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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2021

‘We’re Passionately Committed to Helping our Clients Make More Confident Decisions and Accelerate Growth’: D. Keith Pigues, Founder and CEO of Luminas Strategy

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“We don’t sit across the table from our clients, but rather we sit in the seat next to them as they make important growth decisions.”

Luminas Strategy is a Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based business strategy and value proposition consultancy. It helps Fortune 1000 and mid-market companies develop winning value propositions to accelerate profitable organic growth using its proprietary Customer Value Xcelerator®. Luminas also assists clients in building the internal commercial capabilities to maintain winning customer relationships that generate organic growth and profitability for everyone.

To highlight and further understand what Luminas stands for and seeks to accomplish, I sat down with D. Keith Pigues, the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Below is an excerpt from that conversation.

Q. When it comes to emotional branding, Luminas Strategy sounds highly promising. As a journalist, I find it quite striking. My question to you is, how did you come up with the brand name, and what does it depict?

From the start, based on my experience over two decades as a C-suite executive and Chief Marketing Officer, we knew there was an opportunity to support organizations as they pursue sustained organic revenue growth. Often one of the key missing elements of establishing a growth acceleration strategy is identifying, or illuminating, the areas of a company’s value proposition that are truly differential versus their competition. That’s why the name Luminas was so fitting – we help organizations, and their leaders, find and follow the path to profitable growth.

The customer insight and competitive intelligence we help to uncover through our unique Customer Value Xcelerator (CVX®) offering is leveraged by our clients to develop an organic growth strategy, and a prioritized list actions that will result in their profitability and the opportunity to win with their customers. Luminas employs a similar methodology – the Stakeholder Value Xcelerator (SVX™) – with nonprofits (membership associations, traditional nonprofits and trade/industry associations), helping them to win with their key stakeholders.

Q. What makes your company great? And how uniquely do you address your customers’ needs?

We are on a journey to greatness and are in pursuit of excellence every day as we serve our clients and invest in the growth and development of our team members. Our core values are at the center of this journey, and we are committed to ongoing growth.

At Luminas, we take our clients’ business seriously and celebrate their successes. Our mission statement says it all “We are passionately committed to supporting our clients and delivering the methodologies, resources and counsel they need to cultivate mutually valuable business relationships.” We count each opportunity to work alongside our clients and leverage our experience as a privilege – it’s this attitude that makes us different from many other consulting firms.  This approach to addressing our clients’ needs is captured in a statement that accentuates one aspect of our unique mindset: “We don’t sit across the table from our clients, but rather we sit in the seat next to them as they make important growth decisions.”

Q. How does Luminas Strategy support organizational leaders to develop winning customer and stakeholder value propositions?

We help organizational leaders answer what we believe is the critical question when assessing B2B relationships between a supplier and its customers: “Do your customers make more money doing business with you?” This question is prominently displayed on the cover of the book I co-authored, Winning with Customers, and we believe it says it all.

We enable leaders and their teams to answer this question by helping them gain a validated perspective of what their organization does to deliver truly differential value to customers. We help equip leaders to move from the traditional ‘inside-out’ view of their customer relationships to an ‘outside-in’ view that results in confirmation of their differential value, as well as a wake-up call to address the areas where improvements are needed. In each case, we help leaders move from insight to action, and increase the value delivered to customers while also capturing their fair share.

Q. What strategies are in place to encourage innovation in your company?

Simply put, we listen to our clients and take actions to continuously improve. In fact, it’s one of our core values. In the past year, this approach has allowed us to expand and further our services offerings and refine our internal processes. Continuous improvement, communication and collaboration – three of our six core values—are important contributors to continued innovation. Our leadership team is committed to embracing each of these values and other innovation initiatives as we continue to grow.

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Q. Where do you stand as a company in the current market landscape? And how do you plan to combat your competition?

We have been very fortunate to have clients place their confidence in us to support their growth strategy.  We’ve experienced consistent growth over the past five years, and during 2020, we realized 50 percent growth. Our clients have continued to realize great value from our offerings and the support from our team. During the pandemic, Luminas served existing clients and were honored to secure new ones. We discovered that some companies needed to re-start growth, while others were looking to accelerate growth due to the differing impact that the pandemic had on their businesses. For both existing and new clients, we help them address the rapidly changing marketplace, evolving customer needs, and increasingly competitive landscape to accelerate their profitable growth.

With respect to other options our clients may be considering to support their organic growth goals, we remain laser focused on serving our clients and helping them win.

Q. What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?

We leveraged our collective client experience to launch an organic growth assessment — the Growth Driver Illuminator™ (GDI™). This unique tool helps organizations increase their team’s alignment on the key growth drivers for their business and identify their level of confidence in setting growth priorities. Markets continue to change, and it can be challenging to know where to focus your investments. The GDI helps you to get started by aligning your team on the right priorities and identifying areas where the team may need greater confidence in setting priorities.

We’re thrilled to see that organizations are using it to assess their leadership’s alignment and get them on the same page in order to accelerate organic growth.

Q. About your plans, where do you think Luminas Strategy will be in five years?

We are certainly not in the business of predicting the future; however, the current trajectory of interest in our offerings is very positive. We will continue to earn our clients’ business every day and innovate to deliver differential value to drive our growth and profitability, following the advice we provide to our clients. Growing our client base around the globe and helping more and more B2B companies and nonprofit organizations win with their customers and stakeholders is our focus for the next five years and beyond.

Keith Pigues: An Acclaimed Thought-Leader and Award-Winning Marketer

Keith Pigues, Founder, serves as the CEO of Luminas Strategy. His corporate leadership experience includes roles as a Chief Marketing Officer or senior marketing executive at Honeywell International, Cemex, RR Donnelley, and ADP Dealer Services Division (now CDK Global). He is the co-author of ‘Winning with Customers: A Playbook for B2B’ (Wiley & Sons), an inaugural selection of the C-Suite Book Club, and featured on Best Seller TV. Mr. Pigues is an advocate for women in leadership and diversity in technology.

Keith earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Christian Brothers University, where he was the first recipient of the university’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. He also earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, with additional graduate business studies at Manchester University in the United Kingdom.

“The customer insight and competitive intelligence we uncover with our unique Customer Value Xcelerator (CVX®) offering is transformed into improved organic growth strategy recommendations and prioritized implementation actions to accelerate growth and profits for our clients, helping them win with their customers.”