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Top brands differentiate on a unique value combination and think beyond a “me too” approach

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Professional services firms have unique challenges around differentiating themselves; setting both the thought leadership and the relationship strategies in place. Robin Tooms chats with David Skinner, CEO of KCA, an energy consulting firm focused on technology and strategy.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, VP of strategy at Savage Brands, and my guest again is David Skinner, CEO at KCA. So David, welcome back to Brandonomics.

David: Robin, thank you for having me again.

Robin: Well, great, I’m glad you’re here. We talked before about the origin of when you joined KCA, but then, as part of a growing company, that brings about kind of the next challenge which is that awareness and differentiation. So, how did you guys address this challenge of differentiation; how you stand out?

David: Consulting firms, differentiation is kind of a, I think, a key factor whether you’re gonna be sort of the ‘me too’ or really stand out as a thought leader, you know, within whatever consulting practice you have, or industry. To do that, you’ve really gotta have I think both a really good product, in our case it’s a process, but you’ve also gotta have people that really can understand and connect; both with what you’re trying to sell or help clients on, and also from a client perspective, what is the client trying to achieve? I think if you can do that, you’ve got now something that is differentiated in the market. For us, we know that our process works well; we’ve got lots and lots of projects under our belt, many years of history, but it’s really, how do I get that name, you know, the KCA name that we’ve already talked about, out in the market and get it associated with the type of work that we’re doing.

Robin: Right, so you built this great brand, and you’ve kind of got your pillars of your brand in place, but you need kind of a channel, a way to get that message out. So what are you doing to get that out?

David: That’s right. So from a channel perspective, one of the things that we did was we’ve started a breakfast; it’s called the Houston Energy Breakfast. We’re getting ready to have our third one, but we’re doing these basically quarterly. What we do is invite CEOs from companies like Phillips 66 and CenterPoint, Noble Energy, and others to come and be on a panel. We have four people; we’ve got a great moderator that helps us keep everybody on track, but the approach is really for them to communicate to the audience, you know, what’s unique about them, what are they doing, what differentiates, you know, CenterPoint from another company. And we feel that that’s a great platform both for our clients but also for us to get our word out and to let people see what it is that we do and, in many ways, kind of how we do that with our clients.

Robin: Yeah, there’s a point to that in a very big way. So great, well that’s wonderful advice.

David: Sure. Thank you very much.

Robin: Thank you. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


KCA, is a team of expert consultants providing strategic insights and great results to clients in the energy, technology and legal industries. KCA helps clients create smart, robust strategies to solve tough business challenges.

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