As the Managing Director of one of the Midwest’s premier executive search firms, The Overture Group, John Liacone knows how to find top-tier talent. As the co-founder of the company, he also understands the importance of building a strong brand and finding a way to set yourself apart from your competitors.
I interviewed John as part of our 6 Questions feature: a series of one-on-one interviews with people we work with who’ve made us proud. We get very close to our clients and their brands during the brand development process, and when we see them doing great work and achieving great things, it’s very personal to us. They’re rocking their brands in exciting and innovative ways, taking the ideas we developed together and using them to grow their organizations. We find how a brand works out in the “real world” fascinating and hope you will, too.
John and I discussed the origins of The Overture Group, branding and the delicate science of creating a sub-brand. Read on to learn what John says is the most important factor for business leaders looking to launch a new brand.
1. Before co-founding The Overture Group in 2010 you were a Director with the fifth-largest accounting and consulting firm in the United States. Tell us about your inspiration to start The Overture Group and how you made the transition work.
There were big changes coming into play at our previous firm, which led us to see a large opportunity in the marketplace of the Midwest. We wanted to seize that opportunity. By leveraging the networks my partners and I have built over many years, we sought to provide a solution for when those people needed to attract top-tier talent within their companies. Our solution was to form our own executive search firm.
2. When you came to BatesMeron, you already had an idea of what you wanted your company to be. From there we walked you through our branding process, which included creating a brand blueprint and strategy, logo and messaging. What was this development process like for you, being from a non-creative industry?
When we started the company, we knew we wanted to invest our dollars into building and planning our brand the right way. Although we knew what we wanted, we didn’t know how to go about getting it—which is where BatesMeron came in. Since our relationship began, we’ve been very pleased with the BatesMeron process. You’ve got a strong methodology to the way you work: it’s very organized and comfortable for us. We felt we were involved in every step and understood where we were. But one thing we can’t emphasize enough about this process is the importance for entrepreneurs to allocate enough budget and time into building the starting foundation of a new brand.
3. The Overture Group is a premier executive search firm in the Midwest. How do you set yourself apart from other firms?
We are dedicated to the middle market—this is our big differentiator. A huge factor is also our methodologies and value-added services, such as leadership in management assessments, compensation benchmarking and onboarding. We always draw upon our vast network expertise—from pre-search preparation through post-placement transition—to find and fit the right professionals in finance, accounting, human resources, operations and technology.
4. You recently launched a sub-brand that we are currently developing called Octave Search. How is this sub-brand different from The Overture Group? And what role will branding play in separating the two?
Branding plays a big role in this sub-brand. Mostly because we have to make sure we don’t dilute The Overture Group brand. Octave needs to be presented as it is: a separate group with separate goals, features and benefits. BMSD is helping us make sure they’re in the same family, but that each still stands firmly on its own.
5. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you would give to a business owner looking to start his or her own brand?
Definitely take the time and budget to build your company the right way. Do not cut corners and go cheap on branding. You’ll really pay the price if you don’t build it right the first time. I feel very strongly about this and believe it’s a crucial part in building your company’s foundation from the ground up.
6. The idea of orchestrating perfect job placements played an integral role in the branding of The Overture Group. This message is so important that it was translated into your tagline, “Hiring on all cylinders.” What does this message mean to you and The Overture Group?
When you work with us, you know you’re going to get every cylinder we have to make sure we’re giving you the best available person and/or talent available. You’ll always get peak performance from us, and peace of mind knowing that you’ve got a great team working for you.
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