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Make 2013 A Year of Demand-Led Growth

Steve Carlotti

We continue to live in uncertain times (and we probably always will). The economy in the US seems to be slowly improving, something that probably seems about true (on average anyway) on a global basis. Many of our clients have spent the last few years riding out the storm. In our view, the time for this has passed. It is now time to focus on growth for four key reasons.

1. Economic trends continue to slowly improve. We see nothing that indicates a large probability of imminent decline in the US or global economies; rather, we suspect that continued slow growth will be the norm for quite some time to come and that companies must adjust to a slower growth environment. There will be fewer tailwinds for all.

2. Despite a slower growth environment, industry evolution below the surface is actually more rapid. Whether one looks at digital commerce, payments, health care or most other industries; change is rapid. The direction of change is being increasingly shaped by the consumer or shopper. This is also true at a category level where market share dynamics are frequently disrupted by new entrants (the Greek yogurt dynamic being an obvious CPG example).

3. The cost side of many businesses is increasingly becoming a risk factor as opposed to an upside. In many of our clients, we are hearing about commodity price inflation, difficulty in sustaining price increases and lower expectations from supply chain improvements. All of this suggests to us that while cost leverage continues to exist, particularly at the intersection of industry participants, a reliance on cost will be insufficient to see companies through the coming years.

4. Growth continues to be rewarded by the market; but even more so by employees and stakeholders. Precisely at the time that growth is the hardest, the value of being part of a “growth business” is the highest whether seen from an external or internal mindset.

At Cambridge, we are fond of asking, “What do you know about the demand of your most profitable consumers that your competition doesn’t know?” In our view, that question is the basis for all successful growth endeavors and it has never been more important than it is today.

We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with you in 2013.


Steve Carlotti
CEO, The Cambridge Group

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About The Cambridge Group

The Cambridge Group (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Nielsen Company, is a strategy consulting firm focused on the development of growth strategies for Fortune 500 companies. For over 30 years, The Cambridge Group has used its proprietary approach, Demand StrategyTM, to help clients achieve significantly higher growth rates, restore pricing power and enhance competitive insulation. By focusing solely on demand, we have created and implemented successful strategies that maximize our clients’ growth and profitability.

The Cambridge Group works with blue chip and Fortune 500 clients in markets around the world, consistently crafting breakthrough strategies that return above-market rates of profitable growth. Our unique breadth and depth of industry experience includes consumer packaged goods, financial services, healthcare, high tech, business to business and telecommunications.

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