The Cambridge Group

The Cambridge Group Company Profile


Supplying the demand

If the consultants at The Cambridge Group were your Economics 101 professor, you would not have learned supply and demand, but rather demand and supply. The simple belief that demand should be placed before supply is the principle that differentiates TCG from other consulting firms. The firm's expertise lies in identifying profitable new demand opportunities, optimizing portfolios of products or services, driving innovation, reinventing categories, enhancing brand equity and optimizing pricing. For all these areas, demand is the focus of TCG's services. 

The firm unleashes its demand-side expertise onto clients in the consumer packaged goods, financial services, media, retail, and telecommunications industries. Some of the world's most successful brands have benefitted from TCG's recommendations, including Merrill Lynch, Anheuser Busch, Hershey and Best Buy. 

Capital ideas

While the firm's demand strategy is straightforward on paper, gathering and analyzing the data necessary to grow a client's business is a rather difficult task. In order to handle this, TCG relies on its intellectual capital, which is designed and implemented by its consultants, directors and Economic Center of Excellence (ECE). Among the intellectual capital at the firm's disposal is Palate Maps and Benefit Domains, which identifies and quantifies emerging and latent demand in the marketplace. The firm also utilizes the Safari research method, whereby senior consultants and creative teams determine ways to optimize innovation and positioning by analyzing products and services with target customers. 

Kash is king

TCG may be Chairman and founder Rick Kash's main focus, but it is far from the only thing on his plate. Kash co-founded Spectra Marketing Systems, an information system used by over 90 percent of packaged goods and beverage marketers, and he is a member of the United States Senate Business Forum, a group of 36 businesspeople who meet quarterly with cabinet members and senators to discuss national economic and business matters. Kash is also an author, sharing his revised view of economics in two books to date. The most recent is How Companies Win - Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models no Matter What Business You're In. Published in 2010, and co-authored with David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company (The Cambridge Group's parent company), the book proposes a methodology for putting a demand-supply strategy into action-a model that the book's blurb claims has already been put into practice at companies including Allstate, Anheuser-Busch and Best Buy. 


July 2013 

3 Ways to Drive Growth by Category Creation

As follow-up to an article entitled Why It Pays to Be a Category Creator  that appeared in Harvard Business Review in March 2013, co-authored by the Cambridge Group's Eddie Yoon and Linda Deeken, the firm created a few additional thought pieces on category creation.  The effort is intended to help leaders learn from Category Creation thought leaders on how to create growth opportunities by launching new categories through the combination of breakthrough product innovation with breakthrough business innovation. 

June 2013: Attracting Truly Loyal Customers

Steve Carlotti, TCG's CEO, authored the article Are You Loyal to Loyalty Programs? for MainStreet.  The article addresses when loyalty program membership can truly signal loyalty and how companies can craft successful programs. 

September 2012:  Defining Latent Demand

Steve Carlotti, TCG's CEO, appeared on BigThink in a piece entitled Latent Demand: Apple's Trillion Dollar Secret where he discussed how both iTunes and the iPad illustrate ways that identifying latent demand can lead to highly successful innovation opportunities. 

June 2012: Innovation: Learning From the Best

The firm launched a new interview series titled Lessons in Innovation Leadership. The series will showcase experienced business leaders who have led, and learned, from significant innovation initiatives. In the first article in the series, Jim Kilts-former CEO of Gillette and Nabisco-shares the major, and often difficult, strategic choices he faced and discusses the long-lasting consequences that resulted for his organization's performance.

May 2012: Know Your Customer

The Cambridge Group CEO Steve Carlotti and Principal Jason Green co-authored an article for the Washington Post. The piece, titled Give the people what they don't know they want, examines the question of latent demand, and its role in driving business success.

April 2012 Get Your Business in the Ring

Eddie Yoon, a principal at The Cambridge Group, co-authored the article How to Give Your Business Model a One-Two Punch  for the Harvard Business Review. The premise of the article: how companies can win by learning how to "fight" across multiple disciplines by using mixed business models, or MBM.

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The Cambridge Group

227 West Monroe Street
Suite 3200
Chicago, IL 60606-5058
Phone: (312) 425-3600


  • Employer Type: Subsidiary
  • CEO: Steve Carlotti
  • Founder: Rick Kash
  • 2013 Employees: 89

  • Employment Contact

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Brand & Business Portfolio Strategy

    Business Model Reinvention

    Global Growth Strategy

    Go to Market Optimization


    Market Entry Strategy

    Pricing Strategy

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL

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