The school of thought that assumes all high growth businesses are technology based is wrong. Fast-moving companies display an edge that connects with their customer’s world, one filled with imagination, inspiration and fresh thinking. Their founders and teams have an inherent ability to spot a niche, an unfulfilled need or problem demanding a solution.
Gazelle performance can be achieved by repackaging a traditional idea. The fusion of a diverse range of business models to produce a whole new experience is a skill high growth entrepreneurs have perfected.
Focusing on activities that don’t necessarily bring in revenue can also attain the edge. However, they do position the organisation head and shoulders above the rest. In other words they produce a wow factor. Leading experts in creativity would claim that 95% of a company’s point of difference is achieved by as little as 5% of what it does.
High growth businesses excite their customers by displaying their edge with passion and clarity. Companies must avoid falling into becoming a “me too” market player – this drives down margins, the cheapest wins, a sort of spiral descent very difficult to recover from.
So how do you find the edge? It starts with the mindset of the leader – old world tells us to think outside the box. My recommendation is to get rid of the box because it does not exist – eliminate limiting beliefs, self-imposed boundaries and negative influences that restrict your ability to think. Find a coach or a mentor who will help you fill the pipeline with new possibilities. Find your 5%!
I read a great article this week, passed on to me by my mate Julian Grice (he’s a top lad when it comes to branding and marketing, probably the best I have come across) – it was all about positioning and game changing strategies for high growth companies. There were four fantastic examples of companies that repositioned their brands with dramatic effect:
1. Apple….from geeky nerds to a cool brand probably the biggest on the planet
2. Domino’s…..moved from selling pizzas to focusing on service and delivery excellence
3. Red Bull….repositioned the drink from one for exhausted lorry drivers to life style marketing for “go getters”
4. Netjets….from selling private jets to adopting the time share model (the results speak for themselves)
This is a lesson for all gazelle businesses…..a tweak in what you do, for a new segment can have a massive impact. Here’s to the start of a high growth week!
Regional economies are built on big personalities and individuals with the passion and determination to succeed. Tony Wilson in my book was a hero. He made a significant contribution to Manchester and the North, his enthusiasm for music, culture, regeneration and business in general was amazing. His personal brand became synonymous with promoting the Regions business interests. He did things for the right reason, the greater good of the people who made this place their home. He made a massive difference in many ways leaving a legacy that many of us can only dream of.
He put Manchester on the world stage and contributed to its brand and profile. Others have tried to follow but without the same impact – probably because they have their own interests at heart, namely celebrity status and not making it a better place for the next generation of stars.
The challenging economic environment I hope will see the emergence of a new generation of individuals with the same passion and determination of Tony Wilson.
I was sat in Costa Coffee on Oxford Road in Manchester this morning and it created an extremely thought-provoking experience. Having been in a meeting nearby, myself and colleague Heather, decided to go and have a brew to catch up on a few things that needed to be sorted for next week……..
Within the space of 5 minutes a queue of 30 people deep developed, an orderly line leading out on the street. With only two people serving – who I must admit were doing a fantastic job – an amazing buzz was maintained in the cafe, no one moaning or grumbling. Many of these customers had been waiting for over 15 minutes for a take away coffee without complaint. Under normal circumstances most people would have walked out but they just waited with amazing patience.
Popular brands can withstand challenges because they act as a magnet to others and create a customer experience that breeds loyal followers. There was a spirit about the place that combined – great location, sound employees, quality product and a physical environment that pulled people through the door. At the end of the day those waiting could have gone 100 yards up the road and purchased their breakfast without the painful wait – but the power of the brand and the experience acted as a form of gravitational pull to Costa fans. I got the feeling that there was no other place to go when the reality was other options did exist.
A great customer experience is enhanced by a fantastic brand, a lesson for all growth wish entrepreneurs who want themselves and their business to stand out from the ground.