Commercial Advantage

Taking advantage

When Aidan Bocci set up Commercial Advantage back in 2004, he wanted to create a brand that would deliver "real tangible value" to clients who would then pass on these benefits to customers, resulting in "commercial advantage" for all involved.  Get it?

From the word go, the consultancy has provided services in commercial consulting to industry players mostly involved in fast moving consumer goods, in other words, big retailers that sell large amounts of goods at low cost to the consumer.  This would explain the firm's client roster, which prominently companies of the Coca-Cola, Kimberley-Clark, Nestl, and Diageo ilk.  Simply put, the consultancy help its clients spend their money more effectively to attract customers, and looks at ways of cutting costs, using leftover funds to drum up new business and increase profit.  Despite the firm's London home base, it has been attracting an increasingly international clientele, taking on projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the US.

A helping hand

Before starting the consultancy, CEO Bocci earned his stripes working at Procter & Gamble in sales and marketing, and then in KPMG's consumer goods practice.  Helping him on his little adventure was his first-ever employee, Patrick Wenckebach, who has moved up the ranks and is now Bocci's second in command, sitting in the COO chair.  Patrick has been instrumental in setting up the firm's entrepreneurial partner model, in which he aims to bring senior talent onboard to scale the business.

What's that?

"What" and "how" is the corporate jargon Commercial Advantage uses to describe how it goes about changing a firm's strategy for the better.  In layman's terms, this means that through a combination of management consultancy, project management, interim management and capability building services, the firm can take a client from defining "what" objectives it needs to achieve sustained growth, to "how" it will go about implementing them.  Special emphasis is placed on growing a corporate culture, whereby employees feel confident enough to make key decisions that they believe will benefit the company as a whole.  The firm does this partly through what it calls, wait for it, "ambition setting".  Cutting through the company jargon, yet again, this means that it gets employees to sit around a table and come up with joint decisions on which direction they think their company should go.  Commercial Advantage believes that a company can only go forward and achieve real results once this has been established.

So where's the advantage?

Commercial Advantage's advantage, if you will, comes from its willingness to innovate and approach problems from a fresh perspective to deliver "real results" to clients, at least that's what the firm says.  And, like any good organization seeking to change and differentiate itself, CA began at home, surveying buyers and end users of consulting services to find out where their biggest complaints lay.  The results: firms that find ways to justify a need for the type of solution they specialize in, rather than one that builds a solution for each client; consultants that have no business understanding; firms that provide strategy, but fall short on implementation.

Reflecting on those findings, CA claims to offer something very different for its clients: solutions and services defined by the client's needs, rather than the consultant's specialty.  Sounds far-fetched, eh?

Of course, delivering that kind of service means that the company can't just hire any old run-of-the-mill spreadsheet wizard.  No, CA prides itself on finding a "very special type of consultant", one that is willing to do whatever it takes to help a client get those all-important "real results", even if that means leaving the comfort zone of analysis and delving into such unknown territory as workshop facilitation, decision simulation and interim management.


THE LATEST ON COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGE

Straight from the CEO's mouth
April 2009

Starting in April, CEO Bocci started a monthly column in Marketing Week magazine, in which he will discuss how CEOs build successful brands.  In his first piece, Bocci took a close look at Martin Glenn, CEO of Birds Eye Iglo Group, known to be one of the most influential marketers in the UK, and drew lessons on how to navigate the economic crisis based on Glenn's leadership decisions.  Bocci's advice: "We advise clients to agree [on] common frameworks for making decisions about the future, which, by nature, is bound to be uncertain, as opposed to spending time buried in numbers looking for a magic answer.  The result is a far more agile organization that quickly responds to the real world and harnesses the full capability of its people."

Pearls of wisdom
September 2008

Whether it's with the business press or at industry events and presentations, Commercial Advantage has a knack for making its views on the commercial industry seem insightful, forthright and downright indispensable.  In 2008 Bocci was quoted time and again in UK trade publication giant The Grocer, most notably in relation to the state of the supermarket sector in the UK.  In September, for example, Bocci questioned the judgment of the UK's largest retailer Tescos in rebranding itself as Britain's largest discounter, when it had always shied away from being known as discount store in the past.  By December 2008, Tescos posted 2 per cent sales growth for the third quarter, the lowest since 1993.  To put things into perspective, rival supermarket Morrisons, which has always identified itself as a discount retailer, posted sales growth of more than 8 per cent in the same period.  Maybe Tescos should consider enlisting Bocci's talents to get some of its commercial advantage back.



Commercial Advantage


Europoint Centre
5-11 Lavington Street
London SE1 0NZ
Phone: +44 (0)20 7902 9850
Fax: +44 (0)207 902 9851
www.commercialadvantage.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • CEO: Aidan Bocci
  • 2008 Employees: 25

Key Financials

  • 2008 Revenue: $9,000 million

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