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Select the best path forward

Your brainstorm revealed any number of exciting, creative ideas. How does one select the best path forward?

It is usual that such a discussion leads to many of creative ideas and directions. You will usually be left with a mix of divergent ideas, from different parts of the organization, from different people & agenda’s, each with potential. And of course, the people whose ideas are taken further will be driven and motivated. By contrast, those whose ideas are not taken further might become negative. How does one select the best options to move forward?

The detail of each idea must be fully developed. Competitors. Market potential. Likely costs. Profit potential. Distribution channels, R&D costs. Manufacturing costs. This is part of due diligence and that usually takes a little time to complete. A first focus on the basics will provide the first hint of an answer.

Any development will fit into one area of
• Market Penetration or growing market share within an existing customer base
• Market Development or taking the existing business to new customers
• Product Development or developing new products to take to existing customers
• Diversification or developing new products to sell to new customers

And each area will have a set of parameters relating to cost, to speed of implementation, to available resources. That will usually be quite specific to your goals & objectives and to your company or industry segment.
That kind of segmentation also brings a rational thinking back into the discussion, that rational thinking is often lost in the excitement of the idea. For example, a great idea is rationally placed into the Market Penetration category. Cold analysis reveals you have a 70% share of that segment already. And any success resulting is likely to result in taking business from yourself.

If your brand is in that kind of position ideas that fit into Market Development or Product Development categories might be more rewarding?
And back to the core, rational, fundamentals. Any new direction taken, whether that is a new product, a new segment direction or a new services strategy must reflect the core brand values. Too often a new idea forgets the core brand value and undermines or weakens that.

A quick return to the fundamentals will often give the direction and leadership which the excitement that a new, creative idea often removes.
And then you (your brand, your internal team and your distributors/retailers) are ready for the next steps!

About Garth Sutherland

Garth Sutherland has extensive multicultural understanding, developed in South Africa and proven across the GCC. He has worked with local brands (creating independent strategic positions) and international brands (integrating the international brand vision with the local demand to optimize the “on the ground” brand presence). His strengths include bringing a strong strategic focus into all aspects of marketing delivery, working with multi-agency perspectives, independent thinking & implementing with a consistent and practical teamwork focused delivery.

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