Growth strategy consulting services provided by Overbrook Consulting. Overbrook's experienced team of growth strategy and project management professionals are committed to driving profitable growth and implementing real world solutions for our clients. We help our clients solve some of their most complex challenges by providing strategic visioning, planning and implementation services

Overbrook management consultants have experience in strategy, marketing, project management, strategic marketing, management consulting, strategic marketing consulting, innovation, insight services, marketing planning, communications planning, product innovation, target marketing, brand building, strategic growth, strategic growth marketing, market-driven strategy, focus groups, communications planning, apparel marketing, automotive marketing, ecommerce marketing, healthcare marketing, industrial product marketing, life science marketing, entertainment marketing, and service marketing

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Microsoft

Microsoft was at a critical juncture with regards to its future in the media/entertainment industry.  While Microsoft had significant assets it could leverage, it by no means held a dominant presence in the market.  The competition in this market space was rapidly heating up, with major players from different industries entering the fray and significant delivery footprints already established by the major cable and satellite providers.

Microsoft asked us to develop a strategy that “changes the game” and looks to pursue opportunities that not only include, but also span well beyond those related to the PC and operating systems.  We were asked to focus across the various utilities and mechanisms in which consumers chose to consume digital video, whether it be via mobile devices, home-entertainment systems, their PCs or any combination thereof. Specifically, we were asked to develop 10 strategic options for detailed evaluation.  This included:

  • Creating and analyzing comprehensive set of MS strategic assets in video marketplace
  • Defining critical competitive factors in digital video market
  • Conducting simulation “war gaming” across the competitive markets to better understand competitive threats as well as potential joint ventures and partnerships
  • Developing strategies that leverage MS assets to shift the market to Microsoft’s advantage

The results of our efforts eventually led to the launch of the Microsoft Zune as well as a number of other changes in Microsoft’s Media & Entertainment strategy.

 

HarperCollins

Over the years we have completed a number of assignments for HarperCollins.  These have ranged from assessing the value of and optimizing online marketing spending to developing and building online marketing effectiveness measurement systems to developing recommendations to improve the effectiveness of author web site development and spending.  Of all our assignments, the most significant, however, was likely our work to develop a global direct to consumer marketing strategy across the entire organization.  Managing a team of nearly 20 client executives from across business units and from around the globe, we worked to drive a new paradigm in how Harper Collins communicated with and marketed to the end consumer.  Over a three month span, we developed a strategy to meet and exceed management’s objectives of delivering significant incremental profit through four key elements: 

  • Identifying valuable consumer names and acquiring personal information from those individuals
  • Understanding and using this new consumer information to impact virtually every decision we make
  • Engaging consumers in on-going relationships in new ways.  Creating relationships in which consumers are communicating with them directly on a regular basis
  • Motivating new sales and driving increased profits through a combination of incremental revenue and decreased traditional marketing costs

Our strategy contained significant detail and implementation plans for each of these four program areas.  Each area had a program and a plan that is truly global.  In addition to the global blueprint, we assisted each division in developing detailed division specific implementation plans with detailed targets and performance metrics.

As a result of our efforts, HarperCollins now lives and breaths direct-to-consumer marketing.  They maintain a database of millions of customers and have driven significant incremental revenue and profits through their direct-to-consumer marketing programs.


Dow Jones

The announcement of the acquisition of Dow Jones & Company by News Corporation was received by many at Dow Jones with great excitement. Dow Jones’ B2B family of companies, collectively know as the Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, was particularly interested in the potential synergistic opportunities that might arise from the merger of the two companies. To better identify and explore these opportunities further, the Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group asked us to assist them in this identification and analysis effort. In a very brief and focused project we first developed an overview of News Corporation’s global operations across its many and varied subsidiaries. We then helped to identify potential synergistic opportunities across a number of dimensions including: marketing platforms, product delivery, infrastructure, web development, scale and product extensions.

The Enterprise Media Group used our recommendations and analysis to further refine and shape their strategic planning efforts.


