Quite often, only half of startups survive more than five years, and only a third make it to ten years. To ensure sustainability of business, you must create growth strategies. A tangible plan is a defining factor that determines whether you will create growth or devalue the business. A business growth strategy should integrate consumer research to capitalize market opportunities and keep a pulse on their market dynamics. Growth strategies should include identifying ideal customers, establishing a value proposition, verifying revenue system, competition analysis, and focus on innovative products. Each of these should be researched before they are integrated into business growth strategies. This article focuses on consumer research information that can be used to inform business growth strategies.
Co-creating products and solutions with consumers
With increasing internet technologies, consumers continue to express their opinions and creativity on an unprecedented scale. The conventional wisdom that customers cannot innovate products and services has been turned head down. To a business, this can produce radically new ways to co-develop solutions, new products, and growth strategies. For example, more that 120,000 people from different parts of the world signed up to an internet forum to discuss Boeing design in 2004. Along with design team, they discussed like and dislike about air travel, and features they would like to see in their dream airline.
For a business to record sustained growth, it must identify values that set it apart from other competitors. From consumer research, a business should identify factors that make it credible, relevant, and why customers come for its product and services. For example, Wal-Mart, compete on pricing, other compete on “authority”. Business must figure out special benefit it provides to its customers and use the answers to explain to the audience why they should buy from the business as part of its marketing objectives. If a business strays from this proposition, it runs the risk of devaluing.
Business growth strategies may in include acquisition. A good example is Blue Coat, which has made handful acquisitions that include Norman Shark, Solera Networks, Perspecsys, and Elastica. Consumer research can inspire a company to purchase another company with the aim of expanding its operations. Small companies use this growth strategy when focusing on market penetration or looking to expand their product lines. However, this growth strategy can be risky due to significant investment required to implement it.
Define key indicators
If a business cannot be able to measure change, it has no way of identifying effective measures. Changes must be measurable. From consumer research report a business should be able to pinpoint indicators that influence the growth of the business. Business should dedicate time and money to those indicators.
Verify revenue streams
It worth understanding that a business can have a great idea or products without revenue streams attached to it. It is fundamental to understand the difference and isolate the two. Business needs to identify its revenue streams. Moreover, using consumer research a business can identify new potential revenue streams that can increase profit margins. When a new revenue stream is identified, businesses need to consider the sustainability of that stream before embarking on it.
Analyzing competitors’ activities
Regardless of the industry, your business is operating. There are competitors that are excelling at areas your business is struggling with. Learning how competitors are coping with challenges affecting your business operation can inform growth strategies. An assumption that your business is smarter is rarely correct. Business should consider why its competitors are making alternatives and evaluate if they are right. Besides, it should consider if it is positioned differently before adopting those alternatives.
Growth strategies call for more than just envisioning long-term business success. Businesses are now using consumer research to develop growth strategies in nontraditional ways. Embracing consumer interaction and experimenting new ways of consumer satisfaction creates effective growth strategies. The fact is that consumers send signals about business, product, and services. Feedback can be married with other business processes to develop effective growth strategies.