Large companies are slow and sluggish. Smaller companies are agile, adaptable, and can bring products to market faster or respond to change. As a result, “the little ones” also grow faster. Such is the public perception.
This argument can be partially substantiated by figures for the food sector in Switzerland. In the last rolling year, for example, smaller companies were able to achieve average sales growth of 4.8%. Medium-sized companies grew by 2.3% and large companies by 1.9%.
However, companies of different sizes often do not behave as one would expect when it comes to the pace of product development and introduction.
Large manufacturers often try to shorten the development time of a product in order to guarantee a quick market launch. It’s about being first. Smaller companies, on the other hand, take much more time for research, planning, development and implementation.
There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, smaller companies take much greater financial risks with new products. A flop can be life-threatening for an SME, as the development of the product consumes an enormous amount of money. Second, a small manufacturer is more dependent on retailers or suppliers than a larger manufacturer. A poorly selling product can subject these relationships to an enormous stress test, which must be prevented.
Small brands are therefore often more cautious than bigger companies and take more time to bring a product onto the shelves. And according to the diagram above, this strategy also appears to be paying off. These findings raise the logical question of how and whether this approach can also be applied to large companies. A simple affirmation of this question would be presumptuous due to many influencing factors. But maybe even big manufacturers could profit from the approach “Don’t do it quick – Do it right!
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