The Growth Director’s Secret

The Growth Director’s Secret

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John Newton reviews Andrew Brent's book

In ‘The Growth Director’s Secret’ Andrew Brent hides a truth within a process within an idea, and in so doing he has created a marketing book for the ages.

The central conceit of the book (the ‘idea’) is that in most businesses no single person has sole responsibility for growth. Sales? Too focussed on maintaining existing revenues. The CEO? Too many distractions. Instead, create a ‘single wringable neck’ and growth will follow. Right?

Not quite. You see, that person (your new Growth Director) also needs to follow the right path (the ‘process’) if they are to uncover sustainable, profitable growth, and it’s that process that the bulk of the book is devoted to.

According to Brent, too much ‘growth’ is short-lived (sales promotions) and comes at the expense of profitability (discounting). Good growth can only come from a loyal segment of customers who will buy your brand regardless of price. Identifying these customers and becoming their default ‘autopilot’ choice should therefore be the top priority of your Growth Director.

But how do you get your product on a consumers list of autopilot brands? By proving your brand’s worth at a Moment of Maximum Emotional Impact to the consumer.

And how do you uncover those Moments of Maximum Emotional Impact? With new consumer research techniques based on neuroscience.

It’s all there and what’s more, it works.

Far too many business books take an interesting, if unremarkable theme, and then proceed to stretch a meditation on that theme gossamer thin over 20 chapters. Andrew Brent does quite the opposite, using every one of his 248 pages to build his case and further reinforce it through the addition of well-timed chapter summaries.

Step by-step Brent takes you through his growth-generating process, and the most wonderful thing is that as you are reading (including absorbing the mini case studies from Boots, Dove, Premier Inn, Lynx amongst others) you already know instinctively that the process he outlines has been proven to be true many times over.

In ‘The Growth Director’s Secret’ Andrew Brent successfully applies the rigour of science to the alchemy of branding and positioning, and he comes to a startling conclusion (the ‘truth’) - that convention marketing research is failing marketers by ignoring the existence of the ‘autopilot’ system which subconsciously makes the majority of our purchasing decisions - the same system that neurological research focuses upon.

Although the book doesn’t quite explain how to carry out this new form of research - you’ll need to refer to other books such as Darren Bridger’s ‘Decoding the Irrational Consumer’ for that - it does gives you everything else you’ll need to plough a profitable furrow for your brand.

And it’s for that reason that ‘The Growth Director’s Secret’ is my pick for the best marketing book of the last 12 months, it’s that good.

Buy it, read it, profit.


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Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 05 Jan 2018
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