Christopher Dent

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Stealth Fighters, Cargo Helicopters, and Client Relationship Management Pt. 2: Managing Perceptions and Expectations

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jul 20, 2017 12:24:05 PM

In part one of this blog, we discussed the scrutiny Lockheed Martin is facing due to the seemingly high cost of its helicopters and stealth fighters.  We also established that value is a better metric, than looking at cost alone. But, regardless of how the true value of a program should be assessed and reported, Lockheed Martin must contend with how its various programs are in fact perceived by customers and other stakeholders. Conventional wisdom states that “the customer is always right.”  Further, explaining to a concerned client why their concerns are irrelevant and unfounded is not a viable business model. What can Lockheed’s headaches with the F-35 and CH-53K teach us about client management?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Competitive Strategy, risk management

Stealth Fighters, Cargo Helicopters, and Client Relationship Management

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jul 12, 2017 1:38:43 PM


Cost vs. Value: Which Is the Better Metric?

The development and delivery of every product or service risks experiencing problems, from a delivery driver taking a wrong turn to fighter pilots getting sick while flying advanced aircraft.  However, expecting and preparing for these setbacks can help business executives navigate even the most challenging obstacles, and, in turn, keep their earnings, reputation, and client relationships intact.

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Topics: Brand Insights, Competitive Strategy, risk management

Strategy for When Satisfied Customers Don’t Come Back

Posted by Christopher Dent on Oct 21, 2016 9:14:53 AM

A month ago, my wife and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. As we celebrated, I thought back to the autumn of 2007 when we first met.

I was a single 20-something professional, less than a year removed from active duty in the Marine Corps and anticipating settling down and starting a family. Having tried the “bar scene” to no avail, I decided to join eHarmony. Six months later, having met my beautiful wife and extremely happy with the outcome of my time on the site, I closed my account.

As I reminisced, I glanced at the pile of magazines sitting on the coffee table. I wondered: how does a company like eHarmony stay in business when a successful outcome means its clients never need it again, as opposed to other businesses (like periodicals) where the value proposition is ongoing?

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Technology/Telecomm, Competitive Strategy

Social Media Has Changed the Trajectory of Corporate Scandals

Posted by Christopher Dent on Sep 28, 2016 10:24:56 AM

There is an old rule of thumb that for every letter a congressman receives, there are 50 people thinking the same thing who didn’t pick up a pen. For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 others remain silent (and buy your competitor’s product instead).

How many people does a Facebook comment represent? What about a like or a share?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Manufacturing/Industrial, Competitive Strategy

Is the Chevrolet Bolt a Tesla-Killer?

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jan 14, 2016 1:34:32 PM

The Chevrolet Bolt

Tesla has been synonymous with electric cars for nearly a decade. Sleek, forward-thinking, high-end: that’s the Tesla we know today. Still, from the inception of the Tesla Roadster, CEO Elon Musk has insisted that Tesla’s strategic end-goal is to one day create a “super affordable electric vehicle with mass market appeal.  

That day has finally come. But it’s not Tesla holding the prize. 

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Topics: Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

Five Things Lockheed Martin Needs Sikorsky to Do

Posted by Christopher Dent on Dec 3, 2015 8:00:00 AM

On November 6th, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) closed the sale of its Sikorsky aerospace unit to defense giant Lockheed Martin for $9B.  Does this acquisition improve the strategic position of both companies or will Sikorsky prove to be a white elephant?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

What a Competitive Strategy Analyst Thinks About the Fire Apparatus Industry

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jun 9, 2015 3:30:00 PM

In addition to my duties as a senior analyst for Fuld + Company, I work as an on-call firefighter in my hometown, about 10 miles north of Boston. Perhaps the most visible symbols of the fire service are the trucks we use, known as “apparatus.” Like a true analyst, I couldn't help but notice some interesting competitive and industry dynamics present in the fire apparatus industry. In particular, behind the lights, sirens and bright red paint, the fire apparatus industry is as fragmented as it is old, with some marques pre-dating the internal combustion engine by several decades; and fire apparatus manufacturers and suppliers would have it no other way.

At present, there are approximately two-dozen companies producing motorized fire apparatus in the United States. This includes nine full-line manufacturers producing their own chassis for pumpers and ladder trucks. These core manufacturers are complimented by fifteen limited-line manufacturers producing only pumpers based on purchased chassis. All of these twenty four manufacturers are either independent or owned by a separate parent company, which represents a significant amount of fragmentation. This raises the question of how the fire apparatus industry has remained so fragmented compared to other industries.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Manufacturing/Industrial, Market Analysis, Industry Convergence

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