Your Firm, Your Brand

Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.

—Marcus Aurelius

The “visible” half of execution—the marketing professionals—can only perform as well as the “invisible” operations area allows it to. Moreover, the quality of operations can also determine an institution's ability to innovate.

—Amar Bhide, “Hustle as Strategy”1

Who am I? Why am I here?

—Admiral James Stockdale

In the previous chapter we looked closely at the questions you need to answer to unlock your key brand attributes. We noted that you need to find these answers from your market and your clients (assuming your company is not a start-up). Before you venture beyond the firm's walls in your quest for knowledge, you must first ask the same questions of . . . yourself.

Much has been written about what makes great firms with solid financial results great in the eyes of their clients. Firms that deliver the highest level of client satisfaction enjoy the highest level of client loyalty and are most likely to have their client base refer new business.2 Being the best firm you can be is (rightly) the subject of much attention, as the better you are at doing what you do, the more likely you'll be to succeed.

Let's assume most of us believe we can always get better at what we do and deliver stronger value to the market and our clients. For the purposes of this book, regardless of universal agreement that we can get better at what ...

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