Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most Hardcover – 1 Aug 2004
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.