Here’s How One Business Quadrupled Its Sales in a Flat Market

Matthew Fenton Chicago Brand Strategy

For many leaders of smaller businesses, sustainable growth can be difficult to conjure up.  If that sounds like you, I’d like to introduce you to a company that should give you hope.

Consider these results:

  • This company has averaged 19% compounded annual growth over the last 8 years, with annual growth never less than 6% during this period.
  • This company doubled sales in one five-year period, and nearly quadrupled sales in eight years.
  • Notably, this growth was earned in a mature market that can be challenging to sell to.

And they did it without relying on any “secrets,” gimmicks or silver bullets.

Intrigued?  Let’s get to know them a little better. Continue reading “Here’s How One Business Quadrupled Its Sales in a Flat Market”

Be Selective (To Do More With Less)

Be selective to do more with less

Be selective.

This is not a suggestion or an empty mantra.  It’s one of the very few brand-building imperatives I’ll propose to you.

As a leader of a challenger brand, you’re starting from behind, and with fewer resources than your competitors.  And limited resources must be focused if they are to have maximum impact.

Here are five important ways you can be selective: Continue reading “Be Selective (To Do More With Less)”

Two Rules for Winning for Challenger Brands

Two rules for winning for challenger brands

Most brands are challenger brands. Probably yours.

It’s not just a matter of share. If you have fewer resources than your competitors, you’re a challenger brand. You might have a smaller budget. Lower awareness. A short-handed sales team. Or all of these, plus a few things I haven’t listed, you lucky devil.

I’ve been fortunate to work on challenger brands for my entire career, in both brand management and consulting. I say “fortunate” because victory is sweeter when you come from behind, or when you achieve more with less.

Around 20 years ago, I was the brand manager of Airheads candy. At the time, our two largest competitors, Skittles and Starburst, outspent us by about 20 to 1. Despite this, we tripled our sales in less than five years. And we launched what became the fastest-selling non-chocolate single in the country. (The Airheads 6-bar package can still be found near cash registers today.)

The lesson I learned early: Continue reading “Two Rules for Winning for Challenger Brands”

No, Nokia! Market Share Doesn’t Determine Mindset.

In an AdAge article released this morning, Nokia CMO Tuula Rytila discusses the new spirit of marketing that apparently exists inside the mobile giant’s hallways.

Nokia Challenger Brands
Connecting fewer people, lately.

According to the article, Nokia’s sales plunged by 22% in 2012. To hear Ms. Rytila tell it, that’s a fabulous thing, because now everyone’s head is right. She says:

Continue reading “No, Nokia! Market Share Doesn’t Determine Mindset.”