The Case for Profile Mapping
“How do you get to Donegal?” said the traveller. The local
man scratched his head, “Well, if I were you Sir, I wouldn’t
start from here!”
This quaint and allegedly apocryphal story often raises a
chuckle but behind it lies a clear corporate reality. How can
companies focus themselves in the right direction when they
don’t know the position from which they begin their
We live in a world of instant communication, instant
decision-making and instant judgement. The growth of
technology rather than easing the process of communication has
complicated it, as we are overwhelmed with more and more
electronic data and material.
In this sort of environment it is all too easy for the
assessment of potential partners or suppliers to be “dumbed
This is why we have developed “Profile-Mapping”ä and why we
believe it will become an increasingly important aspect of
strategic planning – in the companies that are brave enough to
Companies who are trying to win new contracts often devote
enormous amounts of time (quite rightly) to new business
pitches and presentations. But they often neglect one thing –
the right starting-point. Very rarely do they know how they
are perceived at outset and where they figure in their
potential client’s market landscape. So often companies do not
know who their competitors are or if they do, how they are
perceived relative to their competitors.
There are reasons for this and they usually have a lot to
do with personal and corporate ego. After all, it takes a
brave manager to open himself up to potential criticism if his
company are rated as inferior to their competitors or are
effectively ignored for attractive pieces of new business by
the companies they want to do business with.
To compound this problem, it is not always possible to
solve it simply by asking companies for their opinion. The
“Halo” effect is not only well known – it is a powerful
distorting factor. Very rarely does image research work
-unless it is independent and asks the right questions.
There are many ways to circumvent the harsh reality of this
sort of research. You can ask superficial questions, fail to
confront the real issues you need to find out about and give
the researcher an inadequate brief. But in the hard,
competitive world we find ourselves in does this really make
Profile mapping isn’t an easy process because it encourages
you to take a real warts n’ all look at what your clients
really think of you and what your potential clients think it
would be like to work with you.
We believe that Profile-Mapping works for a number of
reasons. These include:
|Rigorous pre-survey discussion of the real issues
affecting a business.
|The use of realistic measurement to illustrate the
gap between a company’s perception of its competitive
position and the reality evidenced by the survey.
|The ability to find out from clients and potential
clients what really matters to them and which companies
deliver it best.
|The personal factor
|Finding who in your company provides most value to
clients and who among your competitors gives you the
most significant problems.
|Measures that matter
|Searching with you to provide the right measurements
and co-ordinates to chart your industry. Typical
measures that we use are key matrices – price/service,
communication skills/expertise and current
performance/growth potential. These are the real metrics
that you will be judged on - and assessed against your
key competitors. We can add to this other key metrics
that you want to discover.
Profile-Mapping isn’t a comfortable process either. It
isn’t meant to be - mainly because almost all businesses are
finding that the pressure of business is none too comfortable
either. It is an honest attempt to help you confront the real
issues in your business and to do so from a competitive
position, that is as accurate as we can make it.
Only companies who really want to succeed will try it – but
the value of doing so could be priceless.
If you want to talk to Le Beau Visage about differentiation
or profile-mapping please e.mail Peter@LeBeauVisage.co.uk