Cambridge Group Consultants urges marketers to go deep in the Voice of the Consumer to find growth, but in an "old school" sort of way. By distilling marketing down to the metaphor of a romantic relationship in need of nurturing, excitement, and intimacy. Technology has so enthralled us that it can become an end in and of itself. Certainly, we’ve all seen online campaigns that seem to exist solely because a marketing team has fallen prey to the belief that being seen on a hot new platform equals relevance. Instead, "it is only by keeping consumers first, by making them special, that brands live up to the definition of a relationship." Then all marketing communications will be more effective. The consumer relationship can mirror a stage in a romantic relationship, showing brands first how to “Know Yourself,” and then progressing onward to steps such as “Meet Memorably,” “Deepening the Connection,” and even “Making Up,” when a brand has lost its customers’ trust.
As a case in point, Cambridge Group Consultants helped reposition a global beverage brand that had a successful brand strategy up till the mid-2000s. The solution for the brand, which was running well behind the 88 percent market share of industry leader, wasn’t going to be competing head-to-head for the category’s main demographic—athletic men ages 20 and older. Rather, the Cambridge Group Consultants targeted a younger demographic—athletic teenagers. Linking the brand to the key emotional drivers of teen sports would be the way that the brand would establish a relationship with these boys and girls. To activate the new positioning we identifyed 1 million top high school athletes (leveraging the internet from targeted media studies) and sending each of them a branded sport bottle and a coupon for the product itself. The team also asked the athletes’ opinions about everything from packaging to communication. Yes, the brand was wooing them. Market share and brand loyalty in the under-18 demographic “began to equalize” with the market leader.
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When companies find themselves in commoditized markets Cambridge Group Consultants often recommends pursuing functional integration in order to create ecosystems that “succeed by nurturing ongoing relationships with the brand’s most loyal customers.” In markets where industry-wide marketing spend is saturated, growth can often be found by companies building interlocking products and (usually digital) services that add up to more than the sum of their parts.
Cambridge Group Consultants advised a major retailer to create a smartphone app that lets its customers build their shopping lists by scanning barcodes on the products in their homes and turning those lists into online orders, or, in stores, into an aisle-by-aisle map. The retailer discovered that the service has enhanced Customer Centricity applications as well. The data from the app gives the retailer better insights into how and what it should be offering, in addition to enhancing its ability to provide customers with more personalized shopping experiences.
Demand-Driven Strategy is a prioritized and actionable approach for driving revenue growth while insuring premium profitability. Demand-Driven Strategy enables companies to systematically identify the profitable current and emerging consumer demand in the market and serve it with compelling, competitively differentiated offers that command price premiums.
Although Cambridge Group Consultants leverages this central framework, we tailor our approach to the unique needs of the situation of each client. As a result our functional expertise extends to a wide variety of strategic services:
New Business Strategy
Brand Value Strategy
Value Proposition Creation
Product Positioning Strategy
Channel and Market Strategy
Sales and Marketing Effectiveness
Digital Marketing Strategy
Growing Business & Industry
By focusing on demand, the result is that Cambridge Group Consultants clients:
Increase Revenue, Margins, and Profit
Own Competitively Advantaged Markets
Enhance Customer Loyalty
The changes in how you do business as we move to a Demand-Driven world will have repercussions for your industry and company. In a Demand-Driven economy, the rules for success have shifted. In order to succeed, your company must employ strategies for this shift. To help our clients truly achieve lasting profitability, we organize strategy around a deep understanding of demand. Virtually every element of the business system needs to be aligned to this purpose. Demand-Driven Strategy is built on the following principles:
An understanding of demand must proceed and then drive strategy. Is sector demand declining, static or increasing? What is the best strategy to exploit your demand environment?
Identify Key Market Drivers
An understanding of market forces and factors impacting target markets. How are trends, new market entrants and demographic shifts affecting demand? Segment customers by demand proprietary knowledge that competitors don't use. Identifying customers unmet needs drives the ideation of transformational products and marketing strategies.
Develop A Value Proposition
Benefits need to be carefully differentiated and aligned to customer segments. Differentiation is important but preemption is more so. Own the future before your competitors do.
Through the organization a strategy is only successful if the business system can be aligned to deliver against the benefits and value identified. Develop the capabilities and capital structure required to own prime marketplaces.
A proven approach that has helped today's cutting-edge companies resume revenue growth and sustain long-term competitive advantage.