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Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market Paperback – 7 May 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 May 1996
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (7 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006387160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006387169
  • Package Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 571,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

Why is it that Casio can sell a calculator more cheaply the Kellogg's can sell a box of cornflakes? Why can FedEx ‘absolutely, positively’ deliver your package overnight but airlines have trouble keeping track of your bags? How is it that some companies are reinventing competition in their markets – setting new standards of quality, innovation and customer service – while others are seemingly oblivious to the changing world around them?

'The Discipline of Market Leaders' presents a deceptively simple thesis: that successful companies excel at delivering one type of value to their chosen customers. The key is focus. Market leaders choose a single ‘value discipline’ – best total cost, best product, or best total solution – and literally build their organisation around it.

Through detailed case studies of some of the world's best-knowncompanies, the authors examine the implications of each discipline from an operating standpoint, offering step-by-step guidance on choosing and implementing the right one, which will enable companies to stake their claim to market leadership.

A chapter featuring European companies, including Marks&Spencer, Whitbread and British Airways, has been specially written for this paperback edition.

‘Move over Michael Porter! You'll find it hard to put down this book, and even harder not to change your company after reading it’.

‘Another cracker from CSC Index… Highly recommended’.

About the Author

Fred Wiersema is a leading business strategist and consultant to high-performance companies. He is senior vice-president of CSC Index, the international management consulting firm known for its pioneering approaches to business strategy, reengineering and large-scale change. He has been featured in ‘Fortune’, ‘Business Week’ and various leading European business publications.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book's concepts for strategic marketing management are so widely accepted that the popular Balanced Scorecard concept of Kaplan and Norton in 2001 decided to adopt the ideas for the "customer perspective".
The authors manage to take Michael Porter's two generic competitive strategies - Differentiation and Cost Leader - and elaborate on these to an extent never presented so elegantly before. In the process, they discover a third generic strategy - Customer Intimacy.
Thus, Treacy and Wiersema distinguish between focusing on the following value dimensions:
- Operational excellence (cost leadership / focus on supply chain management)
- Product leadership (innovation / focus on product lifecycle management)
- Customer Intimacy (service leadership /focus on customer relationship management)
These are the FOUR RULES that govern market leaders' actions:
Rule 1: Provide the best offering in the marketplace by excelling in a specific dimension of value
Rule 2: Maintain threshold standards on the other dimensions of value
Rule 3: Dominate your market by improving value year after year
Rule 4: Build a well-tuned operating model dedicated to delivering unmatched value
Expanding on the fourth rule - operating models - may the best long-term contribution of this book. The authors explain in detail and via case stories how the operating models differ for each of the three value propositions. In practice, I've learned that by explaining the operating models, many people can easier find themselves depicted than in the overall generic dimensions of cost, service or product leadership.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE or Cost Leadership - Best total cost - operating model:
Key success factor: Formula!
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Format: Paperback
Excellent content; just not a book's worth. The authors say virtually nothing more than they did in their superb HBR article of the same name a few years back. Another case of a fine 10-page idea gratuitously expanded into a book.
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Format: Paperback
This book urges you to adopt one style of competition: low costs and prices, innovation, or relationships. Once you adopt that style, you must outdo all of the competition. That's where most people fall short. Falling short can be a disaster, because someone else will always be beating you at your own game. If you want some good ideas for how to be sure you are years ahead of the competition in whichever style you choose, you should take a look at the 8 step process in The 2,000 Percent Solution. It gives you a good process for making those important changes. The Discipline of Market Leaders is a good read, and you'll enjoy it.
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By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema make it clear that market leading companies all concentrate on creating value for their customers. Then they focus on specific cases from Nike to Johnson & Johnson. No company, including yours, can succeed by trying to be all things to all people. Companies must ascertain the unique value - be it price, quality or problem solving - they can deliver to a specific market. The book proves that comparisons are not odious if they are interesting, and the comparisons it offers are intriguing indeed. Anecdotes and case histories cover companies that are market leaders today - AT&T, Intel, Airborne Express - and companies that used to be market leaders. The authors offer you three choices: lead with low costs, great products or outstanding ability to solve customers' problems. But if you are going to lead, you have to pick a direction and implement a management strategy that supports it, a lesson eased along by the clarity of the writing. We recommend this book to executives who are seeking advice on trumping their markets.
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Format: Paperback
For what it does and the way it does it this book deserves a 10. It directly and enjoyably addresses the point it sets out to make, and gets there. The basic point is this, companies that excell in the marketplace deliver on their customer's 'value expectation' with regard to themselves. The authors describe three areas where firms can and do excell in delivering on 'value expectation', operational excellence (best value), customer intimacy (service), and product leadership (innovation). They then describe in detail each of these positions. For each of the three basic positions presented the authors offer real examples of companies using the approach their describing, as well as how they succeed using it. This is the background to the idea of product positioning - instead of a product focus, the idea here is a market sector focus. The emphasis in "Discipline of Market Leaders" is on the customer's expectation for that particular market niche. Then, with sufficient details and examples to make it understandable and applicable, the mind set and process is developed and described. You'll see some familiar and not so familiar names like Wal-Mart, Sony, and Airborne Express used as examples throughout the book. Rather than using these names as an exercise in self-promotion the authors actually make interesting and applicable points through these examples and illustrations. I found the book an eye opening and memorable business read. I probably read between 75-100 business books a year and this is one I've remembered, and I've applied the material repeatedly with success. Most of my collegues agree that in business, time is a precious commodity and wasting it is not suffered gladly. Read this book you'll find the investment worth it.
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