Positioning for Professionals

Positioning for Professionals : How Professional Knowledge Firms Can Differentiate Their Way to Success

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It s not the best companies that prevail in the marketplace, but rather the best brands. The goal of business strategy is not just to be better, but different. Learn how to build a differentiating value proposition by clearly and carefully defining your brand boundaries: Calling, Competencies, Customers, and Culture.
Positioning for Professionals shows how a well-defined value proposition can help professional service firms create their own success instead of copying the success of others, including such concepts as: How and why professional service brands become homogenized Why standing for everything is the same as standing for nothing Why there s no such thing as full service Deep and narrow as a strategic imperative Why it s better to be a profit leader than a market leader Differentiation and price premiums How to map your brand on the matrix of relevance and differentiation How to define a value proposition that will make your firm intensely appealing to the customers who want you for what you do best Based on the proven premise that the most profitable business strategy is not to aim at the center of the market, but rather at the edges, Positioning for Professionals is written for leaders, managers, and other senior executives of service companies in with a particular emphasis on professional service firms.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 160 x 229 x 18mm | 456g
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 0470587156
  • 9780470587157
  • 75,528

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How Professional Knowledge Firms Can Differentiate Their Way to Success

In the last twenty years, no marketing concept has captured the collective business imagination more than "branding." While many professional service firms are in the business of helping their clients build a stronger brand, they seldom pay the same kind of attention to developing their own brand. As Positioning for Professionals reveals, it's all about differentiation. Filled with proven insights and valuable differentiation strategies, this visionary book takes a step back to examine how your professional firm can make the transition from being a "recognized name" to becoming a highly focused brand--and why a stronger brand means stronger profits.

Marketing and advertising thought leader Tim Williams reveals how developing a well-defined positioning strategy can help your firm earn a more powerful reputation in the marketplace. Take a look inside for world-class guidance on: Why building a successful brand means going against your instincts Foregoing best practices for "next practices" Why there's no such thing as "full service" or a "general market" Why copying competitors' strategies doesn't work ... ...and why differentiating does--with big results

Destined to become the desktop brand development and business strategy companion you will turn to again and again, Positioning for Professionals offers you powerful, insightful ideas for positioning your firm for maximum market success.
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Back cover copy

Better isn't always better.

Different is better."Most managers invest their time and energy in trying to make their firms better, when in fact they should also be working to make their firms different." --From Positioning for Professionals

Why are some professional service firms so much more successful than their competitors? The difference isn't just talent, but focus. The best firms know that standing for everything is the same as standing for nothing. Instead of trying to be good at everything, they do what they do best and find resources for the rest.

Destined to become the positioning strategy companion you'll turn to again and again, Positioning for Professionals offers executives of professional service firms proven strategies for positioning their firms for maximum success in the marketplace.

Drawn from his decades of work in the advertising and marketing fields, thought leader Tim Williams helps you develop a differentiating value proposition with valuable insights on: Why it's better to be a profit leader than a market leader How to overcome your natural fear of focus Making your firm hard to imitate Out-of-the-ordinary ways to differentiate your firm from the "sea of sameness" Why every company is a brand, like it or not... ...and why every single business decision you make affects the success and reputation of your brand

It's no coincidence that a handful of top firms keep winning the most business, attract the best talent, and earn the highest margins. They're the ones that have staked out a differentiating positioning strategy that capitalizes on their strengths. Rather than being mildly appealing to a broad group of prospects, they're intensely appealing to a select group of prospects. They're the firms that follow the valuable principles you'll find in this book.

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Table of contents

Introduction. Chapter 1 Size Is Not a Strategy. Maintaining Pricing Integrity. Better to Be a Profit Leader than a Market Leader. Why Bigness Doesn t Lead to Greatness. Hired to Be Effective, Not Efficient. Chapter 2 How and Why Brands Become Homogenized. The Urge to Copy. The Folly of All-In-One. Line Extension Is Not Branding. There s No Such Thing as Full Service. The Natural Fear of Focus Chapter 3 The Mature Company s Identity Crisis. Differentiation and Price Premiums. Columbus, Not Napoleon. The Diffusion of Identity. Landing in No-Man s Land. Strategy at the Edges. Not Best Practices, but Next Practices. Chapter 4 Expanding Business by Narrowing Focus. There s No Such Thing as a General Market. Vertical Success versus Horizontal Success. The Strategic Value of Going Deep. Chapter 5 Positioning as the Centerpiece of Business Strategy. What Are You Really Selling? Becoming Hard to Imitate. Two Critical Dimensions of an Effective Value Proposition. A Category of One. A Brand Is the Customer s Idea of the Product. Natural Outcomes of a Powerful Value Proposition. Chapter 6 Building Brand Boundaries. Brand Boundary 1: Calling. Brand Boundary 2: Customers. Brand Boundary 3: Competencies. Brand Boundary 4: Culture. The Confluence of Calling, Customers, Competencies, and Culture. Chapter 7 Validating the Value Proposition. Be Rooted in the Future, Not the Past. The Value Proposition Team. Asking the Right Questions. Chapter 8 Without Execution, There Is No Strategy. Services. Staffing. Self-Promotion. Systems. Staging. Executing a Positioning Strategy with Alignment Teams. Rebuilding Your Ship While at Sea. Chapter 9 Getting Paid for Creating Value. The Perils of Cost-Based Compensation. Changing the Language. Pricing as a Core Competency. Why a Value-Based Approach is in the Client s Best Interest. The Alignment of Incentives. Creating a Virtuous Circle. Chapter 10 A New and Better Way to Price Professional Services. Forms of Value-Based Pricing. The Right Clients for Outcome-Based Agreements. The True Meaning of Partnership. Uncovering Missed Opportunities to Make Pricing a Core Competency. Key Questions in Setting a Value-Based Price. If Complex Global Companies Can Do It, So Can You. Better Time Tracking Is Not the Answer. Thinking of Compensation Plans as a Stock Portfolio. Setting the Stage for a Value-Based Approach to Compensation. A Declaration of Value. Appendix A: The Before-and-After Survey. Appendix B: More Ways to Differentiate Your Brand. Appendix C: Indicators of the Firm s Success. Notes. About the Author. Index.
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About Tim Williams

TIM WILLIAMS leads Ignition Consulting Group (www.ignitiongroup.com), a business consultancy devoted to helping professional knowledge firms create and capture more value. As a recognized thought leader in marketing, Tim is a frequent speaker for marketing and business organizations worldwide. He is a regular contributor to business and professional publications and is author of Take a Stand for Your Brand, ranked by Amazon as one of the top ten books on brand building. As an adviser in developing professional service brands, Tim has worked with both large and small professional service firms most notably advertising agencies and other marketing communications firms in both the U.S. and abroad. He began his career on Madison Avenue working for large multinational advertising agencies and later served as president and owner of several midsize independent firms.
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64 ratings
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