Name: Brent Smith
Company: Polaris Marketing
Background: MBA & BA University of Michigan. Seventeen years in Foote Cone & Belding's three major offices serving as VP Group Account Director, GM New Product Division, Chairman Strategy Board, Marketing Consultant / Gunfighter assigned to accounts in jeopardy. Co-founded Peachtree Creek Consulting Group 1981; evolved to President and principal Polaris Marketing 1990.
Professional philosophy: Significant growth is a matter of radically changing the basis for competition within the industry. Quality, cost-control, time-to-market, downsizing, line-extension, etc. are important but incremental factors in growth which have now been tweaked to the point of diminishing returns. To create significant growth today, managers must re-invent the rules of the game. Before the rules are re-invented for them.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Every business floats on a sea of assumptions that shape its perspective of the market, its key strategies and the very process by which it operates. Inevitably external change causes key assumptions to lose validity and those who persist in the old ways of doing business just as inevitably find themselves eating dust. Even the seemingly invulnerable -- Sears, Pan Am, IBM, AT&T -- forfeit leadership positions.
The discovery of new information is vital to managers intent on keeping one step ahead of competitors. But information does not carry its own interpretation and subjecting it to the traditional cut-and-dried corporate perspective only leads to the maintenance of status quo. And more dust. New voices, new conversations, new passion and out-of-the-box perceptions are the stuff from which assumption-breaking perspectives are reached. And sustainable competitive advantage is created.
Consulting Focus: Supporting client efforts to discover / map new opportunities and adopt / implement the business practices necessary to convert those opportunities into sales & profit. The definition encompasses efforts to develop innovative new products and revitalize mature brands.
Contact: Brent Smith, Polaris Marketing, 81 Seacape Drive, Muir Beach, CA 94965.
Tel: 415-383-6333; Fax: 415-388-3585; e-mail: email@example.com
Name: Lee Meadows
Company: Business Genetics, Inc.
Background: MBA - Cornell University, MBA - Leuven University, BA Michigan State, eight years S.C. Johnson & Sons (J.Wax) progressive product management assignments; 1980, Beecham Consumer Products Director Product Development responsible for new products, acquisitions, and licensing activities in western hemisphere; 1985, Peachtree Creek partner / principal; 1990, now President and principal Business Genetics, Inc.
Professional philosophy: The juncture of technology and market change is the point where managers can most productively focus their energy. Knowledge. And corporate assets.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Significant growth can not come from emulating competitors. Discovering and adapting the proven best-practices of world-class corporations -- particularly from other industries -- is the fastest and most certain way to develop breakthrough gains. And dramatically increase shareholder value.
Consulting Focus: Helping clients find productive enhancements to their basic business processes by facilitating their direct dialogue with exceptional non-competitive companies. Efforts also include forecasting technology and market changes through the transfer of assorted process tools.
Contact: Lee Meadows, Business Genetics, Inc., 55 Madison Ave. 4th floor, Morristown, NJ, 07960.
Tel: 973-292-9880; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Don Nesbitt
Title: President & Partner
Company: True North Creative Services
Background: BS Communications, School of Journalism, U. of Illinois. Thirty years writing, producing, supervising the creation of advertising for Foote Cone & Belding, Campbell-Mithun, Stern, Walters & Simmons, Admark and new product development specialists. Been there, done that from beer to bath soap, floor wax and granola bars, regional banks to international airlines.
Professional Philosophy: Discover the essential differences at the core of every product, service or institution. Where none inherently exists, create one. Then communicate that difference in ways that positively influence the relevant needs, attitudes and purchase behavior of the target consumer.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Never be satisfied. Never be content. There is no product, strategy or communication that cannot be improved. If it's not broken, fix it anyway...before your competition does!
Consulting Focus: Though I've held every title from Copy Trainee to Creative Director, I remain simply and resolutely a copywriter. One that knows the campaigns that work in the real world deliver a strategic message in a format that competes on the strength of the idea. Not the size of the budget.
Contact: Don Nesbitt, True North Creative Services, 217 South Ellis Street, Salisbury, NC, 28114-4815. Tel: 704-636-9287
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