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Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most Hardcover – 1 Aug 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875843980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875843988
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 411,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

It’s all good stuff and ultimately proves that consumers care more about basic benefits than unique selling propositions. (Edge 2005-08-05)

This is a book about marketing for people who have read too many books about marketing... [Simply Better] is a welcome book that sheds light on a glaring deficiency in contemporary business culture... the empathy gap that exists in all too many executive suites. (Financial Times 2005-08-03)

From the Publisher

In this "radically conservative" book, the authors advocate a "back-to-basics" approach to marketing that replaces the relentless quest for differentiation with a relentless focus on these types of basic customer needs. The authors’ research shows that most companies have been ignoring the basics for too long.

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By the early 1990s, 6 percent of the U.K. population owned a cell phone. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book is an easy if, in terms of management literature, a somewhat surprising read. It does not pontificate on ways to make the proverbial better mousetrap, instead it focuses on doing the basics right - i.e. delivering the broad category benefits to consumers sufficiently well and time after time.

As with every such book, there are examples aplenty and many are intuitively appealing. Irrespective of the differentiation strategy dreamt up in the 'strategizing circles' in the boardrooms of companies, most consumers simply do not care about this or that differentiating feature and simply want a product that fills their needs reliably, at an affordable price - something simply performing the category promise. It delivers a similar message to The One Minute Manager - Raving Fans!: Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service in a package more suited to people, who do not get taken in by the one minute manager approach to writing.

Furthermore brand building as such is not dismissed but more or less relegated to the 'cherry on the top' corner, rather than hailed as the main and (practically only) game in town. One does get the impression that the book's examples are primarily chosen in a way to reinforce the message, rather than to test the theory (even in a sandbagged kind of way), costing it the fifth star in my opinion.

If you want an easy commute read, and some food for thought of how to improve your company performance with little risk, the book is certainly a good place to start. But as the authors warn, little risk does not mean little effort or automatic glory after - providing adequate service is not the same heady experience (in the eyes of many marketeers and top management) as dreaming up the next best thing / unique selling proposition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Bowden on 8 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Simply Better is a refreshing and important read for marketing folk. Hell, everyone on the Board should take at least a quick look.
By challenging the belief that companies should expend huge treasure and sweat on constant innovation and should rather focus their efforts on delivering the core category benefits that consumers really value. The premise is simple and the examples easily absorbed. It's not a zingy read and it lacks the surface appeal of more radical concepts such as the Tipping Point. It is, however, probably right.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paddy Barwise's book challenges conventional norms and more traditional FMCG marketing thinking. Is differentiation in your positioning needed to win vs. competition or is it enough to be simply better? Differentiation is key in your communication for sure but perhaps they do have a point... Definitely worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thought provoking and practical. Basic thesis could have been explained and illustrated in 60% of the space and some of the repetitious padding dispensed with. Nevertheless, we will use this as a core part of our internal management training programme.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Popeck on 5 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Refreshingly free of psycho-babble and related nonsense and without the unrealistic, over-blown and excessive 'can do' ethos that dilutes so many other books in this arena. Yes, it swims against the tide and yes, implementing the suggestions is no easy task, but I'm certainly going to try; and that's rare for me. Don't be put off by the cover that makes it look like a GCSE-level publication. There is real wisdom in these pages.
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