Book Club – When Growth Stalls

Even though I graduated from elementary school quite a while ago and it’s summer break, I still can’t get away from book reports! But luckily, this one was enjoyable and quite useful for real life. Per Abbie’s recommendation, I read When Growth Stalls by Steve McKee, an old friend of hers.
Here’s some advice to take from the book:

  • The best management style is authoritative.
  • Change is bad. When a new client is in trouble, it is better to improve what’s already in existence than start something new.
  • Don’t stop investing in marketing during troubled times!
  • Consistency, consistency, consistency

And, here are some excerpts I enjoyed and their relation to HMA Public Relations:

  • P. 2 “As anyone who has started a company knows, in the early days you have to wear a lot of hats. In addition to her role as media director, Pat did the accounting, and I handled sales as well as account management and creative development… So we put our heads down and went to work.”
    • HMA is known for wearing a lot of hats (one of our motos).
  • P. 14 “At some point in almost every company’s history, growth stalls. It doesn’t matter how well the organization is managed, how great its products are, or how appealing its marketing and advertising are. Growth stalls in every industry, it stalls in every phase of the economic cycle, and it stalls no matter who gets elected president of the United States.”
    • No one’s safe.
    • Don’t dread it, expect it.
    • HMA should expect clients to experience stalled growth and we should expect it ourselves.
  • P. 41 “We’ve reached the conclusion that a lack of consensus is the number one internal problem facing stalled growth companies.”
    • This was after he spoke with executives who were successful and not successful.
    • HMA should make a decision as a group and stick to it.
  • P. 60 “Faced with the same problem as Sears—a shifting market throwing its brand identity out of focus—Tidy Cat management responded by sharpening its focus on a narrower, more profitable target. This is one effective way to respond when market evolution slowly degrades the potency of your brand’s appeal.
    • Formerly “Tidy Cat,” they changed their name to “Tidy Cats” because of the success of their Multiple Cat formula.
    • HMA should see what is successful in our business and focus on it. For example, social networking is a new phenomenon and needs to be constantly renewed and reviewed to react to the shifting market.
  • P. 86 “The same is true of marketing investments, as struggling companies in our research admitted that they were less likely to fund their marketing plans sufficiently.”
    • HMA can tell our clients that marketing needs more fuel, not less.
  • P. 100 “Subway knows the importance of staying with a theme, even if it’s not popular with everyone.”
    • Jared Fogle
    • HMA can remember that even if it is a bad theme, companies still see growth with consistency.
  • P. 131 “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
    • That is where HMA should invest energy and money.
  • P. 181 “O-E-O-E-O is a chain of events that has been affecting your company since the day it was launched… One influences the other in an endless cycle of either loyalty-enhancing satisfaction or loyalty-destroying disappointment.”
    • O=Opinion customers and prospects have about your brand
    • E=Experiences that customers have with your brand
    • HMA needs to make sure we are enhancing customer loyalty.

Steve also had a fun list titled, “How the Class of 2011 will View the World”:

  • They have never “rolled down” a car window
  • They have grown up with bottled water
  • Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa
  • U2 has always been more than a spy plane
  • Stadiums, rock tours, and sporting events have always had corporate names
  • American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow
  • Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV
  • Fox has always been a major network
  • Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time
  • They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee
  • Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre
  • They’re always texting 1 n other
  • They never saw Johnny Carson live on TV
  • “Chavez” has nothing to do with iceberg lettuce and everything to do with oil
  • The WWW has been an online tool since they were born
  • Burma has always been Myanmar
  • Food packaging has always included nutritional labeling
  • What Berlin Wall?
Written by
at Jul 14, 2010

Share this article