small is good

This book review arrived in my inbox yesterday from Harvard Business School, and the book looks fascinating. It looks into case studies of brands like Anchor Brewing and Clif Bar that choose to remain small, and end up growing profits because of that decision. While reading the review, I'm immediately reminded of agencies like StrawberryFrog, W+K, and Modernista! that choose to remain independent to keep the great work flowing.

The small size adds an air of freedom to what the companies can do - there's more wiggle room. I pulled a quote from the review below that shows how these companies really don't want to consider advertising - it's already all about engagement for them, and has been for some time.

"[Clif Bar] CEO Gary Erickson’s marketing strategy has been to eschew advertising and instead focus on directly connecting with consumers, especially athletic consumers, at the grassroots level. Around 75 percent of Clif Bar’s promotion budget is spent on sponsoring events around the country and supporting amateur athletes. This tactic provides the company with personal contact and feedback from its customers, and such intimacy has been a major contributor to Clif Bar’s success: Its annual sales leapt from $39 million to $92 million between 1999 and 2004."


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