Denis Gancel, President and Founder of W, introduces EXECUTIVE, W’s new personalised consulting service dedicated to decision makers, an offer created with Johanne Casagrande, W Branding Managing Director.
The new service hones in on CEOs and leadership to guide its clients’ brand strategies, and offer one-on-one sessions with W’s most gifted and experienced strategists & creative thinkers.
Here, Denis explains what EXECUTIVE offers clients and why the service stands out amongst competitors.
Tell us about EXECUTIVE and what does it aim to do?
EXECUTIVE is a new project that we have poured all of our positive energy into. It is a new consulting service dedicated to decision makers, with several key targets. Our first target is to try to accommodate the varying expectations of our clients. As you know our business is client-focused, and CEOs and top management are often alone in their decision making. There are a lot of consulting firms out there, but they are not geared towards leadership or working one-on-one with CEOs and other people who are guiding a company into the future. EXECUTIVE is.
Our second target with EXECUTIVE is to increase W’s own value and influence. Creating EXECUTIVE is a way to build upon the loyalty of our clients because it is based upon building a direct relationship with leadership. The third objective (and advantage) of EXECUTIVE is to put W’s 22 years of experience into action and guide our clients with our own top management and senior consultants, who are very gifted. They are experts in transformation.
The one-on-one consultation aspect of EXECUTIVE is a key differentiator, why does it work so well?
This idea was born out of one of our key learnings from the pandemic. Before this experience, top management and CEOs were difficult to get a hold of. You would have to schedule a physical meeting and try to slip into a tight schedule. Now, it is a lot easier to connect on Zoom or Teams and to schedule a 30-minute appointment at 8am or 7pm, or a time that is best for them. Busy people often just have 30 minutes to speak and so EXECUTIVE makes digital availability our advantage.
What is EXECUTIVE’S approach?
The service offers three levels of consultancy. The first, which is absolutely key, is listening. Our clients need someone to talk to and it’s important we give them that time. The second level is sharing W’s legitimacy and expertise in brand strategy. Brand portfolios and assets are a key source of value and we work with clients on building and elevating this.
We help them establish a strategy that will solidify the brand they want to create and map out the actions they need to put into place to achieve their goals. The third level, and what makes us unique, is that creative people play a huge part in our consultancy approach. We try to manage the projection of what we can achieve in the future with a special formulisation of ideas and concepts in the form of what ifs, activable summary notes and the development of a target vision.
What has been the interest in EXECUTIVE?
We are brand new and already have a few clients. The feedback we have received about this new offering is that clients like the personal aspect of EXECUTIVE. CEOs and leadership like the idea of talking to a senior leader in our agency, very confidentially, and availing of our one-to-one approach. They love the integration of a creative strategy within it. This idea is one other consulting services don’t have.
Clients enjoy the low-commitment aspect of EXECUTIVE and are very happy that they do not have to go with the procurement approach. It’s cost effective and it’s an agile offering. Clients also say they like the fact they can avail of an objective point of view. When you are not the advertising or branding agency, you can offer an unbiased outsider perspective and can articulate a very fair approach, which a lot of clients are interested in.
What areas are clients most interested in?
Most of the consulting we are doing with EXECUTIVE is related to what we call ‘contributing’. Contributing is an idea/ concept we began to use this year to replace marketing. We can’t keep moving into this century with the old concept of marketing. Marketing is the science of the market, and contributing, is what we’ve defined as adding something more than this. Most of the CEOs we work with are very interested in implementing a contributing CSR approach into their business, to be able to say we have a specific methodology and a way to positively impact our planet and society. The thing that is new is the fact that EXECUTIVE offers not just communication expertise, but also strategic, and that’s to say it’s a real transformation process. What clients want to know is how they can change and what kind of leverage they can activate to help make their company clear about contributing and CSR, and put a sustainable, future-proof approach into place.