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Positioning for Professionals: How Professional Knowledge Firms Can Differentiate Their Way to Success Hardcover – August 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470587156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470587157
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

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.

From the Back Cover

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.

Get Positioning for Professionals today and put its winning ideas to work for your firm.


More About the Author

Tim Williams is a career marketing professional who leads Ignition Consulting Group (www.ignitiongroup.com), a business consultancy devoted to helping professional service firms create and capture more value.

As a recognized thought leader in the advertising and marketing industry, Tim is a frequent speaker and presenter for business organizations worldwide. Based on his expertise in the area of building differentiated brands, Tim has been interviewed by such diverse newsgathering organizations as The Economist, Bloomberg News, The Guardian, Toronto Globe & Mail, Japan's Nikkei News, and other business publications ranging from Europe to Australia.

Tim is also a Senior Fellow of the VeraSage Institute (www.verasage.com), a think tank devoted to revolutionizing the way professional service firms price and value their services. As an adviser in this area, Tim has worked with major advertising agencies, agency holding companies, Fortune 500 marketers, and national and international trade associations.

He began his career on Madison Avenue working for large multinational advertising agencies and later served as president and CEO of several mid-size independent firms. As the leader of Ignition Consulting Group, Tim now advises the leaders and managers of professional knowledge firms on the development and execution of positioning strategies.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This well written book makes it easier.
Beau Fraser
This book reminds us that, as with all marketing, success is more certain if we dare to be something than if we try to be everything.
Bruce Philp
This book will help every type of business professional today.
Cheril Hendry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Philp on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The concept of positioning was decades ahead of its time when it was born, and was all but forgotten when its time finally arrived. Except by Tim Williams. Nobody writing or consulting on the subject today has a stronger and more incisive grasp on what has become the most essential marketing principle of all. In an age when `personal branding' is the flavour of the moment, and in which more people are using the language than understand it, Williams presents a forceful, reasoned argument that the real secret to branding a professional practice lies in the courage to focus. This book reminds us that, as with all marketing, success is more certain if we dare to be something than if we try to be everything.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KB on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much of what is contained in Williams' book can be applied to any field - in fact, it can even be applied to one's self; a "personal brand" if you will.
While Tim reminds us of the simplicity of the obvious...more focus and clearer intentions will always outweigh a general view and unclear direction, he also gives clear and explicit examples and strategies to help you re-align and refocus your efforts. Keep a highlighter handy...you will want to keep some of the sections for future reference.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew G. Gordon on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is all about the critical thinking all of us have to do to survive in the future. It is about positioning your company, competing effectively, increasing your margins, and avoiding being perceived as a commodity. "Positioning for Professionals" has really become the foundation of how we expect to conduct business in the future. All professional firms should get a copy right away and start reading.

Andrew G. Gordon
President
Direct Impact group Ltd
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Over the course of his career Tim Williams has effectively positioned himself as one of the leading thinkers on marketing, branding and the art of differentiation. With his new book "Positioning For Professionals" he has cemented his considerable reputation. This book is loaded with insight and practical perspectives, all rendered in a highly readable environment. What Al Ries and Jack Trout did for previous generations with their well known entry, Tim Williams has now done for us -- and for generations to come. Thank you!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Morgan on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The premise that the book focuses on is one that we've tried to live by as a professional services organization - don't just participate in your category, instead seek to own a part of it, or even better, invent a new one! It starts with the type of strategic thinking captured in this new book - Positioning for Professionals - which includes insights into differentiation and truly focusing the strengths of your business on the best opportunity for owning a position that competitors can't - and one that prospective customers find captivating. Not just a lesson, but an actionable guide.

Scott Morgan
President
Brunner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheril Hendry on July 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a big fan of Tim Williams ever since I read his first book, Take a Stand for Your Brand. It was hard to imagine he could out do himself, but in my opinion, he did with Positioning for Professionals. I am a business executive, responsible for positioning my company for success. Times are changing so quickly and competition is all around, but this book gave me the tools I needed to gather the appropriate staff members and work as a team to fine tune our professional brand. It offered tactical advice along with inspiration. Best of all, I am using what I learned and it's working. This book will help every type of business professional today. It will be my top recommendation to everyone I know.
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Format: Hardcover
Professional services firms to often look inwards, with pride, when developing their positioning statement. Accordingly, they tend to be based on generic and rational features like people, heritage, client list, resources or expertise.

Everyone has good people, an enviable track record, a strong client list, broad resources and valuable expertise!

They also make the mistake of confusing a company mission with message with a positioning statement which in its simplest form should tell perfect customers why they should care about the firm.

No wonder professional services firms don't stand out!

Mr. Williams has done a great job of outlining the common pitfalls of Professional Services firms while offering valuable and applicable suggestions on how to avoid repeating them.

Professional services firms are hard to position and market. This well written book makes it easier.

Beau Fraser
Co-Author
Death to All Sacred Cows
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Format: Hardcover
Author Tim Williams brings to life the vital importance of branding that so many professional firms like advertising agencies have done so brilliantly for clients for decades but have struggled to apply to their own business. By better positioning and differentiating their offering from the rest of the pack, professional firms ultimately help create a marketplace that is easier for us, brand advertisers, to navigate and as a result, significantly improves the chances for the right client/agency partnerships to emerge and drive business impact.
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