BCG History: 1965

Defining Ourselves to the World

"Bruce called a staff meeting for a Saturday morning in the fall of 1965. He explained that to survive, much less grow, in a competitive landscape occupied by hundreds of larger and better-known consulting firms, we needed a distinctive identity. He had concluded that we shouldn't fight the competitive battle as generalists, but should instead stake out a special area of expertise.

"He asked what we thought that specialty should be. Many suggestions were offered, but in each case we were able to identify several other firms that already had strong credentials in that particular area. The discussion began to stall. Then Bruce asked a momentous question: 'What about business strategy?' I objected: 'That's too vague. Most executives won't know what we're talking about.' Bruce replied, 'That's the beauty of it. We'll define it.'"

—Robert E. Mainer Boston 1964-1967

BCG Insights & Highlights

  • BCG acquires Pietro Gennaro Associati of Milan
  • Consultants = 12

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  • North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh rejects peace talks with the U.S.
  • U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Medicare bill into law
  • A relay switch in Ontario malfunctions, sending most of the eastern United States and Canada into a blackout. Nine months later, the birth rate spikes
  • Winston Churchill dies
  • Malcolm X is assassinated in a Harlem theater
  • Cigarette advertising is banned on British television
  • India invades Pakistan in a dispute over Kashmir
  • Three days of race rioting occur in the Watts section of Los Angeles
  • The United States sends troops to Vietnam
  • Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith issues a Unilateral Declaration of Independence

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