20 years, 20 insights.
While we are proud of the firm we were back in 1993, and all through the last two plus decades, there is much to be said for having 20 years to put your core values to the test, and to hone your processes during unprecedented globalization. Along the way, we’ve gained a world of insights into what promotes growth and what can hamper it.
Top 20 Insights from 20 Years of Growth Strategy Consulting
#1 Consumer Focus. Successful growth strategies are grounded in deep consumer and market understanding, and designed to exceed consumer requirements and expectations better than competition.
#2 Choices. The most successful growth strategies make definitive choices about what business to be in; what customers to serve; how to win versus competition; what markets and channels to invest in; what products and services to offer; how to go to market; where to invest; and what resources and capabilities are required to succeed.
#3 Discipline. Client organizations that get distracted reacting to a competitor’s strategy often (a) dilute focus on shaping a unique vision of how to win, and (b) inhibit disciplined execution of their stated strategy.
#4 Diligence. Rigorous assessment of a seller’s growth strategy can identify under-valued risks and opportunities in management’s growth forecast that impact enterprise valuation and strategy realization.
#5 Leadership. There is absolutely no substitute for leadership talent across all functions and levels of the organization to drive enterprise growth.
#6 Change Agents. Leaders who act as change agents are heroic characters and catalysts who make the case for change, motivate the organization to adapt to change, and manage the barriers and uncertainties that change can bring.
#7 Development. Cultures that invest in ongoing learning and supportive risk taking produce higher performing teams.
#8 Organization. The most effective organizations adapt relentlessly to deploy the right talent to optimize execution of the enterprise strategy and business model.
#9 Synthesis. True insights formulated from synthesizing in-depth consumer understanding, data analysis and market intelligence create unique opportunities to differentiate and break through to the consumer.
#10 Intelligence. Deep competitor and market intelligence is crucial to understanding competitive position, formulating strategy, conceptualizing future moves and impacts, and adapting strategy execution.
#11 Data Integration. Big data is challenging to aggregate, assimilate and synthesize, but the real upside is embedding the data synthesis and insights into real-time decision making processes.
#12 Realities. Often the most critical insights that unlock new avenues to growth are formulated from current business performance analysis that looks at the core business in new ways, and identifies issues and opportunities previously unknown.
#13 Brand Value. Marketers work intently on building brand equity to compete for share, but focus less on understanding and managing the long-term asset value of the brand portfolio.
#14 Innovation. Sustained innovation in products, services, packaging and go-to-market strategy is imperative to drive category growth and leadership share growth.
#15 Advocacy. Activating the recommendations of advocates and influencers is the most compelling driver of consideration and trial, yet the most sophisticated marketing objective to achieve.
#16 Globalization. Consumers/customers in a category/ industry have more shared than divergent needs and expectations across markets, though the go-to-market strategy often requires adaptation to local market realities.
#17 Collaboration. Consultants are only as effective as the trusted relationship and collaboration with clients allows.
#18 Perspective. External perspectives gained from working across a range of industries, consumer categories, and diversified companies can energize thinking and approaches to a client’s business opportunity or challenge.
#19 Learning. Contributing to client skill development and knowledge transfer is a highly valued component of collaborating with the organization.
#20 Impact. The best measures of the value consultants deliver is the viability of strategy execution and adaptation, the organization’s capability and readiness to implement; and the results achieved in-market.