FEATURE7 May 2019

Intelligent pathways

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B2B Features Impact

In a challenging business environment, an insight-led approach can offer the key to unlocking growth. By Julie Kollman and Andrew Curry.


Businesses face a set of increasingly tough questions. Long-run growth rates, which have been slowing for 50 years, are approaching stagnation point. Business volatility is on the rise as markets are destabilised by technology, shifting values, political turbulence, and resource and planetary challenges. According to the Financial Times, the top 700 global businesses saw profits decline by 25% in the five years to 2017.

There are, of course, pockets of growth to be found in even the toughest business environments, although they are harder to see. The companies that spot them tend to be better attuned to how social patterns are evolving, consumer spending is changing and markets are responding and being re-shaped.

This is part of a bigger story about business value, which is becoming increasingly intangible. Most of a corporation’s financial value now lies in its corporate, customer and brand equity – a far more fragile asset than factories and equipment. Between 1975 and 2015, the share of ...