Perseus Book Group

When new management took over Perseus Book Group in early 2004, they knew they had walked into a major challenge.  While the group had a unique market position and a set of powerful assets, the company had some significant issues that needed to be addressed.  These included unclear budgets, goals & information; core publishing processes that are broken or flawed; a lack of spending controls; excessive return rates, inventory levels and distribution costs; too many marginal projects and severe title slippage problems; an inability to respond to market developments; duplicative functions; and People demoralized by “crisis atmosphere”.  The end result was a company that was losing money rapidly and in need of serious repair.

Working with management, we helped to develop a three step revitalization plan.  This included re-organization to re-set the cost base and establish a platform for future growth, a revised distribution strategy to significantly reduce distribution costs, and an acquisition strategy to leverage synergies and drive scale.  Our turn-around efforts involved:

  • Focusing the publishing program
  • Aggressively managing operational costs
  • Improve forecasting and inventory management
  • Optimizing manufacturing
  • Negotiating improved distribution economics
  • Growing targeted publishing programs
  • Utilizing the Web as a marketing engine
  • Improving trade management
  • Building marketing capabilities
  • Increasing financial rigor in title acquisition process

We carried on not only to develop the detailed strategy, but then project manage the implementation of the various elements noted above.  This included everything from vendor negotiations and organization restructuring to building customized tool sets that allowed publishers to better optimize their title acquisition decision making.

By mid-2005 we had helped Perseus go from an EBITDA of -20% to profitability. We also assisted them in implementing the second leg of our long-term strategy by performing the acquisition due diligence and subsequently managing all phases of the post-merger integration of Client Distribution Services, the nation’s largest independent book distributor.  Once this integration was completed, we went on to assist them by performing a detailed analysis of their freight costs from distribution operations and developing and implementing a detailed strategy to significantly the associated costs of these operations.

Scholastic

When the Scholastic Media Group needed a breakthrough strategic plan to move them into the next evolution of their business, they turned to Overbrook Consulting.  To accomplish this objective, we began by working with our client team to identify a broad set of potential new business ideas and product offerings.  This was accomplished through a combination of rapid and intensive market research, brainstorming and war-gaming exercises. We then developed an evaluation framework and scoring mechanism which was employed to refine the opportunity sets to a short-list of opportunities for more detailed evaluation and gathered market data for more refined strategy development. Once the opportunity list had been narrowed, we performed a deeper assessment of each of the short-list new business opportunities, and developed a strawman of an overarching strategy and product offering set and determined which opportunities Scholastic would proceed with implementation planning.  In conjunction with this effort, we also examined the existing business operations and formulated a strategic growth and investment plan for existing product sets and departmental offerings, taking a portfolio approach for balancing the overall strategy across the organization.  Detailed financial models were developed for both new and existing businesses to estimate overall investment requirements and product and offering profitability.  Finally, we concluded by outlining a high-level business planning and launch analysis required for implementation.

The Media Group is currently employing our recommendations.

Massapequa Heart Group

The Massapequa Heart Group had seen significant growth over the past decade.  For 3 doctors and 3 employees, the group had expanded to include 8 doctors and over 100 employees offering a broad range of  services.  This growth had significantly expounded the number of both clinical and non-clinical tasks and overall commitment required to manage the business. As a result, the practice was confronted with a number of problems related to this rapid growth.  These included:

  • The growth of staff has dramatically increased personnel management responsibilities– and generated significant employee instability and turnover.
  • Administrative duties had begun to compete with the ability to see additional patients and limited the ability to handle emergency situations. 
  • The division in responsibilities had generate inequity among the partners.
  • Major administrative tasks were falling through the cracks.

As a result, the practice believed that further grow could not be achieved until these issue were resolved.

In an intensive 1-week assignment, we interviewed all of the doctors and developed a number of alternative organizational models which could assist the practice in overcoming these obstacles.  We evaluated these alternatives and recommended a new organizational structure and partner management model.  We also developed a growth path solution through the recommendation of a tiered partnership model.  The practice subsequently incorporated many of our suggestions and is back on an improved path toward growth.