McKinney Rogers Drives a New Global Strategy Across a Matrixed Multinational

This McKinney Rogers client is one of the most successful consumer product goods brands in the world. Since the late 1990s the brand has been owned by a well-known leading global consumer goods company.

Sold in 150 different markets worldwide, 50% of its sales derive from Europe where growth had slowed significantly.

Before the brand’s change of ownership it had belonged to a decentralized organization with a highly fragmented marketing strategy. Despite this it had performed well due to its prioritized position within the company’s portfolio.

This was not the case within its new home, a highly matrixed organization with a much larger portfolio and limited knowledge of the brand’s market. Consequently the products priority lowered and the brand risked becoming even more disjointed within this setting.

With the slowing pace of expansion in the brands key markets it became especially important to establish a consistent global brand platform and accelerate growth internationally.

To survive, therefore, it would have to create a completely new global growth strategy in a highly matrixed organization. The newly appointed president of the brand’s Global Marketing had to align the organization and compel the different regions in the matrix to support a global growth strategy, a significant challenge as many of the regional decision makers did not view the brand as a priority.
The brand enlisted the help of business execution professionals McKinney Rogers to help navigate the matrix structure and leverage the resources of the consumer goods company to help drive a new global brand strategy.

Creating a Global Leadership Team – the Global Leadership Team

The first step was to form the brands Global Leadership Team (GLT). Headed by the president of the brand’s Global Marketing, the GLT was also comprised of the global organizations key regional decision makers; a mix of general managers and regional marketing presidents. The aim of the board was to “bring the matrix into the decision making tent.” But to get these disparate parties to align against a common goal as one team, the GLT would need to enlist McKinney Rogers’ Mission Leadership approach; a business application of the military “mission command” strategy for highly effective execution despite changing environments.

Mission Planning

To assist the Board in evaluating the brand’s position in the global market and plan accordingly, McKinney Rogers conducted a Mission Planning session. This consisted of leading the team through a strategic exercise that enabled them to critically examine the global opportunities and barriers facing the brand, filter ideas and make highly informed decisions about where and how to invest for growth. The outcome of their analysis was a new aligned global vision for the brand and a concise market classification that placed Africa at the heart of the brand’s growth plans and identified the critical need to reestablish growth in North America and the Far East.

Mission Analysis

By applying Mission Analysis, McKinney Rogers helped the GLT to identify the key pillars of the strategy that would be critical to accelerating growth. Improving the consistency and power of the marketing message was identified as a top priority. Leveraging the GLT, the decision was made to consolidate advertising agencies to drive a single, consistent message across the globe based on the new global positioning.

Because the decision was made collectively by the GLT, there were limited obstacles to its execution. Armed with consistent messaging and a clearly defined list of target markets, the brand was able to move forward with its international expansion, while receiving the full support of appointed GLT members in all of the global organizations targeted regions. Further underscoring regional collaboration and accountability, each member of the GLT was assigned a specific global growth initiative to champion based on their interests, skill set, “skin in the game” and passions.

High Performance Teams

To ensure the alignment of this revised strategy, McKinney Rogers conducted a Global Brand Summit, pulling together a team of 130 of the brand’s marketers from across the globe. At the heart of this summit was the McKinney Rogers High Performance Team (HPT) methodology that fundamentally changed the behaviors in the organization from a market-soloed environment to a unified extended global brand team, shared best practices and challenged assumptions. The experiential process galvanized the members into one team with a common way of working and a road map to become an HPT.
In less than 24 months, growth had been accelerated in Africa and reestablished in North America and Asia, simultaneously supporting long-term growth to the brand.

“The application of Mission Leadership was critical to [the brand’s] success over this period of time. The internal complexity of the newly formed business, combined with sluggish global growth rates, called into question the organization’s ability to grow this brand,” explained the brand’s President of Global Marketing. He further added “By aligning and inspiring the GLT and wider community to fully commit to a new strategy and global vision for the brand, we were able to cut through the matrix and return [the brand] to stronger growth.”