How to diagnose your growth challenges.

When someone’s brings up the idea of business growth, how do you feel? If you’re like most business leaders it’s a confusing feeling that spans the spectrum of “I have always been a driver of growth for my organization” to “My go-to growth playbook hasn’t been working so well lately.” This complex set of emotions isn’t new, they have been festering for the last few years with the shifting of consumer behaviors and advancements and technology - the world we once knew is now completely gone. And the idea of business growth has gone away with it. 

However, the hardest thing to stomach in this entire transformation is no one really knows where to pinpoint the growth challenges. 

Is it the economy? With it being at an all time high, that may be a stretch. 

Is it new disruptors to the marketplace? Disruption has been happening for the last 20 years, surely we’ve been able to react enough to combat the effects of this. 

Is it the uncertain political environment? Maybe, but we can’t sit on the sidelines and wait for things to change. 

If is consumer behaviors and preference? It is definitely an ingredient, but it takes years for mass consumer preference to shift. 

Is it the decline of advertising effectiveness? I can go on for days about this, but advertising response is actually pretty strong in today’s economy.

So if it’s not a single thing, what is it? 

86% of buyers will pay more for a better brand experience, but only 1% feel that vendors consistently meet expectations.
— Oracle

Good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not alone in this confusion. Most companies that we talk to are struggling to identify reasons for a slowing growth. The bad news is, growth won’t come from traditional channels and playbooks. We have to think a little differently to first identify the challenges - then build a plan to overcome it. 

When we’re diagnosing growth challenges for our clients, we look at the entirety of the business and consumer experience to identify what stages consumers drop out or defect. This holistic view allows us to compile a collection of challenges that need to be overcome for growth. Here are some high level views of what we look for:


Here we look at everything you learn in marketing class. We understand the audience segmentation, the brand positioning in the marketplace, the effectiveness of advertising, the efficacy of the product or service, the way data is used and what messages are successful to what audience. We look at the shopping process and the various touchpoints the consumer has to go through in order to become a paying customer. This journey has drastically changed in the last 5 years with the advancement of technology and shifting consumer behaviors. We look at acquisition as the foundational start of a long term relationship. So getting this right is crucial for the long term success of a brand and the future growth prospects.

Retention Rates

Here, we look to see if the customer is satisfied enough to repurchase. There are a tremendous amount of factors to play into retention rates - satisfaction with the product / service, the ease of repurchase, communicating a repurchase at the right time with the right personalization, the satisfaction of the customer support and the shifting behaviors of how the customer consumes the product or service. If everything is done correctly, the customer will repurchase. If not, they defect. We believe that getting retention right in the first place, long term growth prospects are elevated to amazing levels. Not only are you continuing current revenue, but finding repeated opportunities to upsell and right-sell services based on the relationship your company has established with them as an individual. 

Loyalty & Advocacy

Building off retention, we look at the company’s ability to build loyalty and advocacy. This isn’t just a repurchase action, but a strong connection between customer and brand. A connection that will not only ensure a the repurchase, but will build a bond that connects the brand to a defining aspect of the customer’s life - one that creates an emotional tie to all things the brand does. This connection will become a part of the customer and how they communicate to their friends and network, driving advocacy of the message.

Path to Convert

While looking at these high level relationship phases, we can see there is a tremendous amount of detail and exploration underneath to drive the micro-moments of the relationship, which we will get into at a later date. But as we go through this process, we’re not only looking at the communication challenges found throughout the process, but we are looking at the experience challenges in more detail. We look at things like number of clicks to purchase, time needed to get a response, the integration of online to offline experiences, ease of interaction with the brand, etc. These are the elements that consumers are now using as purchase drivers, even beyond price and product. We believe optimizing and building a strong brand experience is where a brand will find both short term and long term growth - not through advertising alone. 

Want to talk about your brand experience? Feel free to reach out.