What Does It Take To Be A High Growth Tech Brand?
Do you want to get the inside track on achieving high growth for your tech brand? I’m certainly interested in anything that can help partners, and particularly Partner Plus partners, grow their businesses, so when I saw a session on this topic at the InTech 2017 conference it was a ‘must attend’ for me.
The session was a panel debate based on the findings of research by B2B Marketing, a leader in all things business-to-business. First, the discussion covered the five business essentials for high growth. These were identified as:
- Excellent product – a critical characteristic of high growth tech companies is that their products solve a real problem for customers. Not only that, but the products are sufficiently easy to access and use that customers are motivated to move from the status quo to adopting the new solution.
- Clear strategy and vision for growth – seeing the company playbook change every day is exhausting. So being very clear about the business’s core purpose is a core component of high growth. However, many of these businesses are also moving very fast and recognize the need to be able to pivot quickly. The recommendation therefore is to:
- Have a ‘north star’ to focus on and test decisions against
- Support that vision with shorter term objectives and KPIs
- Take action to identify what you are going to stop or do differently to accommodate implementation of new initiatives.
- Inspiring and hands-on leadership – many high growth brands benefit from having passionate founders to provide vision and inspiration, but this can also come from other leaders. The important thing is that they are highly involved in the business without micro-managing, often a difficult balance to strike. One panelist shared this piece of advice for leaders: “ask three questions before you tell someone to do something to ensure you are telling them to do the right thing.”
- Incredible people – particularly relevant in the context of (3) above, high growth businesses are distinguished by the quality of their staff. Mindset is much more important than knowledge. Attitude, passion, curiosity and a drive to learn were identified as essential elements. Cultural and business stage fit are also important – sometimes those who are critical to a business’s early success as a start-up are unable to adapt as the business grows and core processes are developed. The ability to fail, learn from it and move on was also called out as vital in these fast-paced environments.
- Agility and innovation – key to success for these businesses is their ability to really listen to their customers to understand how their needs are changing, take that on board and take action. In particular, high growth companies appear to be able to identify customers’ latent pain – the pain they feel around issues that they don’t believe are solvable. They then gain first mover advantage by meeting those needs in an innovative way before the marketplace is crowded with competitors. Think of Henry Ford and his apocryphal quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they’d have asked for faster horses.”
Do you recognize these characteristics in your tech business? If not, what are you going to do about it?
In my next blog I will cover the five marketing essentials exhibited by high growth brands. If you want to read the report in full you can download it here.