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Lisa Hays, President / CEO
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What decisions do you
need to make?
clients represent a wide variety of industries with very different
situations, decisions to make and insight needs. Fresh Perspective delivers insight to clients
to guide them in making the right strategic decisions whether in
market or competitor initiatives. Below
are examples of situations and insight needs we’ve helped our clients
situation and insight
needs will always be different. However,
these examples help demonstrate the breadth of our experience.
developing our future
company strategy. We have several questions we need to
address in order to set our strategies.
- What do our
customers expect from us?
are they evaluating our brand/company vs. others?
can we effectively differentiate ourselves from competition?
industry is changing rapidly. We need to understand the perspectives of our customers in several
- How rapidly are
they changing their companies?
- Are we perceived
as being as
progressive competitively as we think we are?
are their greatest concerns?
- What role do they
expect us to play in assisting them through the market transition?
what extent will our brand equity benefit us when entering a new
market segment? We’ve built a successful business and strong brand
equity within the health care industry in one market segment and are
ready to expand into another segment.
- What do our
as our greatest strengths?
- Do we have the
credibility to effectively
extend our brand into this new segment?
customer base is very similar. Should we use the same sales force
or a different sales force? How do the communications between the
segments need to vary?
industrial product has a long decision-making process, and key
influencers play a significant role in the selection of the type of
product purchased and the supplier selected.
- What is the awareness of
our product type among key influencers?
- What are the perceived
strengths and weaknesses of our product type
vs. the other options?
- How do customers and key
influencers gain information about different
product types and suppliers?
- What are the key decision
criteria when the choice is made among
product types and suppliers for the product type selected?
- What is the current
perception of our company as a supplier? How does
it differ among customer and influencer groups?
- What are the
characteristics of the “best in class” suppliers?
- Among customers and key
influencers what are the preferred ways for
us to communicate with them about our company and the products we
know we’ve been losing customers over the past
couple of years. We need to find out what the reason(s) are and get
a handle on the situation.
- What are we
doing well from the
perspective of our current customers? What issues do they have? What is
important to them in their supplier relationships? Are we in danger of
losing current customers?
- What are the reasons
that past customers
have left? What suppliers are they using now? How pleased are they with
those suppliers? Is it feasible to gain them as customers again? If so,
what would be required?
- For those companies we consider prospects, what
are their perceptions
of our firm? How do we compare to our competitors from their
perspective? What is the likelihood we could gain them as customers,
and what would that require?
launching a new product. We know that our customers are bombarded with new product information
messages and frequency will help us break through the marketing clutter
to effectively reach our customers?
- Beyond the
launch, what will be the best ways to communicate?
getting ready to head into
a new product development initiative.
- What do our
customers think of the
current products on the market?
- What improvements
- Are they willing to pay for product
using our products are becoming more involved in their hobby.
- Given that we
provide storage products
for the components of this hobby, what are the drivers for purchasing
more component products?
- What storage methods are
they using today that aren’t specialized to the hobby? What
functionality are they
looking for in storage products?
- Where are they
currently shopping for storage products?
- To what
extent is price a key consideration?
seriously are our competitors expanding their offerings in storage
- What do we need to do to assist our
retailers in maximizing this opportunity?
important for us to
increase our US presence. Although we are a
European luxury brand, we aren’t sure how well the advertising messages
that are successful in Europe will be in the US.
- Do our European
advertising messages communicate effectively to the luxury consumer in
identified several new academic programs
and need to prioritize. As the second campus of
a major university
we’ve done a good job of growing so far. To continue our growth we’ve
identified several potential academic programs to bring to this campus.
It’s obviously a huge investment to add academic programs.
- For the
Kansas City area firms that would potentially hire individuals who
graduate from these academic programs, to what extent do they believe
these academic programs would provide significant workforce benefits to
- Are the workforce sectors that would hire
- Do they anticipate future need for
employees with these
- What are they looking for
in graduates that these programs can
conversion rate from those that visit to those
that become students has decreased. We
are still the largest school of our type
locally. We deliver
a premium learning
believe part of the
reason for the conversion decrease is several new competitors. However, we want to make
sure we are
delivering to potential students what they are looking for in a school
and clearly communicating our programs and the value of our school’s
experience, and subsequent job potential.
- What messages are we delivering to
potential students during the visit?
- How professionally and effectively
are we delivering our messages and the value of our school to
prospective students who visit?
- How do the school visits we offer
vary from those of our key competitors?
- Are key competitors more
effectively delivering their messages and value than we are?
