As we’ve mentioned, Category Expertise is what enables you to make things happen. It’s the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, which enables teams to focus on driving viable solutions.
At FFL we leverage our clients’ category expertise in a few ways, and we often have a particularly strong focus on it at the start and the end of a project.
At the start of every project, while we try not to “drink too much from the same fountain” as the client, there’s fundamental knowledge that is required to set guardrails and establish clear objectives. We make sure that we engage various team members & project stakeholders and dive into the existing knowledge pool to give us a baseline knowledge and understanding of the issues, the constraints and, importantly, the current perspective from the team.
It’s often the case that we challenge a perspective, or reframe a point of view. That’s only possible if we understand the starting point and the rational. If the client teams are stuck, it’s not because they’re not competent or capable. As much as we like to underestimate our competitors, it’s just not true. It’s often the case that teams are stuck due a point of view or perspective and we need to understand the rational for this perspective, because there is usually a good reason for it.
The other common time we focus a lot more on Category Expertise is at the end of a project. After we have generated the solutions that excite the team, we pause and go back into functional silos. Leveraging the existing Category knowledge, we ask each function to build a “Yes, if” plan to make those solutions come to life as something that consumers can actually experience.
Category Expertise is not only very valuable, it’s indispensable if you are to execute the breakthrough ideas you create by using Controlled Disruption. We’ll state the obvious here, by saying that the best idea or strategy, poorly executed… is bound to fail!
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