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Gaining new clarity often highlights areas that need further work.
We supplement our core framework with services to help you and your team ensure your roadmap and ability to execute are synchronized.
- Business Strategy
Business Strategy – To make a vision real there must be concrete steps that can be measured – and adjusted – for how the company will get there. A business strategy is more than just a set of goals and financials. It is the plan for how those that lead the company will guide it toward that vision, with clear priorities, narratives and resources identified.
- Functional Alignment
Cross-functional Alignment – It is the nature of companies large and small to create silos. That is how functional performance improves and goals are met. But as the pace of change and the demand for greater responsiveness increases, functional siloes become barriers, bureaucracy and defects in customer experience.
We help our clients take a wider perspective to identify performance-dampening phenomena across functions. We define the desired end-state and how this should align with strategy and then map the steps for creating alignment across functions to meet these goals.
- Leadership Enablement
Leadership Enablement – The increasing cycle of change across every sector means that most businesses are heading off the map where precedents for value creation and performance are being redefined. In this context, business owners and managers must continually master skills that build commitment and drive performance from their teams, while also sharpening their ability to assess the forces shaping their business paradigm and sector.
We help our clients master communication and planning skills that strengthen leadership capabilities and are aligned with the company’s value creation and performance standards.
- Vision, Mission, Values
Vision, Mission, Values – Every business aims to be profitable. But to truly create value in the widest sense, it must have a higher purpose. A mission expresses that core purpose; why the company exists. It defines the standard for what the company does every day. Values express how teams and individuals achieve that Mission. They define performance and what is expected. A vision is a destination. It articulates a near-term aspiration for an attainable goal that everyone in the company can get behind.
We help our clients define or sharpen these critical components of their strategy, and ensure that how they are articulated and communicated contribute to nurturing company culture and reputation.
- Message Evaluation
Message and Creative Evaluation – How a creative idea is chosen, executed, and how it resonates are not always aligned. Factors such as choice of delivery channel, audience targeted or simply changes in the communications context may not have been part of the original brief.
We help our clients evaluate the performance of their communications, both through qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Our goal is to maintain strong sensitivity to the creative team and process, while finding the patterns of insights that point to how the creative product should be refined.
- Predictive Analytics
Predictive Analytics – Complex challenges need new methodologies for decoding changes in attitudes, behavior and other drivers of decision making. Mobile tracking, digital ethnographies and data mining provide toolsets from which to gain deeper insights that can point to new behaviors and broader trends.
We help our clients build and integrate the appropriate methodologies to create predictive models that help them gain insight on the likelihood of future outcomes.
- Primary Research
Primary Research – Many companies operate on a set of hypotheses that have never been validated, or that are based on anecdotal evidence. Without qualitative or quantitative research, it is not possible to know with certainty how customers think or feel, what issues are truly affecting the business and why it matters.
We conduct qualitative research, such as focus groups, in-depth ethnographies or online boards to help our clients gain depth of insight around issues of consequence. We conduct quantitative surveys and data analytics to gain statistically-significant validation. And we often integrate these methodologies to secure deeper insights that go beyond answering the “what?” to understanding the “why?”.
- Secondary Research
Secondary Research – We live in a world awash with data. More often than not, evaluating available data and running analytics on what is “known” may help point to patterns that have not been taken into account or direct around which issues primary research should be focused.
We work with our clients to conduct different types of secondary research, such as literature reviews, location data analyses, or analytics on unrelated data sets that may provide new clues to known challenges.
Segmentation – It is human nature to reach for the familiar, to align new phenomena with our own view of the world. But this becomes untenable as markets widen and categories accelerate. No single person can possibly have an intrinsic perspective to understand an audience experience beyond their own generation, culture and mindset. That is the role of segmentation: to create a level of belief, comfort and familiarity with a new way to view the world and the customers within it.
We help our clients define segmentations that enable them to understand behaviors, attitudes and motivations and use them to make informed decisions about marketing, communications and, product development.
- Brand Architecture
Brand Architecture – Opportunity provides excellent fodder for new offerings that often need new names. As the portfolio grows, products and service names may begin to conflict with each other, for example, when different brands target the same customer or when too many proprietary product names “steal thunder” from the corporate brand.
We help our clients build research-based solutions to ensuring their brand architecture is optimized and aligned with strategic goals, while also allowing for innovation and growth.
- Brand Prototype
Brand Prototype – When it is clear that an existing brand cannot be extended to a new territory, it may require more than just a new strategy or positioning. Prototyping alternatives for business model, positioning and messaging may be require to “road test” potential solutions for evaluation.
