Leaders Identify Growth Strategy as Top 2021 Priority
The following eight growth strategy examples illustrate four different broad approaches to driving growth that are valuable for any brand to consider.
Driving growth with an effective growth strategy is a top 2021 priority for executives we surveyed. A second top priority is brand strategy.
Ulta Beauty and Zara Growth Strategy Examples: Expansion into New Channels, along with Increased Omni Channel and eCommerce
Long term trends towards more online shopping set the stage for 2020 when many brands accelerated their online focus. Fashion retailer Zara’s Chairman Pablo Isla anticipates as much as 25% of the brand’s 2022 sales would be online, nearly double the 2019 levels of 14%.
Like Zara, Ulta Beauty also has a large and growing ecommerce business. Ulta Beauty reported 200% growth in ecommerce in second quarter ending August 1, 2020, fueled by curbside pickup and buy-online-pick-up-in-store omni channel options.
The newest channel, however, was the introduction of the “shop in shop” concept of Ulta Beauty within Target stores. In 2021, 100 Ulta Beauty within Target locations will open, with “plans to scale to hundreds over time.”
“Ulta Beauty at Target reflects further evolution in our omnichannel strategy, rooted in unlocking the potential of our physical and digital footprints, creating more seamless shopping opportunities for our loyal guests and continuing to lead the beauty industry.”
Quaker and Barilla Growth Strategy Examples: Brand Expansion into New Categories
The Quaker brand is highly extendible, with broad permission to enter food and beverage categories and offering a number of important rational benefits, including good tasting, healthy, nutritious and satisfying. Emotionally, the brand is caring, authentic and knowledgeable. Starting from its heritage in oatmeal, the brand has extended into snack bars and cold cereal. Other areas of growth for Quaker are grain-based foods, bakery items, and other healthy snacks.
A second example of brand extension into new categories is Barilla in the US. Barilla started with the dry pasta category, where it grew to be the leading competitor. The Barilla brand also extended into pasta sauces, including pesto. Moving out from this starting point, other categories identified include additional cooking sauces and single serve, shelf stable entrees.
Scotts Miracle Gro and Canada Dry Growth Strategy Example: New Products within Existing Categories
Scotts Miracle Gro grew its fertilizer business by partnering with a technology innovator, Plant Health Care, to develop a natural biofertilizer. Scotts Miracle Gro is a market leader, and offering a natural product line allowed it to capture more of the market.
Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade is another example of a new product within the carbonated soft drink category. It was recognized as a top 25 breakthrough innovation award winner by BASES.
Zoom and Uber Growth Strategy Examples: Better Solutions and Disrupting Existing Competitors
Back in 2013, Zoom took aim at disrupting the corporate videoconferencing market with “inexpensive, robust video conferencing and collaborative features.” Specific aspects highlighted as differentiating were “true mobility” and a “true cloud-based solution.” Fast forward to 2020, and Zoom became a standard for many consumers, small and medium businesses (SMB), and yes, enterprise customers, based on its “dependability and ease of use.”
Historical brands like WebEx have lost considerable share.
Traditional taxi services were disrupted by Uber and its app. As we all know, the service made it possible for a customer in need of a ride to summon a local car easily, with a known price and time of arrival. The firm’s disruptive model has been challenged, as Uber does not face the regulations that taxi services face, and its drivers can appear to be employees rather than independent contractors.
Examples Should Inspire and Challenge Leadership
A common mistake that we see in examining growth strategy examples is to attempt to mimic the example completely, rather than using it as inspiration for a new idea.
Another common mistake is to say that these approaches “aren’t in my business” and therefore couldn’t be done.
We encourage leaders to challenge their thinking. Draw upon each of these approaches, without copying them, and go outside your own business category to leverage diverse thinking and drive growth.