Synopses & Reviews
"Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith, and perseverance to create a brand."-David Ogilvy
In today's ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can wander through the showrooms of over twenty automobile makers. For marketers, differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history yet it remains at the heart of successful marketing. More importantly, it remains the key to a company's survival.
In Differentiate or Die, bestselling author Jack Trout doesn't beat around the bush. He takes marketers to task for taking the easy route too often, employing high-tech razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand when they should be working to discover and market their product's uniquely valuable qualities. He examines successful differentiation initiatives from giants like Dell Computer, Southwest Airlines, and Wal-Mart to smaller success stories like Streit's Matzoh and Connecticut's tiny Trinity College to determine why some marketers succeed at differentiating themselves while others struggle and fail.
More than just a collection of marketing success stories, however, Differentiate or Die is an in-depth exploration of today's most successful differentiation strategies. It explains what these strategies are, where and when they should be applied, and how they can help you carve out your own image in a crowded marketplace. Marketing executives in all types of organizations, regardless of size, can learn how to achieve product differentiation through strategies including:
* Revisiting the U.S.P.
Rosser Reeves's classic unique selling proposition approach, updated for today's marketplace
Understanding how the mind works in the differentiating process
* Owning an Idea
Techniques to seize a differentiating idea, dramatize it, and make it your own
How to use differentiating ideas against your competitors in the marketplace
Consumers today are faced with an explosion of choices. In this environment, distinctive product attributes are quickly copied by competitors, perceived by consumers to be minimal, or both. Still, those who fail to differentiate their product or service in the mind of the consumer won't stand a chance.
Differentiate or Die outlines the many ways you can achieve differentiation. It also warns how difficult it is to achieve differentiation by being creative, cheap, customer oriented, or quality driven things that your competitors can do as well.
Praise for Differentiate or Die
"Another great book by the king of positioning!"-John Schnatter, CEO, Papa John's International
"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.
"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
"We've built our business by being first-and executing best. Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin are doing the same, delivering the timely, powerful insights that will drive tomorrow's marketing strategies. A must read for anyone looking to win in an unforgiving competitive marketplace."-Mike Ruettgers, CEO, EMC Corporation
"Dotcom executives must learn the lessons of Differentiate or Die. If they don't, I pity their investors."-Aaron Cohen, CEO, Concrete Media; Co-Founder, Bolt.com
Dotcom executives must learn the lessons of Differentiate or Die. If they don't, I pity their investors.-Aaron Cohen, CEO, Concrete Media; Co-Founder, Bolt.com
A revision of the handbook that taught marketers to differentiate in order to dominate the competition
Since Differentiate or Die was published seven years ago, competition for mindshare in a world of look-alike products and services has only intensified. The message of the book is more important than ever: that companies often fail to recognize their own most powerful and unique attribute and fail to implement a strategy that emphasizes and supports that attribute. Differentiation is not branding, but the essence of what branding is about. Trout demonstrates successful differentiation through examples from around the world, using core ideas like heritage, market leadership, and "being first" to rationalize consumers' unconscious emotions so that managers can bind them to products. This revised Second Edition includes new and updated examples, new research, fresh case studies, a deeper discussion of specialization, and an in-depth explanation of the ways line-extension can undermine differentiation.
Jack Trout (Greenwich, CT) is President of Trout Partners, one of the most prestigious marketing firms in the United States with offices in 13 countries. He is the author of several marketing classics, including Big Brands Big Trouble (978-0-471-41432-2). Steve Rivkin (Glen Rock, NJ) is President of Rivkin &Associates, a marketing and communication consultancy.
Announcing an update of one of the best marketing books of all time.
Differentiation has become a very big word in business thanks in great part to Differentiate or Die. It has been called one of the best marketing books of all time.*
Because of its importance, Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin have updated it and added new material they wish they had written the first time around.
Now it's better than ever, with eighteen new case studies, completely updated material, and three new chapters. One offers extensive research on category commoditization. Another covers differentiation in the new world of buzz. The third new chapter reveals how you can differentiate anything using compelling, nonbusiness examples to prove this point.
If you've read the First Edition, you'll probably enjoy this new Second Edition even more. For a full understanding of differentiation today, keep this purple copy on your shelf next to the original red one.
*The editors of Soundview Executive Book Summaries.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-217) and index.
About the Author
JACK TROUT is President of Trout &Partners, 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 1998's The Power of Simplicity.
STEVE RIVKIN is coauthor of The New Positioning and The Power of Simplicity and head of his own communications consulting firm, whose clients include Kraft Foods, Olin Corp., and Horizon Health System. He is based in Glen Rock, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
The Tyranny of Choice.
Whatever Happened to the U.S.P.?
Reinventing the U.S.P.
Quality and Customer Orientation Are Rarely Differentiating Ideas.
Creativity Is Not a Differentiating Idea.
Price Is Rarely a Differentiating Idea.
Breadth of Line Is a Difficult Way to Differentiate.
The Steps to Differentiation.
Differentiation Takes Place in the Mind.
Being First Is a Differentiating Idea.
Attribute Ownership Is a Way to Differentiate.
Leadership Is a Way to Differentiate.
Heritage Is a Differentiating Idea.
Market Specialty Is a Differentiating Idea.
Preference Is a Differentiating Idea.
How a Product Is Made Can Be a Differentiating Idea.
Being the Latest Can Be a Differentiating Idea.
Hotness Is a Way to Differentiate.
Growth Can Destroy Differentiation.
Differentiation Often Requires Sacrifice.
Being Different in Different Places.
Maintaining Your Difference.
Who Is in Charge of Differentiation?