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This Week in Business and Brands: Organic Growth Spurts, Looking Back to Move Forward, and More

Anniversary Agenda: Ten Years of #Tweets

With a decade under the hashtag host’s belt, Twitter’s now taking a moment to reflect and strategize for survival. While once holding a promising reign over the dominion of social media, the platform is now leaning into its role as “the people’s news network” – but it will have to be careful not to step on the toes of larger media networks (aka its friends in advertising). To do so, the “news app” is making itself a partner “outside the bounds of hard news,” making live streaming deals with outlets from BuzzFeed to Bloomberg, showcasing 24-hour coverage of events like WNBA basketball and video game marathons. Another challenge for “where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now” is helping users avoid seeing exactly everything, so their unwatched Game of Thrones episode can still be viewed without any spoilers. Not to mention the ongoing battle against hate and trolls, which makes “user safety [their] biggest priority.” Time will tell whether there’s still room for this bird to fly or come home to roost…

Recipes to Rise: 3 Ingredients for Pure, Organic Growth

Want to learn the secret sauce behind the organic growth of over 600 leading companies around the world? Take a taste of McKinsey’s recent study of what it takes to expand with efficiency, condensing the concoction to three key insights. First, it’s all about fit: are you a creator (optimizing for innovation), an investor (doubling down on safe bets), or a performer (optimizing sales, pricing, and marketing)? The ideal answer is utilizing a blend, as sticking to one strategy might mean missing out on big-time opportunities. Second, advance your analytics: after all, getting deeper insights into your own organization can only foster even greater growth potential. Finally, remember to reinforce: like an athlete, exercising the muscles your company already flaunts will help keep it in shape to compete.

Talking Tactics, Tête à Tête: “Conscious Capitalism” Collects

Ever wonder why there’s such potential to profit for companies that are socially sensitive? In today’s moral-minded market, it seems the best way to the millennial’s wallet is through her heart. Here are some insights from Second Generation’s COO Joey Bergstein about keeping clean intentions:

  • On making goods for good: “We create products that are not only effective, but also designed with concern for human health and the planet. Millennials have different expectations than different generations – they want green alternatives.”
  • On the bonds of a brand: “People adopt brands from brands that reflect their values. We also know transparency is important to Millennial consumers, so we take an active role in the movement to advocate for ingredient disclosure and support that legislation.”
  • On the demand to disrupt: “It takes creating a product that is clearly differentiated from its competition and provides a meaningful benefit, and it also means being prepared to invest to educate people on those product benefits.”

Intelligent Innovation: Revisit to Discover

For brands attempting to take steps forward, it often helps to first take a look back. In fact, that’s exactly what helped Gatorade to revamp and reinvent, reconnecting with its core customer (the serious athlete) to create new solutions for old needs. Expanding from hydration to replenishment and recovery, the brand added shakes, chews, and bars to its staple beverage, and growth soared to nearly 80% market ownership. Harvard Business Review dubs this kind of strategy the “Third Way” for innovation, with three simple steps to success: first, find out what gets in the way of your core consumer, following their entire journey to identify frustrations and challenges. Then, innovate around that specific value chain: theirs, not yours. Finally, remember to be humble – with big bets on innovation, it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than lose customers from talking too big a game…

Obscure Origins: Evolution of the Emoji

That’s all for this week! We’ll leave you with this look behind the scenes of our modern hieroglyphics, showing the character of symbols (and vice versa)…