Are business still blinded by the brand? Specialist vs Generalist

The big brands’ essential promise is: “We specialise in everything.” On paper, that is perhaps the case. They may indeed have an array of specialist companies under one brand but just how closely integrated are these organisations? Can they work together any more effectively or harmoniously simply because they are owned by the same parent company?

In reality, this does not seem to be the case. Indeed, the processes and procedures put in place in an attempt to integrate the multiple divisions/companies of these Goliath organisations typically create more delay and confusion. Furthermore, while some larger organisations are making a genuine attempt to integrate the vast portfolio of companies that has been acquired to provide across the board services, others simply create this façade in order to conform.

There are several instances where the company ‘brand’ is actually just a holding company for a set of completely unrelated organisations working from separate offices, with different cultures, objectives and management teams. Furthermore, in many cases the job is actually outsourced to a specialist organisation because the company, despite its assertions, lacks the internal expertise necessary to deliver the service.

Indeed, it is not unknown for individuals from these organisations to meet for the first time at a customer site, which is hardly confidence inspiring. So what value is being attained from handing over the entire job to a single vendor?