By Tony Tiernan
Many professional services firms define their value too narrowly. As a result, they are missing out on opportunities to differentiate themselves.
It’s common for firms to focus only on the functional value they deliver – the business challenge that they help their clients address. While that’s essential, it’s also a tough platform on which to build sustainable differentiation, unless you have truly unique and difficult-to-copy intellectual capital.
But professionals deliver their services inside an emotional envelope: the relationship between them and the client. The emotional value in that relationship is often profound, and you can use it to it create another path to differentiation.
Sometimes choosing your firm over a competitor helps your client to signal something about how they want to be seen by their peers. That too can be a source of difference.
Finally, there is societal value, the good that your organization’s work does in the world. That can be a source of meaning and inspiration for recruits and staff. And it too can set your firm apart.
How well does your organizational brand communicate the many layers of value that you deliver?