Tom Rodenhauser in the Inside Consulting newsletter says:
According to a recent study of 179 consultancies by The Bloom Group , “strong intellectual capital” was the highest factor in marketing success, above strong brand and big marketing budgets.In some way, in the advice business being known for "thought leadership" is a way to build a strong brand as well as trumping the need for marketing budgets. Tom however cautions the building of some thought which might not be leadership :-) Once an idea is out there it should be robust enough to stand critique by your competitors.
This issue affects all consultants whether two people startups like ours or larger national or global firms.
Am reflecting on this as I bought one of the earliest books on management consulting (written in 1983), by Larry Griener and Robert Metzger, Consulting to Management (got it at a throwaway price at a book sale!). It seems a good book...very basic guide to consulting. I already have Peter Block's book Flawless Consulting. I guess they would go well together :)