THE BRIEF ON OUR FIRM
Ignition Consulting Group is a leading U.S.-based consultancy devoted to helping agencies and other professional services firms create and capture more value. Since 1998, Ignition has worked with firms around the world to help them focus their business strategy, optimize their organizational structure, and transform their pricing practices.
CREATING MORE VALUE
We help firms unleash their innovation and live to their potential by creating a clearly defined focus and differentiating business strategy. This creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace, a higher-profile reputation, and an improved ability to attract and win the clients they really want. Our work in this area is based largely on the concepts in the books written by Ignition founder Tim Williams, including Take a Stand for Your Brand(ranked in the top 10 books on brand building on Amazon) and Positioning for Professionals.
CAPTURING MORE VALUE
To help agencies and other professional firms improve their margins in an era of intense price pressure, Ignition is at the forefront of helping firms understand and adopt more progressive pricing strategies and practices. We have worked closely with organizations such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA) to show how firms can follow modern, customer-based pricing practices as a means of improving not only profitability but also client relationships.
Our work and views have been featured by leading business publications including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and numerous trade publications such as Advertising Age, Campaign and Admap. Our approach to positioning and pricing for professional services is outlined in books authored by Ignition associates, including Positioning for Professionals by Tim Williams and Implementing Value Pricing by Ron Baker.
Ignition's workshops have been seen by business audiences on every continent, and our consulting work has helped inform the strategies and business models of firms ranging from mid-size independents to multinational networks.
Practice Areas: Positioning Strategy, Pricing Strategy
Ignition founder Tim Williams is a career marketing professional who works with agencies and other professional firms both here and abroad in the areas of pricing, positioning, and business strategy. He is the author of two books, numerous articles, and presents globally for major associations, global networks, and individual firms. See more about Tim here.
Practice Areas: Pricing Strategy
Ron Baker is one of the world's thought leaders in the area of pricing professional services. In addition to his role with Ignition, he is the founder of VeraSage Institute, a think tank dedicated to transforming professional services. A frequent speaker at events and a global consultant to professional firms, Ron is the author of six books and is a co-host of The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the knowledge Economy radio talk show. See more about Ron here.
ARTICLES BY IGNITION
THE IGNITION MANIFESTO
The purpose of Ignition is to liberate professional services firms from the tyranny of an unfocused business strategy and unproductive pricing practices.
We are not in the consulting business, but rather the transformation business. We don't sell inputs (hours, efforts, activities), but rather outcomes in the form of strategic change, organizational health, and optimized profits.
Our work is driven by the following core beliefs and principles:
1. We believe in focusing on the strengths of the organization and its people rather than the weaknesses. There is much more to be gained by focusing on what you can do than what you can’t do.
2. We believe that the most effective organizations are opportunity-minded instead of problem-minded. Instead of obsessing over today’s problems, they invest their time and energy developing tomorrow’s opportunities.
3. We believe that the change leaders desire in their organizations begins and ends with its people, not its structure, processes, or practices. Organizations don’t change; people do.
4. We believe that the measurements that matter most are qualitative, not quantitative. The goal in knowledge work is effectiveness, not efficiency.
5. We believe that to be successful a company must stand for something instead of trying to stand for everything. Most companies confuse having a plan with having a strategy. Strategy is about making a set of choices not only about what you are, but what you are not.
6. We believe there is much more to be gained by focusing on the unmet needs of clients and the underdeveloped market segments than competing with the multitudes of firms who offer commonly available services.
7. We believe that “best practices” are just a form of institutionalized imitation. Simply copying the practices of another organization will never lead to greatness. Much better to explore “next practices.”
8. We believe that growth for the sake of it can produce more harm than good in an organization. The most successful firms are focused on increased profit, not increase income. Revenue is vanity but profit is sanity.
9. We believe that in knowledge work there is no such thing as the well-rounded individual. People with outstanding strengths also have outstanding weaknesses. Where there are peaks, there are valleys. The most notable organizations cast their people in roles that maximize their strengths and make their weaknesses irrelevant.
10. We believe there is a vast gulf between truly excellent companies and everyone else. Most companies aspire to excellence, but only 10% achieve it.
11. We believe in the power of principles. The most progressive companies are clear about the things they will always do and the things they will never do. They have principles that are not only differentiating, even controversial.
12. We believe the most successful firms are driven by an ideal that transcends making money. They strive to make a difference in the world. They are purpose maximizers, not just profit maximizers.
DIFFERENTIATE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Why are some professional service firms so much more successful than their competitors? The difference isn't just talent, but focus. The best firms know they can be good at something, but not everything. Standing for everything is the same as standing for nothing.
Positioning for Professionals: How Professional Knowledge Firms Can Differentiate Their Way to Success by Ignition's Tim Williams shows how a clearly focused business strategy means a strongly focused team, a strongly appealing business model, and ultimately a strong margin.