Cover image for Differentiate or die : survival in our era of killer competition
Differentiate or die : survival in our era of killer competition
Trout, Jack.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Wiley, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 230 pages ; 24 cm
Added Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
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HF5415 .T727 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HF5415 .T727 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith, and perseverance to create a brand."-David Ogilvy
In today''s ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can wander through the showrooms of over twenty automobile makers. For marketers, differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history yet it remains at the heart of successful marketing. More importantly, it remains the key to a company''s survival.
In Differentiate or Die, bestselling author Jack Trout doesn''t beat around the bush. He takes marketers to task for taking the easy route too often, employing high-tech razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand when they should be working to discover and market their product''s uniquely valuable qualities. He examines successful differentiation initiatives from giants like Dell Computer, Southwest Airlines, and Wal-Mart to smaller success stories like Streit''s Matzoh and Connecticut''s tiny Trinity College to determine why some marketers succeed at differentiating themselves while others struggle and fail.
More than just a collection of marketing success stories, however, Differentiate or Die is an in-depth exploration of today''s most successful differentiation strategies. It explains what these strategies are, where and when they should be applied, and how they can help you carve out your own image in a crowded marketplace. Marketing executives in all types of organizations, regardless of size, can learn how to achieve product differentiation through strategies including:
* Revisiting the U.S.P.
Rosser Reeves''s classic unique selling proposition approach, updated for today''s marketplace
* Positioning
Understanding how the mind works in the differentiating process
* Owning an Idea
Techniques to seize a differentiating idea, dramatize it, and make it your own
* Competition
How to use differentiating ideas against your competitors in the marketplace
Consumers today are faced with an explosion of choices. In this environment, distinctive product attributes are quickly copied by competitors, perceived by consumers to be minimal, or both. Still, those who fail to differentiate their product or service in the mind of the consumer won''t stand a chance.
Differentiate or Die outlines the many ways you can achieve differentiation. It also warns how difficult it is to achieve differentiation by being creative, cheap, customer oriented, or quality driven things that your competitors can do as well.
Praise for Differentiate or Die
"Another great book by the king of positioning!"-John Schnatter, CEO, Papa John''s International
"Differentiate or Die differentiates itself on the groaning marketing bookshelf with its lucid prose, its clear vision of the future marketplace . . . and its sensible solutions for surviving the frenzied competition we''re sure to find there."-Dan Rather, CBS News
"What I like about Differentiate or Die is the book''s emphasis on the power of logic, simplicity, and clarity-getting to the essence of a problem. In Silicon Valley, attributes like that can make the difference between having lunch and being lunch."-Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
"Trout and Rivkin marvelously illustrate that differentiation is the cornerstone of successful marketing." -Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing,
Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
"We''ve built our business by being first-and executing best. Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin are doing the same, delivering the timely, powerful insights that will drive tomorrow''s marketing strategies. A must read for anyone looking to win in an unforgiving competitive marketplace."-Mike Ruettgers, CEO, EMC Corporation
"Dotcom executives must learn the lessons of Differentiate or Die. If they don''t, I pity their investors."-Aaron Cohen, CEO, Concrete Media; Co-Founder,

Author Notes

John Francis Trout was born in Manhattan, New York on January 31, 1935. He graduated from Iona College and then served as a flight navigator in the Navy. Afterward, he got a job in General Electric's advertising and training program. He later joined Uniroyal as a division advertising manager. In 1967, he went to work for Al Ries at his advertising agency, Ries Cappiello Colwell. Trout eventually became its president and a partner, and the agency became known as Trout and Ries. They worked together until 1994, when Trout started his own firm, Trout and Partners.

Trout wrote numerous books including Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind with Al Ries, Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition with Steve Rivkin, and Repositioning: The New Battle for Your Mind with Steve Rivkin. He died from intestinal cancer on June 4, 2017 at the age of 82.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Tyranny of Choicep. 1
Chapter 2. Whatever Happened to the U.S.P.?p. 11
Chapter 3. Reinventing the U.S.P.p. 19
Chapter 4. Quality and Customer Orientation Are Rarely Differentiating Ideasp. 27
Chapter 5. Creativity Is Not a Differentiating Ideap. 37
Chapter 6. Price Is Rarely a Differentiating Ideap. 45
Chapter 7. Breadth of Line Is a Difficult Way to Differentiatep. 57
Chapter 8. The Steps to Differentiationp. 65
Chapter 9. Differentiation Takes Place in the Mindp. 73
Chapter 10. Being First Is a Differentiating Ideap. 83
Chapter 11. Attribute Ownership Is a Way to Differentiatep. 95
Chapter 12. Leadership Is a Way to Differentiatep. 107
Chapter 13. Heritage Is a Differentiating Ideap. 115
Chapter 14. Market Specialty Is a Differentiating Ideap. 127
Chapter 15. Preference Is a Differentiating Ideap. 135
Chapter 16. How a Product Is Made Can Be a Differentiating Ideap. 145
Chapter 17. Being the Latest Can Be a Differentiating Ideap. 155
Chapter 18. Hotness Is a Way to Differentiatep. 163
Chapter 19. Growth Can Destroy Differentiationp. 169
Chapter 20. Differentiation Often Requires Sacrificep. 179
Chapter 21. Being Different in Different Placesp. 187
Chapter 22. Maintaining Your Differencep. 195
Chapter 23. Who Is in Charge of Differentation?p. 205
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 219