We help our clients create research-worthy brand prototypes that provide cost effective solutions for innovation testing and input to product development
- Brand Strategy
Brand Strategy – Every company is defined by a central “truth” and a set of unique characteristics that define its value-creating potential and that distinguish it from other companies. Brand strategy is the narrative that identifies and expresses how a company acts, the products and services offered, and how it communicates with customers and stakeholders.
We help our clients build the narratives drawn from their vision, mission and values and convert them into compelling messaging and stories that resonate with audiences, help attract new ones and reinforce why your customers and stakeholders choose you over others.
Positioning – How you “position” your offering relative to the competition is a fundamental task in marketing. Key variables in positioning, such as relevance, differentiation, target and reasons to believe are often established in isolation from the broader goals or vision.
Our approach to positioning any product or service accounts for these two primary factors: supporting the core vision and narrative that has driven your success as well as carving out the unique territory that will make you stand out and succeed.
Naming – A strong brand name is a powerful tool for building customer relationships. But even the most compelling name needs to be aligned with strategic goals if it is to be additive and reinforce the long-term vision.
We create names and naming systems based on insight, strategy and common sense and that serve as inspiration for reaching into new territories.
- Communication Strategy
Communication Strategy – Changes in the dynamic between organizations and their stakeholders have rewritten the rules of relationship management and made traditional approaches to managed communication less effective. The digital network revolution, a globalized economy and the empowerment of new stakeholders have thrust professional communicators and their organizations into an unfamiliar world where new models of communication are needed to survive.
We help our clients tap new these new dynamics and shape effective messages that cut through the noise and enhance their brands.
- Content Marketing
Content Marketing – Thought leadership starts with sharing great insights with those to whom it matters most. While content marketing can be a synonym for a communication strategy, it is best seen as a tool for delivering content that enhances relationships through relevance and usefulness.
We help our clients identify what matters most to their audience and find practical content that creates a reason for customers to engage with them.
- Internal Communications
Internal Communications – The battle for talent seems to get tougher every year. As current and potential employee expectations reshape the workplace, communications play a critical role in recruiting and retaining that talent.
We work with our clients to build a brand-based communications strategy that helps strengthen commitment and loyalty and create ambassadors for the brand.
- Training & Workshops
Training & Workshops – Creating inspirational experiences in small team settings provides an effective platform for deepening learning, engagement and creative brainstorming activities. Whether held in a traditional or non-traditional setting, workshops and training sessions that strengthen empathy and culture, ultimately also strengthen the brand.
We work with our clients to create the most effective workshop formats and experiences to ensure that they contribute to connecting brand and culture.
- Web Strategy
Web Strategy – Creating a compelling web presence relies on effective integration of messaging, user experience and more. A coherent brand strategy is key to making this a powerful relationship hub and customer experience.
We help our clients design web strategies that are “brand-building machines” that enhance marketing, image and reputation.
- Innovation Workshops
Innovation Workshops – Breakthrough thinking is not just a solo moment of inspiration. It is often most effective when teams are given the chance to escape the expected frameworks they operate in to explore solutions they would not have otherwise considered.
We help our clients structure and moderate small scale innovation workshops with 8-20 participants that generate powerful ideas through collaborative, stimulating engagement.
- Product Development
Product Development – Every product or service, tangible or intangible, online or offline is an expression of the brand. From this perspective, investment in developing new offerings is more effective when the strategic rationale is rooted in the brand.
We help our clients leverage Brand Prototype and Product Development processes as tools to extend and deepen customer relationships and build the brand.
- Product Roadmap
We help our clients contextualize and optimize product development initiatives by ensuring they stay within a strategic framework and maintain focus and direction.
- Access to Investors
Access to Investors – Securing capital for growth fits within a broader context, not just of business viability, but also of creating new categories, economic development and even societal change. Connecting business owners with the right type of investors, in the most appropriate context, is a key business strategy as any other decision.
We help our clients integrate their approach to securing capital as part of their long term strategy and ensure that the investors they partner with understand those goals.
- Capital Structure
Capital Structure – Financing overall operations versus specific growth initiatives demands more nuanced funding strategy to ensure that the sources chosen support strategic goals.
We work with our clients to identify the type of capital is needed and ensure that strategy, financing and growth are synchronized.
- Financial Review
Financial Review – Our financial review process is a fundamental part of ensuring that the brand and business strategies are aligned. While this is based on standard accounting practices, we pay particular attention to ferreting out issues that may be barriers to growth.
We conduct financial reviews, typically three+ years, to help our clients identify financial patterns that may have shaped their operations and brands as a tool for establishing Growth Priorities.
Clarify. Prioritize. Grow.