Winning the confidence of your target audience in a way that enhances your organization’s reputation and results in partnerships depends on how well you differentiate your expertise and articulate your value. At its heart, thought leadership is about ideas: about uncovering a solid message that sets the foundation for everything that follows. In the wake of changes to its product and services portfolio, this client needed a bold, cohesive narrative and message platform to thread together its diverse offerings and business units and enable consistent communications with room for creative individual storytelling. Stern Strategy Group’s expertise was put to the test to help the organization overcome market misperceptions and reclaim its position as the leading thinker and provider in cybersecurity.

Industry: Technology
Service: Strategy Workshops

The Challenge

As organizations of all types and sizes grapple with a wide range of emerging threats, cybersecurity has become a major opportunity for security and defense firms to expand capabilities and business. Our client, an iconic U.S.-based advanced technologies company, pioneered cybersecurity methodologies widely adopted today. Nevertheless, it had lost ground to competitors in the cybersecurity space and lacked a strong reputation for providing solutions in this area. Customer perception was the firm was no longer in the cybersecurity business, when in fact it remains a core part of its portfolio – and an area it is committed to growing across business units. The absence of internal alignment, an organization-wide story and compelling messaging for customers was hampering growth.

The absence of internal alignment, an organization-wide story and compelling messaging for customers was hampering growth.

Our Approach

Stern Strategy Group helped the firm overcome these obstacles and build a compelling narrative about its cyber capabilities. Following in-depth discovery, stakeholder interviews and a competitive analysis, we led a full-day workshop with members of the communications team from each business unit, using interactive exercises and graphic facilitation to map out trends, challenges, opportunities and risks. Crucially, we clarified core audiences and the perceived obstacles to successfully breaking through to these groups, then crafted tailored messages to appeal to the audiences’ needs, address their concerns, and inspire action.

Our Objectives included:

  • Analyze what competitors were saying – and why they were gaining ground on our client
  • Craft tailored messages to define the client’s differentiators, re-establish its market leadership, speak directly to its audiences, and support sales
  • Align each business unit on common language to effectively communicate the firm’s full range of cyber offerings

An outgrowth of this process was enabling key company stakeholders to renew their own understanding and appreciation of their firm's contributions to the development and evolution of cybersecurity, and align on a clear value proposition for its customers.

Tara BaumgartenSenior Vice President, Stern Strategy Group
The Results

Stern constructed a robust and persuasive messaging framework steeped in research and mapped to audience personas, empowering the client with a clear approach to reestablishing its leadership within the burgeoning field of cybersecurity. Stern’s counsel and expertise in brand-building were essential in this endeavor to create a cohesive communications initiative — helping drive business goals, and clarify and rejuvenate an increasingly important offering of an iconic company.

Strategy Workshops with Stern Strategy Group