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A fresh look at competitive strategy

Most companies are in a feature war with their competitors, while their customers are essentially tuning out (e.g. think of how different American Airlines is from United. Really). A wonderful little book – Different – implores us to step back and stop what’s become normal in marketing.

Without giving away the book, think of this as a Blue Ocean Strategy book with a human touch. The author wears her knowledge lightly (she’s a marketing professor at Harvard) and the flow is easy to follow and understand.

Most of her examples are from product companies (e.g. MINI car, Dove soap), rather from companies that compete on services (think consulting). Furthermore, although most of her examples are focused on big companies, the reflective reader should easily be able to think about this from his/her own professional careers (i.e. Am I really different from my peers?).

This should be a must read for those responsible for any aspect of competitive strategy – product managers, strategists, marketing managers – especially those in customer facing roles.

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