New Market Entry/Securing Regulatory Approval
The Client’s Challenge:
For three years, a start-up communications company had struggled unsuccessfully to obtain Federal Communications Commission approval to deploy its novel technology in the US commercial market. Despite numerous commercial applications, several federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration, raised objections with the FCC due to perceived safety implications. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy and had pursued an increasingly confrontational approach with the US government due to pressure from their investors. Meanwhile, its chief competitor was pursuing FCC approval of a different technology approach that would limit the company's commercial success.
The Cohen Group (TCG) learned the details of the client's challenge quickly and mapped the constellation of proponents and opponents of the technology in the executive branch, Congress, think tanks, and trade press. With input from the client, TCG applied its deep knowledge of government decisionmaking to develop merit-based counter-arguments that would mitigate the concerns of the opponents. TCG tailored these counter-arguments to each organization's unique policies, processes, and politics and developed a strategy to make their case to each organization – including the sequence of each presentation. TCG also developed strong arguments to persuade proponents to speak out in favor of the client’s technology.
TCG coached the client on tone and style of its presentations to match each opponent’s concerns, and accompanied them to meetings with many mid-level government officials responsible for the technical, operational and policy implications of the technology. In the course of these discussions, the client learned first-hand about their opponents’ concerns and would slightly modify their technology to satisfy them.
In seven weeks, the client successfully persuaded its opponents to support their technology, leading the FCC to approve its use in a newly created, multi billion dollar commercial market.