This SME was in a fast commoditizing market and had very little market power. Clients were small, local, unable to pay much, and they had no reason to stick around.
Realising this was unsustainable and understanding that culture can be an effective market differentiator we worked with the founders to encourage and support the development of a unique culture inside the business, and helped the company bring that culture to market.
The development of the culture took a while. We had to work with more conventional attitudes inside the company – that differentiation would only come from working harder, or from higher quality. There were some good ideas about culture in the business – but the challenge was to realise them confidently.
Over a long period we worked with this resistance, gradually, almost imperceptibly growing the team’s and leaders’ confidence.
We gave the sales team the confidence to sell their approach, not just products and services. We helped the company take advantage of its natural strengths – leveraging the internal culture externally through, for example, social media.
The results: new clients – the company started working with FTSE 100 companies who could pay properly. A great place to work, attracting and giving opportunities to a great team. And a unique brand with real value in the market place.