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Positioning Strategy

The Fatal Flaw in Full Service

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The Fatal Flaw in Full Service

In the age of disintermediation, no firm that plays on a national stage can claim to be a monolithic stand-alone resource for its clients. Rather, the best professional service firms are part of an increasingly complex and interdependent ecosystem of specialized solutions providers.

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Plenty of Features, But No Benefits

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Plenty of Features, But No Benefits

Do you stumble when trying to describe your firm’s “elevator pitch?” Most business executives do. The unfortunate truth is that most of us don’t have a very thorough understanding of how our companies create value.

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Death by a Thousand Features

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Death by a Thousand Features

Can the same kind of "feature fatigue" made famous by over-engineered electronic devices apply just as well to a professional services firm? Absolutely it can, and it produces largely the same effects.

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The End of the "Agency of Record"

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The End of the "Agency of Record"

Since the turn of this century, the “Agency of Record (AOR)” concept has died a not-so-slow death. With new channels and technologies born every day, marketers no longer have the expectation that any one agency can stay up with it all. Instead, they assign a federation of “best-in-class” resources not only to help solve marketing problems, but more importantly, to identify new opportunities. 

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To Prosper, Stop Adding and Start Subtracting

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To Prosper, Stop Adding and Start Subtracting

If you were looking for a person to spend the rest of your life with, is it more likely you’d find him or her at a bar (where you’re likely to find a little bit of everything) or on one of the new matchmaking sites designed to pair interests and personalities? The bar hopping approach might yield the desired result – eventually – but using eHarmony or OK Cupid will get you there a lot faster, and arguably with a much better match.

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Expand By Narrowing Your Focus

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Expand By Narrowing Your Focus

What’s the logical way to grow your business this coming year? Expand, right? Add more lines, serve more markets? Seems like common sense. But for the most part, business strategy is not common sense.

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Why Outcomes Are Worth More Than Services

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Why Outcomes Are Worth More Than Services

How are cosmetics able to command such premium pricing? It’s not that the ingredients are expensive; their actual cost is quite minimal. Cosmetics are perhaps the ultimate example of the power of selling outcomes, because women aren’t buying the chemical compounds that comprise a powder, rouge or lipstick. They’re buying the promise of looking young and beautiful. As Revlon magnate Charles Revson once said, “We sell hope.”

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Brands Want Best-In-Class Marketing

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Brands Want Best-In-Class Marketing

Quick, what's the top reason marketers search for a new advertising agency? If you guessed “creative differences,” “cost” or “poor service,” you’d be citing some of the reasons that do in fact show up on top 10 lists. But the key driver today in agency searches is the desire marketers have to work with “best-in-class specialists.”

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Garden or Factory? Two Very Different Agency Business Models

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Garden or Factory? Two Very Different Agency Business Models

Advertising agencies are facing competition from every dimension and direction. Upstream, they now complete with marketing consultancies and brand strategy firms who seek to provide planning and strategy services to marketers. Downstream are production companies, independent freelancers, and even media companies who now aim to not just sell media but produce content.

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