Friday, December 01, 2006

Beating the Competition

Found a really interesting report whilst at work, from Grant Thornton. Its all about what factors are important to businesses, and which ones seperate fast growing, slow growing and static. Looking at it I found plenty of useful bits of information related to marketing and advertising, so please allow me to ramble about those I can remember now im home...

Having a strong brand was only the 4th contributing factor to high growth businesses, price was 10th, and a genuine USP was only 12th. Does this not appear to go slightly out of sync with what we hear about unique selling points being so important?

Alysoun Stewart, Director, Commercial and Strategic Solutions at Grant Thornton.
“Our observations suggest that the Fast Growth Businesses know that customers buy the ‘experience’, even though the product or service may not be hugely different from what they can get more cheaply down the road. This is a key factor in creating differentiation and
enticing customers to buy-in emotionally to their brand.”

It seems unusual that this survey clearly shows flexible businesses grow faster, yet most of what I hear about clients from agencies is that they are completely unflexible. Maybe if they treated their advertising in the same way as their customers (after all, thats who it is for) they might end up with better ads.

Also unusual. Businesses that said their branding was the main thing that made them better than their competition were static. Is that due to static businesses being more established brands who have run out of growth? Or is it managers who think they understand their brand when it actually is failing to speak to people? But then... those same static business say that weak marketing and communications is the second biggest factor holding them back. Sounds like bad management and failure to understand branding and marketing to me.

A big point was: "It is the value proposition behind the brand, rather than the brand itself that high growth businesses focus on."

Another thing, there was almost no difference in the importance of "creative marketing" between the growth ranges.

The big tips they gave for businesses was to understand the customer and what they want. I couldnt agree more. If only more brands did.


Anonymous said...

The only thing I'd add is that it's important to not just look at what the consumer wants interms of your product, but also interms of their life - from hopes and dreams to fears and concerns - because that's when the magic can really happen because you're able to tap into cultural needs as well as consumer ones.

Doing this also ensures companies can't do whatever they want because they've 'interpreted' consumer comments into what they want to hear.

The Editor said...
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Anonymous said...

I thought it was really interesting to see this side of the viewpoint.

If only more companies listened and learned instead of interpreting, maybe a lot more campaigns and brand messages would be effective.