Growth is always the next challenge for your business. Every project you undertake is, fundamentally, aimed at helping you grow, find more customers, generate more revenue, and build out your capacity for serving these new customers.
That doesn’t mean that all growth is good and that every opportunity to expand should be embraced. If you don’t plan your expansion carefully, you could find yourself overextended and losing out financially, or compromising on the brand values that your customers are loyal to.
If you want a brand growth strategy example to learn from, look to Lego, which has been through a series of transformations and learning experiences in recent years. Finding it’s early 2000s strategy had left with many different ranges, a complicated supply chain, and an unwieldy number of employees, which eroded their sense of identity. To recover, Lego slimmed down both the number of products on offer and its number of employees dramatically and identified the core purpose of their brand: to make sure children have Lego. They made sure every aspect of their business was addressing this core purpose, and in doing so have recovered from a bloated organisational structure and product offering.
If even an established brand like Lego can encounter problems like this, it should be clear there are issues you will have to plan to avoid.
The Power of Research
Market research is a powerful tool to have at your disposal. It can help you understand who your customers are, and what exactly they value about your brand, data you can factor that into your plans. Surveys called brand trackers can show you how customers respond to your decisions, so you can make sure that your efforts at growth are true to the brand promises you’ve made your customers and don’t undermine the image they’ve built up of you.
There are also more concrete research initiatives you can engage in as part of your preparations for a growth project, whether it’s a product launch, the opening of a new location or expanding sales into a foreign market. At its most basic level, market research can tell you if there’s the demand for this new offering: if your existing customers want your new product, or if customers in your new target want your existing products. If their demands are already being filled, you’ll find it hard going getting established!
If you’re making data the foundations of your planning, and checking in with your customers to make sure you’re staying true to the heart of your brand, you can feel confident that your plans for growth will meet with success.