies has become a sure-shot way to capture emerging consumer needs, stay relevant in the market, and keep business ROI growing.
Take Tesla as an Example
In 2000, the concept of electric cars was reserved for science fiction movies but technological advancements accelerated their commercial viability. The global market share of plug-in vehicles grew year by year and the company joined the list of Fortune 500 in 2017. Elon Musk was deliberately ridiculed for his impractical concept but now, electric vehicles are the future of transportation.
Increasing Competition Has Decreased Business Sustainability
As per a report by Innosight, the average lifespan of a company on the Fortune 500 list was almost 33 years which went down by 20% in the 1990s and is expected to reach 14 years by 2026.
The figures may seem discouraging but the lesson here is quite straightforward- the permanence of any company in any market is only as stable as the company’s capability to transform itself according to the changing consumer needs and market trends.
Therefore, Be Agile & Open to Connect & Improve
By now, you must have got a clear insight that innovation is the road to success in this highly competitive digital environment. Marketing can help your revenue grow up to an extent, and only when the market is in need of what you are selling. Innovation, on the other hand, can open new pathways to success for your business.
But the thing to be pondered here is, is it only innovation? Being innovative is good but being adaptable to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors is even more important. So, you must plan to innovate proactively before your product or methodologies become obsolete.
Additionally, being agile in your business processes will help even more.
General Motors once shared its share of setbacks as it failed to innovate features of its domestic vehicles as per consumer demand. Mary Barra, its CEO navigated and successfully managed safety recalls for more than 30 million vehicles. The woman steered GM towards cutting-edge innovation with absolute agility leading to driverless technology and ride-sharing. This is a perfect example to showcase why businesses also need to manage the pace of change.
On the other hand, networking skills also lead to some wonderful opportunities that you have never wondered about. Be transparent with stakeholders and let them realize that you care for their advancement.
Key Takeaways to Reach Fortune 500
Now that you know the secret behind establishing a successful business for the long term, we would like to complement that understanding with a few tips drawn from the present-day Fortune 500 companies. You might find yourself well-acquainted with these points but the difference lies in how successfully you implement them in your business processes.
First of all, you need to understand that great leadership arises when you start looking beyond conventional dimensions. The rigidity can never set you free to identify upcoming opportunities. Think beyond your limitations. It is then that you will start seeing opportunities even in the toughest times. Set your milestones in uniform paces. For example, rather than focusing on generating huge revenues, you must first focus on identifying and dealing with the potential setbacks in your business processes.
Take More Risks
Now, this simply doesn’t mean diving into an ocean without knowing how to swim. When it comes to business, you must be adaptive to taking calculated risks. Business owners often get frustrated when things don’t move fast. But, if there’s a failure, you must ponder over the causes and adapt to more effective ways to combat such challenges in the future. This practice develops confidence in the business practices and allows leaders to take greater risks with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
Follow Great Business Leaders
We are not asking you to merely follow the most popular business leader on Facebook or Twitter. The world of the internet is vast and you can find many great examples in your niche. Look how differently they do things or how they handle challenges with a distinct approach. What makes them think like this? Following such people will give you enough ideas to simplify complex problems and build unique business models.
Constant Market Analysis
Great business leaders depend much on extensive market research and then plan to cater to those changing market conditions and consumer behavior. They spend hefty amounts to acquire the latest and updated market trends. Additionally, by leveraging data about your business processes and performance, you can also get crucial insights into the current scenario of your digital campaigns. This helps you in customer acquisition and retention. Moreover, by making optimum use of technologies, you can proceed with many focused and targeted promotions to gain quick results.
Finding the Balance is Key
Shunryu Suzuki, the author of “Zen Mind” has said, “In a beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities and in an expert’s mind, there are a few”. Hence, maintaining the right balance is the key to success in your business ideology.
Leading a business to greatness depend on many things, but mostly on how well its leaders listen to their target users and stakeholders. They often suspend judgments to explore deep-rooted meaning in what someone is trying to say. This is necessary to identify flaws in your current processes, products, and workflows and fix them for better performance and growth.
Nurture Your Brand
A business that responds negligibly or negatively to its social media will certainly fail to realize the shift in its users’ tastes and preferences. Try developing your brand based on value-oriented ideas. Develop your organizational thought process to create value in order to have a wonderful impact on your particular industry. The moment you will start building your followership, the professional acquaintances will start developing automatically, and in a more surprising way. Be active on your social media platforms and think before you tweet anything.
Over to You
As a result of recent pandemic effects, the global corporate world has faced many financial crashes. This is the optimum time to emerge as a new breed of a global business that is prepared to change as its customer and market do. . Having an innovative and balanced growth plan backed by highly sophisticated technologies will certainly expose your business to seamless opportunities. Explore digital technologies and make them a part of your business operations to streamline performance, research, and further innovations.