Most SMEs and even large firms believed that growth strategies are only for short term growth which is not true at all. Growth strategies can be applied to make long term impact –no matter the industry- if it is applied with the collective mindset that these strategies aren’t just a collection of pre arranged functions that companies infuse into their businesses to boost the growth of their products in the market but that it is also how companies organize and rally as a collective.
However, growth strategies can be perceived as an array of actionable plans that enables a business to achieve a high level of brand name, value, market share, customer satisfaction, etc., than such business currently has. This growth is essential in the organizational and market facet of a business. The importance of ‘brand’ cannot be overemphasized because it is one of the major factors that directly influence business growth.
Company and Brand: What’s the difference?
A company in a simple terms refers to organizational structure of an enterprise or the people that make up the company’s marketing, sales, management, etc., teams. it is also pertinent to point out that a company can manage several brands.
Examples of these can be seen in Proctor & Gamble company that encompasses several brands such as Always, Tide Detergent, Ariel, Gain, Crest, Gillette, etc. The American furniture company, Pottery Barn, and the media company, NBCUniversal are good examples of multi-brand companies too.
A brand is a public image or the mental picture that appears in an average person’s mind when a company’s product or service is mentioned. It can also be seen as the way a company put out its goods to customers and the impression acquired over time or the collective impact gotten from all that is experienced or sensed by customers who come into contact with a particular company’s products or services or simply put: Brand.
Let’s do a simple test to see how much you understand the word ‘brand’ or the act of ‘branding’. When talking about phones and computers and the name ‘Apple’ is put forward, what comes to your mind? –Quality?. When talking about cars and ‘Mercedes’ and ‘Volvo’ are mentioned, what comes to your mind? –Prestige and Safety respectively right? When talking about beverages and Coca-Cola is mentioned, what comes to your mind –Availability and satisfaction? When LinkedIn is mentioned what comes to your mind? –Connections?
These are not what we know of these companies but what we know of their products and thus, that is their brand personality.
It is important to note that the company and brand growth is just commonly called business growth. This is because, in expanding a business, these are also the two main things that should be included in the limelight –the organization/structure (company) and the brand.
However, before delving into the growth strategies proper, below are few examples of growth where these strategies and a few other hacks were employed that must have made the news.
- Yahoo mobile revenue doubled in 2012 and 2013 due to rearranging their team
- 100,000 users growth in a year for GitHub by nurturing its network effect
- User base on Tinder got tripled by reaching target users in person
- Stripe grew by knowing developers are key and made them a priority
- Retention of users achieved by Slack by taking a page out of some successful teams’ books
Four important strategies for brand growth
- Diversification strategy: Diversification is the process of improving market share by venturing into new markets. It is the form of growth that carries the biggest risks and it requires creating a new product for a new market. With this method, Failure is easy to come by; nevertheless, the possibility of making large profits may be worth the risk for companies with adequate financial abilities. This method is mainly undertaken by large firms or SMEs with sufficient capital.
- Market development strategy: This involves growing market shares by bringing in already established products or services to new markets, either by venturing into a new environment, targeting a market segment or developing new segments of the market, widening user base, or expanding current users’ reach of goods.
- Market penetration strategy: This strategy doesn’t involve moving into a new market or bringing in news goods, rather, it involves increasing market shares using the current goods and market size. This can be done by advertising, bundling goods, increased and improved marketing efforts, or lowering product prices to woo and attract customers from other competitors.
- Product development strategy: This is mostly carried by primarily studying customers’ needs and demands or studying customers’ dissatisfaction through reviews and other means. This is done by creating new services or products to serve the market growing needs or by developing new products to complement or correct the deficiencies in the products that are in the market already.
In synopsis, these growth strategies can be used together or individually in a flexible manner to suit a particular market and industry. However, it is pertinent to acknowledge that these strategies may just be a template for business growth where every growth strategy employed is unique to each singular business according to the circumstances that surrounds the business.
Therefore, business owners should pay attention to their customers’ reactions to products in the market and more importantly; what they could do to improve their products to increase their consumers satisfaction through the growth strategies.
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