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#259: What's Your Firm's Metaphor?

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, March 11, 2010
Updated: Thursday, March 11, 2010
We are a new consulting firm building our practice in an extremely competitive market. We use all the typical marketing and branding techniques but this is not necessarily differentiating us. How might we stand out more?

If you truly are doing all the right things and doing them well, and presuming other firms are also, then one area to consider is the how much your brand resonates with prospects. Beyond asking your prospects pointed questions about what about your firm (or, since you are new, your sales pitch) catches on with them or is memorable, ask yourself what metaphor your firm has selected to wrap around your brand. Non-consulting firms often select a metaphor around which to mount a sales campaign or product line, but relatively few consultants use this approach to create a clear and consistent image, and your doing so may make you more memorable.

Pick a metaphor with which you can be authentic based on your local culture, industry or consulting discipline. A war metaphor (e.., I win and other lose) is inappropriate for a consulting firm in which your objective is to help clients, not to beat out your consulting competitors. However, metaphors of a family, a multiplayer game, an ecosystem, various sports

Tip: If you intend to use a sports metaphors, think carefully about the character of each sport. Baseball differs from football which differs from basketball, soccer, rugby, golf, etc. For example, football rarely has a player/coach. Baseball and tennis are played in defined units for which scoring is recorded and restarts with the next unit. Hockey players play offense and defense while football offensive and defensive players are separate.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  brand management  customer understanding  marketing 

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