We’re introducing a new initiative called "Peer Insights" through which alumni and other friends of The Forum can harness the power of this network to help find answers to pressing questions and challenges in their professional lives. Our first Peer Insights query comes from an alumna who's interested in learning more about how high-end advertising agencies that offer premium services can innovate. She writes:  

“Incumbents in the industry that sell high-end marketing strategy consulting services offer premium quality concepts and creative projects that we believe require specific skill sets that can’t be automated. Some new entrants in the industry are offering simpler services for the low-end market, and usually at lower price points (e.g. simple logos or websites that can be developed at locations geographically remote from their customers and/or directly by their customers with the use of existing templates). It’s a challenge for incumbents to see such services as potentially disruptive because their current customers usually demand a high level of creative competence on complex projects, along with the convenience of geographic closeness with that agency. 

Therefore, how can incumbents that offer integrated high-end premium services, particularly in the advertising industry, innovate in the lower end segment? And when the brand is one of the most important assets of a business, how can such incumbents introduce low-end services without affecting their brand (or should they not even consider the introduction of such services due to legitimate fears of brand dilution)?” 

To share your thoughts on the topic, please comment directly on this post, below. And if you have your own Peer Insights query that you’d like to anonymously share, please reach out to Katie Zandbergen, our Community Manager, at kzandbergen@hbs.edu

Thank you!