O'Reilly logo

Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success, 2nd Edition by Lee Frederiksen, John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

12

Differentiating Your Firm

The problem with the marketing concept is a persistent tendency toward rigidity. It gets dogmatized, interpreted into constantly narrower and inflexible prescriptions. . . . There is not, and cannot be, any rigid and lasting interpretation of what the marketing concept means in the specific ways a company should operate at any given time.

—Theodore Leavitt

Perhaps no other topic in professional services marketing is more challenging than differentiating a firm. After all, many firms are capable of providing similar services. However, they are often at a loss to describe how their services are different from those of competitors.

Is Differentiation Important?

We introduced differentiation as one of the key elements of a value proposition in Chapter 8. Yet, given how difficult it can be to differentiate a professional services firm, is it really worth the effort?

The short answer is “yes.” The proof comes in part from our research on high-growth, high-profitability professional services firms (you can get more details in the book Spiraling Up: How to Create a High Growth, High Value Professional Services Firm).1 We found that these firms were more than three times as likely to have a strong and easy-to-understand differentiator than average-growth firms. Often this differentiator takes the form of a specialization. About half of the high-growth firms describe themselves as very specialized. From a growth and profitability perspective, a strong differentiator ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required