The Brand Growth Shift: From Talking to Doing

Recently Gartner released a survey showcasing the top priorities and senior business leaders. As they point out there has been some interesting shifts in the priorities for CEOs from 2017 to 2018


As we see below, Growth remains the number 1 priority for CEOs, however, the insight that Gartner points out, "Although growth remains the CEO's biggest priority, there was a significant fall in simple mentions of it this year, from 58 percent in 2017 to just 40 percent in 2018. This does not mean CEOs are less focused on growth, instead it shows that they are shifting perspective on how to obtain it," said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow. 

This is an interesting development as we look at former disruptive companies becoming sustainable and growth oriented business models. Thinking differently is not a disruptive strategy but a corporate competitive advantage. 

Source: Gartner (May 2018)

Source: Gartner (May 2018)

As we round out the Top 5 Priorities, the focus on Digital (IT), Corporate Structure, Workforce Development and Customers, the drivers of growth, shows the top of the house is ready a tackle the complex outcome of growth, not just talk about it. As we’ve seen, these priority elements are the core ingredients to develop an organizational Brand Growth Stack and execute against the new Brand Growth Playbook.

IT-Related (Digital)

The survey mentions that the conversation around “digital” has risen steadily in CEO respondents year over year. The partnership with the CIO is more important than ever and the culture surrounding a digital or innovative organization needs an overhaul as well. 

Corporate Structural Development

The CEOs understand a need for a new corporate and cultural strategy to shift to a growth mindset. Mark Raskino says it best, "The most important types of cultural change that CEOs intend to make include making the culture more proactive, collaborative, innovative, empowered and customer-centric. They also highly rate a move to a more digital and tech-centric culture." 


The talent to execute against a new, digital-forward strategy is much different than what is currently in place. The need for a retrained or new type of employee will be a core ingredient to this cultural and organizational change. “CEOs said a lack of talent and workforce capability is the biggest inhibitor of digital business progress.”


Consumer behaviors are shifting the expectations and relationships they have with organizations and is the most important ingredient to execute against growth. Not only through acquisition, but more focus on the idea of retention, loyalty and advocacy.


To align these CEO Priorities towards an action plan, we can see in the brand growth stack, it’s a collision of Brand Strategy (corporate structural development) and a Tech Stack (IT-Related). This produces the Experience Stack executed by a new type of employee, digitally-experienced brand stewards (Workforce). All of which is geared to best serve the Customer (Customers) which are always at the center of any Brand-driven Business. 



How is your organization tacking growth? 

Paul Miser