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Differentiate or Die

Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition

Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin

Publisher: Wiley, 2000 , 230 pages

ISBN: 0-471-35764-2

Keywords: Strategy


Toggle Synopsis

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
  • Positioning
    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
  • Competition
    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.

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. The Tyranny of Choice
  • Chapter 2. Whatever Happened to the U.S.P.?
    Chapter 3. Reinventing the U.S.P.
    Chapter 4. Quality and Customer Orientation Are Rarely Differentiating Ideas
    Chapter 5. Creativity Is Not a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 6. Price Is Rarely a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 7. Breadth of Line Is a Difficult Way to Differentiate
    Chapter 8. The Steps to Differentiation
    Chapter 9. Differentiation Takes Place in the Mind
    Chapter 10. Being First Is a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 11. Attribute Ownership Is a Way to Differentiate
    Chapter 12. Leadership Is a Way to Differentiate
    Chapter 13. Heritage Is a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 14. Market Specialty Is a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 15. Preference Is a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 16. How a Product Is Made Can Be a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 17. Being the Latest Can Be a Differentiating Idea
    Chapter 18. Hotness Is a Way to Differentiate
    Chapter 19. Growth Can Destroy Differentiation
    Chapter 20. Differentiation Often Requires Sacrifice
    Chapter 21. Being Different in Different Places
    Chapter 22. Maintaining Your Difference
    Chapter 23. Who Is in Charge of Differentiation?



by Roland Buresund last modified 2009-09-01 15:39

Rating: ** (Bad)

This book is pretty meaningless.

It tries to make it appear that Porter's generic strategy Differentiation is something Trout and Rivkin has discovered. It feels like a Tom Peters book, and that is absolutely not flattering!

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