In today’s ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can visit the showrooms of over twenty auto makers. Differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history, yet it remains a key to a company’s survival.
In Differentiate or Die, best-selling author Jack Trout takes marketers to task for taking the easy route of high-tech razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand instead of marketing their product’s uniquely valuable qualities. He examines successful differentiation initiatives—from giants like Wal-Mart to tiny Trinity College—to determine why some succeed and some fail. The author outlines the many ways to achieve differentiation, while also warning of how difficult it is to achieve differentiation by being creative, cheap, customer oriented, or quality driven, things that your competitor can do as well.
JACK TROUT is president of Trout & Partners, a marketing firm with offices in thirteen countries and a client list that includes AT&T, IBM, Sears, Merrill Lynch, and other Fortune 500 companies. He was the first to popularize the idea of “positioning” products in the minds of consumers. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of numerous marketing classics.
STEVE RIVKIN, the coauthor of The New Positioning and The Power of Simplicity, is head of his own communications consulting firm, whose clients include Kraft Foods, Olin Corporation, and Horizon Health System. He is based in Glen Rock, New Jersey.