30 Admired Companies to Watch 2019


cg42: Competitive strategy specialists

Cg42 is a management consultancy that takes a unique approach to energizing its clients’ businesses. The firm was founded on the idea that all companies, regardless of market share, need to identify the frustrations their consumers experience and execute strategies to address those challenges.

cg42 helps the world’s most important companies address their biggest challenges:

  • How to put the customer first?
  • How to be one company?
  • How to compete on your terms?
  • How to grow?

All of cg42’s clients share one thing in common: they operate in mature, highly competitive, disruption-ready categories. cg42 defines and implements the bold moves that are required to enhance and drive market share gain. Their team asks questions that others haven’t thought to ask, turns insights into competitive advantage, and determines the strategies that will create positive change for clients.

Let’s get into a deeper conversation with Stephen Beck, founder and managing partner 

Current market demands are sky-high. How do you stay relevant to your customers? How does your product and service measure up?

We are constantly engaged in our client’s industries and with the consumers they serve and want to capture. Through our patent-pending Brand Vulnerability Index (BVI), we measure consumer frustrations and keep our finger on the pulse of the latest trends and the slightest shift in consumer sentiment. It creates the cycle that keeps us in the game: we stay ahead so that our clients can stay ahead; our clients succeed, and so do we.

Do you think your company is a leader or a follower?

Everyone wants to be a leader and not a follower. In our business, we have to be both. We follow consumers—their frustrations, desires, and needs—in order to help our clients become leaders in their industries. We predict trends, ask smart questions, and recommend the strategies that keep our clients—and by extension, our firm—ahead of the pack.

How is cg42 unique?

With just over 20 employees, we are regularly competing for clients against some of the largest and most prestigious consultancies in the world—and winning. We’ve developed a unique way of looking at the market that sets us apart. We use our patent-pending methodology to measure frustrations actual customers have with brands and products, and from there we find ways for our clients to exceed expectations and win market share.

We’re setting our clients apart in new fields before they’re even fully defined. We’ve always done competitive strategy and market transformation, now we’re leading digital and experience transformation too.

What have been some of your most successful engagements?

The first rule of competitive strategy is that you don’t talk about competitive strategy, especially when you’re working with Fortune 100 companies seeking to unlock billions of dollars in market value. Some of our highest profile client engagements have included transforming the marketing function with MetLife and managing the $250 billion spinoff of Brighthouse Financial; defining the path to 2020 for AT&T; and developing Ford’s approach to autonomous vehicles.

What advice would you give to budding companies?

Don’t panic. In growing a business you learn that things will go wrong and you have to be adaptable. Knowing how to handle problems and bounce back is the key to long-term success.

Where do you see the company a few years from now?

2020 will be our 10th year – and we could not be more excited. The greatest evolution we’re experiencing as a company right now is that cg42 is no longer a secret. You’ll be hearing more from and about us as we dig into more industries in even more impactful ways than ever before.

About Stephen Beck

Stephen Beck is the founder and managing partner of cg42, responsible for developing the firm’s intellectual capital and leading its major client relationships. Stephen has over 20 years of management consulting experience. Before founding cg42, he was the Chief Strategy Officer for Organic, a leading Digital Agency. Prior to Organic, Stephen was the CEO and CSO of Future Brand, a leading global Brand Consultancy. He has also held leadership positions at both Marketing Corporation of America and Deloitte & Touche Management Consulting.

Stephen has also helped the senior executive teams of many other  world-class companies successfully address their most pressing business challenges, including AT&T, IBM, Master Card Worldwide, GE, Intel, Mitsubishi UFJ, Nestlé, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Northrop Grumman, and many more.

Stephen’s perspectives on how organizations can drive growth have been featured in CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Time, CNN, and Fox Business.

“We specialize in Management Consulting, Competitive Strategy, Customer Experience, Brand Strategy, and Business Strategy.”