A Growth Strategist Striving For Great Outcomes.
Over nearly two decades of growth strategy, I have been blessed to help numerous clients grow. My work has helped clients generate nearly eight billion dollars of annual, incremental revenue across a wide variety of circumstances. I have helped launch five new >$100 million dollar brands as well as helped revitalize several stagnant legacy brands back to growth. I have helped eight businesses double their revenues, ranging from <$100 million in sales to >$1 billion in sales. Great outcomes are like a great meal: incredibly exciting, joyful and memorable. Similarly, several things need to be true to increase the probability of great outcomes. I started EddieWouldGrow to spend about half my time writing, speaking and researching about future demand, growth strategy and great outcomes. I still have reserved half my time for advisory work (e.g., 1 to 2 clients at a time), but since my time is limited and life is short, it is important that there is alignment on a few key values and philosophies in any collaboration.
A Different Advisory Model: Experts vs. Expertise
Most consulting firms are like teaching hospitals. Patients pick well known teaching hospitals because they are worried about their health and want the best. They meet the chief of surgery and are very hopeful, yet wake up dismayed to find a medical student did their procedure. The most valuable advisors in any consulting firm are the senior partners, yet most clients get very little senior partner time and attention. This model can work with certain kinds of consulting that are fundamentally benchmarking exercises. Benchmarking suits 'teaching hospital' consulting firms, because it's much easier to learn from the past than it is to anticipate the future. But growth strategy is different, as it often requires foresight vs. hindsight and a new trail to be blazed, thus lots of senior partner attention. To help clients grow, a new type of consulting model that is heavy on senior partner attention is key. Given that it is hard for any one person to be truly expert at everything, from time to time I will reach out to other senior partners at other firms to round out expertise as needed.
A Better Way to Grow: Grow the Pie With Supers
Consumers are complex and deciphering demand is puzzle. While there are many ways to do this, I've found that Superconsumers (the most profitable and passionate consumers in the category) are the simplest and speediest way to figure this out. But more importantly, they are the only consumers who can answer the most difficult questions, like "what would need to be true to double the category"? Most leaders don't ask this question because it is so audacious and the old model of simply competing to steal market share is so familiar. But there is extensive research (both mine and others) that shows that competition is a long-term poor growth strategy, yet it's the path most frequently chosen. The far better way to grow is to grow your category and/or create a new category. 1% of brands capture 80% of category growth. Category creators grow revenues 4x faster and market capitalization 6x faster. I also believe that generosity is a great growth strategy. I believe that businesses with a missionary mindset (e.g., grow/create a new category) prosper and thrive far more than those with a mercenary mindset.
A More Fun Way to Partner: 1 + 1 can equal 11
About a third of my way through my career, I remember being told by a client that a recommendation I had made did not work and they lost money. It made me feel terrible and I resolved to avoid that feeling at all costs. I resolved to discern what my batting average was and what the common themes behind the clients with the best outcomes. I realized that of course I had to be a perpetual 'student of the game' to ensure I did my best work. But it was just as critical that I partnered with the right clients. Leaders who loved learning about consumers and growth strategy, but also from whom I learned so much from. Executives who were just as excited as I was about creating and a compelling vision than just competing and advancing their careers. General managers who were willing to take calculated risks and played to win versus play it safe. When these characteristics are true of the team, the collaboration is just much more fun as well as exponentially more fruitful. Life is too short to waste a client's money and time on advisory work that isn't going anywhere and that isn't enjoyable.