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Growth Strategy: 6 Concepts Used by Outperformers

In our research on Growth Strategy we came across this great article from Kaihan Krippendorf on strategic concepts used more frequently by enterprises outperforming their peers.

Borrow Someone’s Road

“Outperformers were 60% more likely to cite the concept of reaching markets through channel partners versus going direct.”

In the digital age, channel partnerships have become an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to accelerate their growth and reach new heights. By leveraging the combined strengths and resources of strategic partners, companies can overcome traditional barriers, expand their market reach, and remain agile in the face of evolving market demands.

By implementing a well-defined channel partnership strategy, businesses can unlock the full potential of digital connectivity and achieve sustainable success in today's dynamic marketplace.

A great example for a channel partnership delivering access to millions of users is provided by the AWS Marketplace where ISVs can sell productized packages of products and services in a highly scalable and secure way.

Adopt Small-Scale Attacks

“Outperformers are 70% more likely to explicitly cite the use of running business experiments in which the goal is to learn.”

The "act, learn, build" philosophy is not just a trendy buzzword; it represents a fundamental shift in how businesses approach strategy and execution in today's rapidly evolving world. By adopting agile methodologies and embracing continuous learning, businesses can unlock a path towards sustainable success, remaining adaptable and responsive in the face of constant change.

Again, Amazon provides a great example where Single-Threaded Two Pizza Teams are empowered to constantly invent on behalf of their customers. 

Let the Competition Go

“Outperformers are 80% more likely to cite this strategic concept, which is also known as the “fast follower” strategy.”

In today's dynamic market environment, the "first-mover advantage" no longer holds the same weight it once did. The fast follower strategy, with its emphasis on learning, adaptation, and strategic execution, has emerged as a powerful alternative for companies seeking success. By carefully analyzing market trends, capitalizing on the latest technologies, and offering a more refined product or service, fast followers can effectively compete and even surpass their pioneering counterparts.

A great example for this strategy is provided by Microsoft. Most recently its successful investment in Open AI paid off as a great example for following the lead of innovators. Another example is their public cloud offering Azure where they followed AWS lead within four years and by today successfully challenges their market leadership.

Be Good

“Outperformers are 85% more likely to cite this strategic concept.”

The "be good" approach transcends the traditional focus on maximizing shareholder value. It encourages businesses to actively pursue strategies that benefit a broader ecosystem, encompassing suppliers, employees, communities, NGOs, governments, and social interest groups.

By embracing the "be good" approach, businesses can unlock a wealth of benefits, fostering sustainable growth, building stronger relationships with stakeholders, and contributing to a more positive and responsible future. This shift in perspective is no longer optional, it is a strategic imperative for businesses seeking long-term success in today's evolving world.

A great example is provided by Patagonia with their commitment to “sustainable practices, fair labour policies, transparent operations, fair treatment”.

Reveal Your Strategy

“Outperformers were twice as likely to openly share their strategic intents and plans rather than keeping them close to their chest as companies have historically done for fear of competitors copying or counter-attacking.”

In today's dynamic business landscape, organizations are increasingly recognizing the power of openly sharing their strategic vision. While concerns about competition may initially arise, the benefits of transparency far outweigh the perceived risks.

Sharing your strategic vision is not a sign of weakness; it's a strategic move that unlocks a multitude of benefits. By embracing transparency and fostering collaboration, it positions the business for sustainable growth and success in the dynamic ecosystem of today's market.

Google Android delivers an example where a vendor openly communicated their strategy to counter Apple’s push into the mobile computing market ten years ago.

Partner with a Third Party

“In addition to using channel partnerships heavily (“Borrow a road”), outperformers were 110% more likely to cite partnerships with complements as core to their strategies, even when such complements represented significant competitive overlap.”

The modern business landscape thrives on collaboration. While traditional channel partnerships ("Borrow a road") remain a powerful tool for market expansion, top-performing companies are increasingly recognizing the strategic advantage of partnering with complementary businesses. This seemingly counterintuitive approach, where partners share some competitive overlap, unlocks a wealth of benefits that can propel your brand to new heights.

By embracing complementary partnerships and adopting a collaborative mindset, enterprises unlock a powerful strategy for achieving sustainable growth and exceeding customer expectations in today's dynamic market. Remember, the future of business lies not in isolated competition, but in forging strategic alliances that create value through synergy and shared success.

A great example is the strategic alliance between Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi started in 1999 to drive economies of scale and improve RoI for its members.

Disruption Selling Application

Within the Disruption Selling Closed Loop Approach these 6 strategic concepts should be considered for a Disruptor’s Growth Strategy based on the outcome of the Disruption Selling Maturity assessment.

These concepts can be applied to the entire Total Addressable Market of an offering, but also to individual Target Market Segments, especially when entering new verticals with a disruptive innovation.

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