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Stepchange

Is flat or slow growth every truly satisfactory for a business leader or marketer?  Our ambitions are to make a difference.  Whoever goes into a job or a boss saying, “gosh, I’ll be happy to keep this ticking over for a while…” No.  We want to do great things.  To be creative.  To be remembered.  To leave a legacy.  Yes, we are all type A, egomaniacs who think that the world will remember that fabric conditioner campaign as long as they live (“don’t you remember the Trucks ad?? What?? It changed the world!!!”).

OK, so what tools do we have to do this?  Here I need to stress, that I come at this from a brand management background, NOT a marketing background.  Great brand management can drive the growth trajectory by identifying opportunities where the brand can stretch beyond its current incremental growth to drive more significant step-changes.  This could be entry into a new territory or category (whitespace), leading a redefinition of the existing category, step-changing its brand position (equity), or fundamentally fixing or changing its operating principles to create a competitive advantage.  This list is not limited, but gives an idea of the type of step-change that is required to achieve double or triple digit growth indices.

To get that type of growth you have to break free of the incremental mindset.  You need to want to spend time and create space to change the game. Take whitespace expansion – how can you do this and get quick wins? How can you do this without significant up-front investment or risk?  Or a brand repositioning.  Hard to quantify for financial forecasts – can you do it AND take advantage of the move to make more tangible gains in the short term, whilst investing in the long term benefit of a stronger communication position?

This is what I love – finding the moments to step-change the brand’s growth.  Finding those ideas that will really break the mould.  Finding ways to be much, much better or faster, much cheaper.  You see from above that the solutions aren’t often that unheard of – it is HOW you define them and HOW you get them executed that counts.  Taking a line between being brave and being smart; inventing and reapplying.   You need to know how and when to refine, define, sell it in.   You must find a path to get it done, to overcome internal and external obstacles.  You need find the right creative, the right support from lawyers, logistics, customers.  Each time you get these guys bought into the vision – make them part of getting the vision to reality, you get a step further.  The more people who are bought in, the more who will be convinced you can do it, the greater your chance of success.  Failure comes when it’s your idea, your project and not everyone’s.  It’s also a lot less fun to celebrate on your own…even if you are a type A egomaniac…

Originally posted here by Tonia Nagle (@toniaOC)

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