Liz Claydon growth quoto

Delivering sustainable organic growth is an ongoing challenge for most businesses. Historically, growth strategies have included entering high-growth emerging markets, developing a new product or targeting a new category.

But, with changes in the global economy, disruption from technology, and increasingly sophisticated consumers, executives might be left wondering where to focus energy and resources.

The recently published ‘KPMG CPG organic growth barometer’ finds there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. The top performers in 2015, as well as those with consistent growth over the past five years, are diverse in category, breadth of product offering, geographical focus and size.

What this tells me is that if companies have a clear, well-executed strategy, they should be able to thrive regardless of size, category or market.

Nonetheless, a consistent theme does emerge; the strongest performers are those that have recognised how critical putting their customers at the heart of their strategies has become. Not only paying attention to consumers, but quickly responding to what they want and need.

So how do companies remain fleet of foot in reacting to rapidly evolving demands and trends while also playing the long game, safeguarding their brands and delivering sustainable growth?

Lindt & Sprüngli is doing both. It has a long-established global brand, yet recently it looked to drive incremental growth by capitalising on the personalisation trend, offering consumers the opportunity to add a name to the ribbon around their gold bunnies’ necks at Selfridges. Promotions such as this give existing customers a new way of interacting with a trusted brand, while also repositioning the product for new customers.

In my view, companies will need to embrace two operating models. One that focuses on the core of the business, safeguarding an established strategy. The second will be innovative; taking calculated risks to be at the forefront of emerging trends and developments, coming up with the next best thing. Innovation and agility are key, but the execution should not detract from the strategy of the business or dilute brand value.

Liz Claydon is KPMG’s UK head of consumer markets