There are no two ways about it with Jack Trout. Either you've got a product or service that you can say is different, or you don't have much at all. In today's global marketplace and at its lightning-fast rate of change, there's no point in inventing and presenting a product only to sit back and hope that consumers everywhere will discover its greatness. It's not simply about what you or your product can do, it's about what you do differently from everyone else. Coauthors Trout and Steve Rivkin say it all in their no-holds-barred title, Differentiate or Die.
A disciple of the marketing guru Rosser Reeves, who introduced the
concept of the "unique selling proposition," Trout relays his vision of
what can help you differentiate in blunt, tell-it-like-it-is prose.
First he breaks the bad news that product quality, advertising
creativity, price advantage, and breadth of product line are rarely
successful ways to differentiate your business. Consumers expect the
best quality, he says; they don't think it's a bonus. In the same vein,
your competitor can slash prices just as quickly as you. After
dismissing these common marketing techniques as futile, Trout
concentrates on which differentiating ideas will set you apart from the
pack: Being first (and staying there), owning a discernible attribute,
having a heritage, becoming the preference of a particular consumer
group, or even being the most recent arrival in a product arena are just
some of these useful differentiates. Though the book's fast and quippy
narrative style may leave some readers looking for more substance behind
his adamant assertions, Trout's recommendations act as inspirational
spurts of energy. A slim manual packed with punchy points, Differentiate
or Die won't take you long to read but could make a lasting--you
guessed it--difference to the success of your business. --S. Ketchum
An in-depth exploration of today’s most successful differentiation strategies.
"Differentiate or Die differentiates itself on the groaning marketing bookshelf with its lucid prose, its clear vision of the future marketplace…and its sensible solutions for surviving the frenzied competition we’re sure to find there."–Dan Rather, CBS News
"What I like about Differentiate or Die is the book’s emphasis on the power of logic, simplicity, and clarity–getting to the essence of a problem. In Silicon Valley, attributes like that can make the difference between having lunch and being lunch."–Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
"Another great book by the king of positioning!"–John Schnatter, CEO, Papa John’s International
"Trout and Rivkin marvelously illustrate that differentiation is the cornerstone of successful marketing."–Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
About the Author
Jack Trout is President of Trout & Partners Ltd. (troutandpartners.com), one of the most prestigious marketing firms in the United States, with offices in 13 countries and a client list that includes AT&T, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Sears, and other Fortune 500 companies. Recognized as one of the influential gurus of marketing, Trout was the first to popularize the idea of "positioning" products and ideas in the minds of consumers. A sought-after speaker, he is the author of numerous marketing classics including the bestselling Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, and The Power of Simplicity.
Steve Rivkin is coauthor of The New Positioning and
The Power of Simplicity and head of a communications consulting firm
whose clients include Kraft Foods, Olin Corp., and Horizon Health
System. He is based in Glen Rock, New Jersey.
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