Fierce Excerpts: Is industry expertise losing its value?

by | Oct 20, 2015 | Advertising, Branding, Fierce Excerpts

*Image: Some of the Fierce expertise in action (

Now Reading | The End of Expertise (HBR)

Expertise is the world we’re living in every single day. At Fierce, it is one of our key value propositions and one of the key differentiators that we bring to our clients. Our expertise comes from over 25 years of experience managing brands from start-ups to multi-billion dollar companies. But is this key asset loosing its value?

Here’s what HBR had to say.

If genuine expertise is no longer commanding its traditional premium in the marketplace, and if the old ways of conveying expertise are also in upheaval, what then do experts have to offer? An answer might be found in David W. Maister’s trust equation for the professional service firm:

A Trust Equation for the Professional Service Firm 

Trustworthiness = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy divided by Self-Orientation

Credibility: WORDS (I can trust what he/she says about…)

Reliability: ACTIONS (I trust him/her to…)

Intimacy: EMOTIONS (I feel comfortable discussing this…)

Self-Orientation: MOTIVES (I trust he/she cares about…)

It would appear that while credibility is being commoditized via popular access to expertise and artificial intelligence, and reliability is the attribute that could actually be increasing for all, thanks to AI, then Intimacy and Self-Orientation are the two remaining variables that are independent of algorithmic thinking and ubiquitous availability.

Since Credibility and Reliability are now merely tickets to play vs. real differentiators according to HBR, could it be that Emotions and Motives play a more significant role than ever?

According to Richard Straub, President and founder of the Peter Drucker Society Europe, “being human” means the following:

Being human is consciously to bring judgment, intuition, creativity, empathy and values into play. In business, it is the domain of entrepreneurial thinking and innovation, of weighing decisions, of collaboration and trust – qualities that are utterly different from the machine logic of networked sensors and processors.

Is the true irony that as we develop more and more complex AI , the more we see value in our humanity? Fascinating. I believe this to be true and as a consumer, not just an ad exec, I feel this more each day.

When we talk to our clients about what makes Fierce special, we will always talk about our experience and expertise (like the case study image that leads this post) as they lend instant credibility and reliability. But we always balance the numbers and results and methods with our humanity—our heart, our curiosity, and our passion. None of it is mutually exclusive. Our humanity is one of our greatest assets. It only takes a client 5 minutes in a meeting with our team to see that there is something very special about our energy and excitement about this business and to feel its infectious power.

Here’s how we communicate this with potential clients: 

Creative intelligence is a critical offering at Fierce. The instinctive and intuitive collision of strategy and creative driven by research, experience, expertise—and heart. We are storytellers, magic makers, strategic problem solvers, and the biggest advocates of your brand that you’ve ever met. 

Our insatiable curiosity allows us to see opportunity, not obstacles. It fuels the critical task of problem solving when it comes to the tough marketplace challenges your brand faces. And it creates an infectious excitement that draws people to our brand. Our collective of Fierce people includes strategists, researchers, writers, editors, creative directors, designers, media experts, web specialists, national and international TV directors, printers, product designers, and so much more based in the US, Canada, and around the world.

Expertise, experience, words, actions, emotions, motives, and a little bit of magic—it all matters. Read the entire article here: