Take ‘Dark Horse’ — to win

“If you want to know why we may not pick up some of your brands, it’s because it’s not where we’re going in our journey.”

That’s a snippet of a story about a vendor meeting gone bad that Walgreens group VP beauty, personal care and seasonal Shannon Curtin shared during a recent presentation, “Co-creation and Innovation,” she gave at an event DSN co-hosted with the Mack Elevation Forum, “Seven Ideas to Create the Future.” You can watch it at DrugStoreNews.com/Video.

Critical to success are the need to bring emerging insights, ideas that fill “white spaces” where products and solutions do not exist and ideas for how to execute that vision.

The great brands — big and small — are built that way.

That’s more or less the focus of a new book, “Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence,” by Dan Mack, EVP strategic business development for The Swanson Group and managing director of the Mack Elevation Forum.

“From the humble and beloved Wiffle ball and bat to the highly stylized line of Method soap, Purell instant hand sanitizer, Ricola and Amy’s Kitchen organic foods ... there is no shortage of dark horses to root for,” Mack noted.

The best companies, Mack explained, bring more than unique products or services to the market; they consistently tap into 10 growth enablers:

  • Their business is personal — it’s their identity and it’s about more than profit;
  • They listen and are aligned with top customers;
  • They use hidden assets to create differentiated value;
  • They create a clear business blueprint and share it openly;
  • They carefully and wisely pick customers and partners;
  • They co-create innovation with customers;
  • They move quickly to meet consumer shifts to create new experiences;
  • They influence the influencers who help build their brand;
  • They are very agile, nimble and seize new opportunities much faster than competitors; and
  • Corporate culture operates with a spirit of grace and honor.

To learn more, read the book. Visit DarkHorseBook.com.

Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News and DSN Collaborative Care magazines. You can contact him at reder@lf.com.


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