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Inside Advantage (EBOOK): The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business
 
 

Inside Advantage (EBOOK): The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business [Kindle Edition]

Robert H. Bloom
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Be the Driving Force Behind Your Company's Growth

Robert H. Bloom has discovered that every enterprise has at least one strategic asset-one existing strength-that can form the foundation for future growth. He calls this an Inside Advantage. This strength usually lies unrecognized in an activity the business is currently performing or in a concept or an idea that the business already owns. Finding this hidden potential and becoming well known for it will grow the business.

This strategy reflects Bloom's 45 years of experience in growing businesses and brands of every size and type, including famous companies such as Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, T.G.I. Friday's, Zales, Nestlé, and L'Oréal, as well as not-so-famous B2B firms, not-for-profit organizations, and start-ups.

Now, through his Growth Discovery Process, he is making his strategy available to all people who know their craft but don't know how to craft a growth strategy.

Bloom's process is a plain-language path of discovery with only four steps. Whether you are a business leader, a manager, or an entrepreneur, this Growth Discovery Process will enable you to gain a profound insight into the core values of your enterprise. It will guide you to a clear understanding of who your customers are and what your special offerings to those customers should be. Finally, the process will stimulate a host of ideas-what Bloom calls Imaginative Acts-for highlighting your Inside Advantage and making it well known to current and prospective customers.

Doing what you're good at and doing it better than anyone else will create growth. The Inside Advantage will help you capture that magic moment when customers will select your product or service over those of your competitors.

From the Back Cover

Discover Your Business's Inside Advantage and Start Growing

“Bob's strategic focus and aggressive leadership helped Publicis achieve significant growth in the US. Bob has clearly identified the best way to grow-which is the 'inside advantage' that all companies have. Better still, he offers an approach, a method and steps to follow. The Inside Advantage is nothing less than a recipe for success.”-Maurice Levy, Chairman/CEO, Publicis Groupe SA

“Bob was instrumental in the growth of a number of our important brands at Nestlé USA. The Inside Advantage gives you a process to find your most valuable consumer, and then the insight on how to interact with that consumer to accelerate growth. It's a 'must read'!”-Joe Weller, Former Chairman/CEO, Nestlé USA

“Bob spent a successful career advising business executives and entrepreneurs to learn how to grow their companies and now he's sharing this advice with others. If you want to grow your business . . . read The Inside Advantage cover to cover.”-Jack Mitchell, author of Hug Your Customers and Hug Your People

“If you are looking for practical wisdom from a battle-tested field general of business-look no further. I arranged monthly meetings for years with Bob to uncover the practical wisdom he so effortlessly unfolds in the pages of The Inside Advantage. This step-by-step guide unleashes the resident magic inside any organization that has the guts to put it to the test. Hold on. It is a great ride.”-Robert Dotson, CEO T-Mobile USA


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 007149569X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (26 Sep 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009E71ZO0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,181 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I recently read two books that explain how to achieve and then sustain a decisive competitive advantage: this one written by Robert Bloom with Dave Conti and Steven Feinberg's The Advantage-Makers. Both Bloom and Feinberg stress the importance of being able to recognize opportunities that others don't see (overcoming what I characterize as "the invisibility of the obvious"); possessing sound judgment to determine whether or not a an attractive opportunity is also (key word) appropriate; knowing how and when to respond to each such opportunity; having sufficient resources and the willingness to commit them, sometime quickly; and meanwhile, remaining flexible and resilient. Feinberg's focus is on Advantage-Makers as he explains how these "exceptional leaders win by creating opportunities others don't."

Bloom takes a much different approach as he presents his material within a framework he identifies as "The Growth Discovery Process." It has four separate but related sequential stages, each of which Bloom explains with rigor and eloquence:

1. Determine WHO is the core customer most likely to buy the given product or service in the quantity required with a margin that ensures optimal profit

2. Then determine WHAT is the uncommon offering that can be owned and leveraged

3. Next, determine HOW the persuasive strategy will convince core customers to select the uncommon offering rather than competitive offerings

4. Finally, OWN IT! by taking certain imaginative initiatives that celebrate the uncommon offering so that it becomes indispensable to core customers.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique Selling Proposition 30 Nov 2007
By James D. Nichol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an interesting twist on the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The idea of which has been around a long, long time. Though the idea isn't new Bloom has renamed USP the uncommon offering in his honor. But just because the book lacks novelty doesn't mean it is without merit. In my opinion it is worth reading especially for the entrenched business looking to break-out into double digit growth. This book provides a simple plan for growth through solid, proven marketing principles and business simplification.

The uncommon offering, is the "Inside Advantage" and it all starts with what you are already doing according to Bloom. Discovering the hidden potential inside your business is about the `growth discovery processes.' Meaning you don't have to reinvent your business or branch out for more offerings making thing more complicated. Instead you will need to uncover and capitalize on you're ONE thing. That ONE thing your business does better than the competition. The growth discovery process is uncovering the hidden potential that already exists in your offering. Then Improve it.

