MARKETING FORUM 1999: Large companies fail to confront growth crisis

Large companies in the UK are not growing their businesses and marketers are failing to address this.

Large companies in the UK are not growing their businesses and

marketers are failing to address this.

David Cowan, consultant at Strategies for Growth, and Tony Scouller,

director of Mulcaster PR and Brand Genetics, studied accounts of 25 of

the top 50 companies in the UK, based on turnover in 1993, and

calculated their organic growth rates for the following five years.

The findings showed that when inflation and consumer spending rates were

taken into account only six of the companies were growing faster than

the economy and on average they were declining by -4.6%.

The few companies that experienced positive growth were Rolls Royce, P&O

and Zeneca, with National Power, ICI and Cadbury Schweppes being among

the worst performers.

’There is virtually no new category innovation by large companies, and

research shows that only 7% of new products offer new or significant

benefits,’ said Cowan.

He added that the 95% failure rate of new products was the same figure

that was recorded 30 years ago, suggesting that marketers have learnt



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