Growth Insights for CEOs

Is Your Retail Business in “Ship” Shape? Five Questions to Gauge Your Brand’s True Health

Posted by Kenn Adach

In the world of consumer products, there are few things as exhilarating as getting the “big order” from your most important customers.

There’s nothing that creates excitement and effusive pronouncements of positivity up and down the spine of your enterprise than when a massive sales order gets placed. Of course, behind the P.O. – and the pallets of merchandise that flow by the truckload to that big box retailer – is a more rational reality that sometimes gets overlooked: actual retail consumption, and the tale that it foretells about the future health of your business.

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Delivering on Your Brand’s Promise through Lifestyle and Culture

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Today’s brands offer a rich means of consumer self-expression. Like digital bumper stickers, the blogs and pages we follow and interact with on the Internet and social media are beginning to serve as a reflection of what culturally defines us as people. Whether or not we, as consumers, build a personal connection with the barrage of brands around us, can ultimately impact the fate of the brand itself. As former IBM chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner said in his interview with Spencer Stuart, “Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game.” 

Since a brand’s authenticity and lifestyle fit is so important to today’s customers, we know that we have to fortify our brand’s promise, so it means much more than a set of two-dimensional, written benefits on our website, social media pages, and product packaging. There are two distinct ways we can achieve this:

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The Great Race: Staying Ahead of Consumers and Competitors through Product Innovation

Posted by The Chief Outsider

If you’ve ever watched the popular ABC-TV show “Shark Tank,” you know that Mr. Wonderful, Mark Cuban, and the rest of their millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurial assemblage are simply not interested in investing in any product that a) has a competitor copycat, or b) can be replicated by a consumer giant. If one of these two criteria is apparent, the deal is 100 percent dead on arrival, no matter how devoted or tenacious the entrepreneur may be. 

As Mr. Wonderful (aka seasoned entrepreneur and investor Kevin O’Leary) often says, we all have to “wet our beaks.” It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and regardless of whether our company is dealing with an investor or a customer, we are attempting to innovate in the middle of a quick, competitive age of consumer product innovation. Brands must utilize their consumer data and analytics, think ahead on product innovation, and interact with their customer base in an impactful way – or the competition will take care of it for us instead.

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Communicating Your Brand’s Story Effectively

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Take a deep breath, brand builders – we are now more than halfway through the steep, yet fruitful five-step climb to building a winning consumer brand.

By understanding the importance of an emotional consumer connection, and in taking the time to develop our positioning statement and branding promise, we’ve carefully, yet confidently, laid our brand’s foundation. Now, we have everything we need to tell our unique story and establish a mutually beneficial relationship with our target audience.

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Position Your Brand: Three Questions to Power Growth & Profit

Posted by The Chief Outsider

In Step 1, we began paving our road to a winning brand strategy with the basics. We determined that in order to win in a competitive consumer marketplace, we must first establish an emotional connection with our target audience. We also decided that remaining focused on emotional motivators is the key to the development of that critical connection.

It’s time, now, to make sure we are winning with our “head,” as well as our “heart.” For the second step in our quest, we’ll don our lab coats and, utilizing the data from our emotional motivators and target audience surveys, we’ll now engage our sales and marketing teams to develop our company’s positioning statement and brand promise. If we can nail this critical “statement of purpose,” we’ll effectively stand out from our rivals and drive our company forward in the process.

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