The Forces of Growth
Q: At Interbrand we believe in growing brands and businesses. What do you think the most fundamental principles for growth are?
Quite often, when you hear people talking about business growth, they’ll direct you to a chart that shows revenue. That is an indicator of success, but it’s not the driving force. Actually growing a business starts with human beings. The need for growth is something that is fundamental to us as humans. If you can tap into that, being able to grow your business is a likely outcome, which will get you to those revenue curves that people talk about.
Creating growth within an organization is not just about saying “I want to grow revenue by ten percent next year,” because the first question that comes back is “How?” And that “How?” is connected to a deep understanding of the forces of growth within a business, which will help you accelerate the organization. Things like your people: the growth of people, their capabilities, their understanding, their ability to work together; your processes: the way that you actually do things, how you utilize people to go and do something; the products and services you bring to market: how you create innovation processes to make sure that capability grows over time.
Look deeper—understand the anatomy of growth for your organization, and then you can start to build clear strategies to achieve growth.
Q: What is the role of the brand when it comes to growth?
It’s the role of the brand to bring strategy to life in such a way that human beings can relate to it—from employees to customers. Brands help you choose whether you’re going to buy an individual product or work at a company. Brands generate loyalty because they fulfill your expectations. They allow you to charge more because you have something desirable within the marketplace. Brands are differentiated from their competitors, relevant to people, clearly understood within an organization. These things are a great guide for understanding how to grow a business, because brand strength will translate to profitability and earnings.
Beyond that, growth is about how the brand plays a part within the organization. Because the brand is not a logo—it’s your products and services, the environments you create, your culture, and the communications that you run both inside and outside your organization. So as a lever for growth, it’s extremely powerful, because it touches so many aspects of the business. And again, if you’re going to make something move and grow, you have to get people to move with you.