Consumer marketing expert and Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon talks about how companies can stand out in a saturated market and how she's practicing what she preaches in selling her new book: Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd.
I think it's unfortunate that the focus this was on marketing. I think the most interesting part of this piece was the very first part on the personal affects of shifting ones primary focus on developing your weaknesses. I see this all the time (twice a year when it's time to do self assessments at work). We are continually advised and prodded to define and work on our weaknesses at, what I believe, is to the detriment of our overall performance. I'm not suggesting that one shouldn't work to improve oneself overall, but that should not be the focus as it will inevitably lead to the deterioration of the strength (imnsho). You are not hired, after all, for your weakness, but rather your strengths.
Kip... yes, this homogenization goes to product development as well. We are living in an era when marketing drives everything. Volvo HAS tried to become more sexy. And Audi HAS tried to improve its safety ratings. But, this is key, Audi has not tried to become LESS sexy. That's not the point. The point is to strengthen your brands weaknesses, not to weaken your strengths.
When companies strive to be market innovaters and leaders (something I learned in business school can be hard to do right) they can command fanatic loyalty. Just look at Apple and the IPad. The product is not perfect but it is good enough.
I work for a luxury brand who always scores in the highest percentiles on Nielsen customer experience surveys and I agree with Elizabeth who commented above.The homogeneity is steeped into every aspect of a brand, including employee performance criteria and the customer service application.
It is the fault of managers with lack of creativity and risk acceptance judging their employees all by the same tool and in the same way. It is no surprise the products reflect this.I have an MBA from a top biz school and worked for AT&T for years and I saw the same thing repeated over and over again within the company.
Hmm... I'm a total brand loyalist. I only buy Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice, Skippy peanut butter, Smuckers Jelly, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Kraft mac & cheese... because they're perfect the way they are.
Among my friends who are parents in their 30s and 40s, I see huge brand disloyalty for larger purchase items (appliances, furniture) because items fail in grandly disappointing ways. To me, everything is made in China and will therefore disappoint me, so I now try to restrict my purchases to secondhand. Mindset: if I pay much less in comparison to stagnant wages, the blow will be much less.
A Harvard professor wrote a whole book on something so mundane and self-evident?
Do you think the 'compensation' model (based on improving the weakest metric) you discuss is impacting product development and manufacturing or just marketing? Is Volvo ACTUALLY sexier and a less safe car and is Audi ACTUALLY safer and less sexy?
'Let the products sell themselves. F*#@ advertising, commercial psychology, psychological methods to sell should be destroyed. Let yourself be heard' - d. boon
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