- How are key competitors
are launching a new veterinary pharmaceutical product. We know that the veterinarians we serve are bombarded
with new product information daily.
communication vehicles, messages and frequency will help us break
through the marketing clutter to effectively
reach our customers?
the launch, what will be the best ways to communicate?
It is clear that on a global basis we must reduce our use of fossil fuels, establish and maintain conservation measures and successfully develop substantial clean, plentiful and renewable fuels. In addition, we must reduce our carbon footprint, capturing and sequestering carbon to the extent possible in order to reverse the trend toward global warming and the decline of natural resources for future generations.Our client, a global engineering firm wanted to understand the predominance of a specific renewable fuel on a global basis.
The questions we helped them address included:
- What is the current level of development of this fuel? Who is leading in the development?
- To what extent are governments funding the development of this fuel in addition to private funding?
- How does the development, evaluation and funding of this particular fuel compare to other potential renewable fuels by country?
- Who are the greatest supporters of the fuel?
- How likely is this fuel to become a viable, substantial fuel that reaches a significant production capacity and large-scale usage? Vs. other renewable fuels?
- What are the primary pros and cons of this fuel vs. other renewable fuels?
As we seek “greener”, more sustainable and earth-friendly practices on a governmental, corporate and citizen level, we are beginning to see considerably more corporate responsibility reporting on the efforts and progress they are making to reduce the negative impact that their business has had on the environment and move toward a “net zero” impact in the future. Our client, a large global engineering firm, is both assisting their clients in becoming more sustainable and determining specifically what steps they will be taking internally in the future. The questions we helped them address:
- For competitors, clients, prospects and huge global players across industries, what key performance metrics are they using to evaluate their performance?
- For each of these organizations, how are they performing on these metrics?
- How is each organization speaking internally and externally about how they are addressing the issue of long-term sustainability, and what they perceive their role to be as good corporate citizens?
- How do the metrics, the performance and the messages vary by type and size of organization, country in which they are headquartered, etc.?
Technology has been a major driver of innovation and growth in just about every industry. However, the infrastructure of the U.S. electrical power grid has not kept pace. It is now time for a massive undertaking, commonly known as the “Smart Grid” that will begin with revisions to the underlying electrical infrastructure and continue until the new technologies – and the advantages they bring come into our homes. Our client, a global engineering firm, is involved in developing, constructing and deploying the Smart Grid. The questions we helped them address were:
- For each of our key competitors, what is their involvement level in the Smart Grid?
- To what extent are they currently involved, vs. making plans to become involved?
- To what extent are they partnering with other firms with complementary services to offer a more “complete” solution to the electrical utilities?
- Which electrical utilities are moving most rapidly toward a Smart Grid? What steps have they taken to date? To what extent are they encouraged or hindered by their state’s legislation?
considering purchasing a company in the dairy industry.
concerned about the future supply and pricing of the key ingredient in
this company’s primary product.
- What are
the future projections for supply and pricing of this
ingredient? What are the key economic factors driving the supply and
- Are there other market trends and
factors that are
important to consider?
need to expand into other market segments. While we have been very successful in growing our business through our
initial market segments, we know that to continue our growth we need to
enter new market segments. We have identified 5 potential market
segments. However, we need to prioritize.
of these 5 market
segments have the greatest likelihood of success?
segments, how do we need to do business differently to achieve our
- Within the high priority
segments, where should we
- What is the competitive landscape?
Which competitors are of greatest
industry is in a major
transition, and we
know we’re not changing as quickly as we need to be. We need to set our
strategies and begin implementing quickly.
- What are the
most significant industry
trends? How quickly is the
industry changing? Which market segments are growing most quickly?
are the competitors of most significance? What is driving their
- What are key competitors’ strategies,
methods of executing their
strategies and their target market segments of most importance?
like to expand our product
line into a new
market segment that is experiencing significant growth.
driving that growth? Is the growth expected to continue?
key competitors in that market segment?
- How do
customers in that
segment vary from our current customers?
- Do we
need to change our product, packaging or pricing to effectively
compete in that segment?
We’ve identified the significant
increased renewable energy as
a major opportunity for our firm. Given our strengths in
building infrastructure, we want to pursue the progressive states that
legislated Renewable Protocol Standards (RPS).
- Among the
states that currently have an
RPS in place, what are the
strategies of the key utilities within those states to achieve the
renewable energy standards?