This book offers us a four step process and each step is broken down into its own components. The four steps of the big picture are:

1) Find your CORE customers. Beyond demographics; beyond what you may think of when you think of your customers. It is interesting to look at possibilities for the WHO and consider all of the options, such as defining your core customers based on their value for; being the best braggers for your product, being the biggest customers, being the longest relationship with you, being the least lily to complain, being the most likely to repeat their business, being the most likely to not repeat and why. Then you may want to identify these same customers in your competitor's base. Do a little demographic shifting and look at the next step.
2) Discover and deliver your uncommon offering, just listen to your core customers. They will tell you what you do best and why they buy it from you. You will want to examine this from an external and internal base. Writing down all of the ideas and phases people use to describe your offering and distill it down to a statement of 10 to 15 words.
3) Develop persuasive strategies in written statements for action. Growing your business through refining your communication and thought association for your company and offering. To me this read like some of the better branding books I've read lately, but in a short abbreviated chapter. This is a lesson in statements in action to immediately associate your offering with your company.
4) Imaginative acts. Creative public relations or publicity stunts that are tied to your uncommon offering and for the benefit of your core customers. There are some very good examples of what other companies have done most of which you will be familiar with.

I can recommend this book to any company that is looking to break out of a rut they may be in. However, for most creative, progressive companies it will just be a good reminder of what works. This book does a very good job of chronologically drafting out a step by step process employed by the Author. (His record of success speaks for itself)

For the small, new business or start-up this book is good, but you will need to put it into context for the size of clients Bloom works with and the fact that they are very established.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to "unlock the hidden growth" in any business 8 Oct 2007
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I recently read two books that explain how to achieve and then sustain a decisive competitive advantage: this one written by Robert Bloom with Dave Conti and Steven Feinberg's The Advantage-Makers. Both Bloom and Feinberg stress the importance of being able to recognize opportunities that others don't see (overcoming what I characterize as "the invisibility of the obvious"); possessing sound judgment to determine whether or not a an attractive opportunity is also (key word) appropriate; knowing how and when to respond to each such opportunity; having sufficient resources and the willingness to commit them, sometime quickly; and meanwhile, remaining flexible and resilient. Feinberg's focus is on Advantage-Makers as he explains how these "exceptional leaders win by creating opportunities others don't."

Bloom takes a much different approach as he presents his material within a framework he identifies as "The Growth Discovery Process." It has four separate but related sequential stages, each of which Bloom explains with rigor and eloquence:

1. Determine WHO is the core customer most likely to buy the given product or service in the quantity required with a margin that ensures optimal profit

2. Then determine WHAT is the uncommon offering that can be owned and leveraged

3. Next, determine HOW the persuasive strategy will convince core customers to select the uncommon offering rather than competitive offerings

4. Finally, OWN IT! by taking certain imaginative initiatives that celebrate the uncommon offering so that it becomes indispensable to core customers. Some of the most valuable material in this book addresses (In Part 4, Chapters 10-12) one of the greatest challenges all organizations now face: How to create and then sustain a critical mass of what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba aptly characterize as "customer evangelists."

In his Introduction, Bloom explains the meaning and significance of his book's title: "The best way to expand the size, scope, and profit of your business is to grow it from the inside, capitalizing on hidden strengths that already exist within the company or brand." First, it is imperative to formulate an appropriate strategy because (like a hammer) it will be needed to "drive" decision-makers through the aforementioned four-stage process. Think of Bloom as having many of the same functions and responsibilities, as did those trail masters who successfully led late-19th century relocations of thousands of cattle across the plains states, overcoming all manner of hardships along the way. Being a film buff, I am immediately reminded of Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Captain Woodrow F. Coll (Tommy Lee Jones) in Lonesome Dove as well as Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) and Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift) in Red River.

Bloom invites those who read his book to embark on a similar journey and he then accompanies them each step of the way, illustrating key points with an abundance of real-world examples from his decades of experience working with hundreds of clients. I especially appreciate Bloom's empirical approach and his relentless pragmatism. Although he has total confidence in "The Growth Discovery Process," he reiterates throughout the book's narrative is that it is merely a means by which to achieve and then sustain profitable growth...and do so with aggressive (i.e. "explosive") and imaginative but prudent initiatives that are most appropriate to the given organization.

I commend Bloom on stressing the importance of knowing what a company isn't or at least should not attempt to be, of knowing who its core customers aren't or at least shouldn't be, and of what not to do or attempt to do. More than 40 years ago, Peter Drucker spoke to this last point when observing that "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Hence the importance of understanding who the core customer is and that profile is invariably the same as the profile of the most valuable and most desirable of current customers. Many companies make the mistake of not carefully selecting their customers, as Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad recommend in Competing for the Future. Some customers are only marginally profitable, others are unprofitable, and still others create so many problems with constant and unrealistic demands as well as inappropriate behavior that they simply aren't worth keeping, much less pursuing.

Credit Bloom with nailing the basics in this book. And I presume to point out that all of the exemplary companies he examines were once start-ups. Following precisely the same core principles that Bloom advocates, these "acorns" eventually became "oak trees" but even the stoutest trees need "pruning" from time to time.

I highly recommend this book as well as Feinberg's The Advantage-Makers. Also McConnell and Huba's Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force, Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods... And How Companies Create Them (Revised and Updated) by Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske, Marti Barletta's Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment and her more recent PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders, and Gerald Zaltman's How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market.
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ, 28 Nov 2013
By Juancho - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Best Book to define your customer, use it on a regular basis, and you can work directly with the examples at the end of each chapter.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. Highly recommended to all stagnant businesses 18 Aug 2013
By Colin J Clapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An easy or read, straight to the point, thought provoking, action inspiring book. Well worth the time invested in reading and doing the exercises.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! 23 Jan 2013
By Brit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting and easy to read. Lot's of examples. Simple theory which worked out for a lot of companies. Very inspiring.
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