- To what extent are
they buying or building renewable energy?
their current strategies focused on meeting short-term
requirements, or building long-term production facilities?
each of the key states, what types of renewable energy are
selected (e.g. hydro, wind, solar, biofuels, etc.)?
each utility, what is the role of those who have responsibility
for renewable energy strategies?
agricultural lender we are
experiencing a great deal of
transition in our market.
- What are the key new
products within the financial sector that have
application to agricultural producers?
- What is the expected
growth for ethanol and other biofuels?
- What is the impact of
ethanol and other biofuels on the prices of
crops, seed and land?
- How can we assist in the
generational transition of farms from those
nearing retirement and the younger generations wanting to assume
are producers among the younger generations expecting
from agricultural lenders?
- Who is our major
competition for the younger producers, and what is
our current competitive standing?
an industry association we
order for us to grow we’ve got to
help grow our industry. We need to become a
for our members.
- Which market
provide the greatest growth
opportunities for our members? What is driving growth in those
- How are our members perceived relative
to other industry
groups seeking to grow in these segments?
can we do as an
association to increase the competitive standing of our members?
do we need to know about
Generation Y to successfully grow our
business? We know that the majority of our customers are
We also know Generation Y individuals are a lot different than
individuals from previous generations. We’re just not sure how we need
to change to appeal to Generation Y without alienating any of our
“country living” lifestyle trend appears to provide an
for us. We know that these individuals differ from traditional rural
- From a
marketing perspective, how does
communicating with this
consumer segment differ from traditional rural residents and farmers?
significant is this trend? Does it differ on a regional basis?
is driving the trend? Is it expected to continue?
most effectively market to this segment?
We see a potential market
- What is
expand from testing food products for
contaminants to also testing supplements and other Nutraceuticals?
large is the Nutraceuticals market in the US?
expected future growth? What is driving growth?
are we competing
with in that market? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
energy provides a major opportunity for our firm. Our strengths are in building infrastructure.
the most progressive states – that already have legislated Renewable
Protocol Standards (RPS), what are the
strategies of the key utilities within those states to achieve their
what extent are they buying or building renewable energy?
their current strategies focused on meeting short-term requirements, or
building long-term production facilities?
each of the key states, what types of renewable energy are selected
(e.g. hydro, wind, solar, biofuels, etc.)?
each utility, what is the role of those who have responsibility for
renewable energy strategies?
an agricultural lender we are experiencing a great deal of transition
in our market.
is the expected growth for ethanol and other biofuels?
is the impact of ethanol and other biofuels on the prices of crops,
seed and land?
an industry association in the construction industry, we need to assist
our members in becoming more
knowledgeable about the market trends.
is the impact of the trend in “Green Buildings”?
LEED going to become the standard for green buildings?
what extent can participate with the USGBC in defining standards?
company’s products are livestock and companion animal focused. Livestock products are
the farm & fleet channel and companion animal products through
the pet specialty retailers. However, the “country
living” lifestyle may provide opportunity for our companion animal
products in the farm & fleet
large is the “country living” lifestyle trend? What are future forecasts?
there significant regional differences?
we effectively introduce our companion animal products into this
(animal feed manufacturer) have recently been acquired by a larger
company. We need to demonstrate to our new
size of the markets we serve, and how growth of the “country living
lifestyle” is contributing to market growth. §
growth trends and potential within each of the key market segments
(dog, cat, equine, goat, family flock, wild life, wild
bird, small animal).
have developed a new tuberculosis (TB) test for primates. We are working on our
marketing plan and want to ensure we
are approaching the market correctly.
- §Where are the largest
concentrations of primates in the US?
makes the decision on TB testing for these primates?
criteria do they use to determine what TB test to use and how
is the best method for introducing our new product to these decision
our customers and
perceive our brand? We want to ensure we are
image. We are in a complicated and competitive industry. We need to
take both our customers and individual consumers into account.
what factors are we differentiated today?
- How do
we compare to our
competitors on being progressive in key areas?
can we do to improve our brand image and equity?
need to gain the level of understanding of our top US competitors that
our European headquarters has of European competitors.
competitor’s branding, marketing and operations strategies? How are
they pursuing these strategies?
- What is our
competitive standing in key areas?
- What are our
greatest opportunities and threats?
- How does this
differ on a regional and market segment basis?
large European conglomerate
made an offer to
buy our company.
- We need to
know as much as possible, as fast as
possible, about this company in order to know how to respond.
an overview of the company, its management, its strategic plan, its
growth strategies, its acquisition history globally, its track record
of US acquisitions, and anything else that will help us evaluate this
offer – FAST!