Book Report Essays

Submitted By lovedolcelee
Words: 1010
Pages: 5

Book Report
Mengwei Li Differentiate or Die is the book I chose to read. The reason that I chose this book is the eye-catching title. It is obviously that this book is a single concept book. Single concept book in marketing area usually is too extreme, but this book shows readers its concept through a large number of real world examples. Those examples do support the main idea of this book: if a brand or a product wants to survive in this competitive world, it must create an identity different than its competition. In this book, Jack Trout give readers a lesson to understand “what’s” and “how’s” differentiation. First of all, the author gives us the reason why we need to differentiate: an explosion of choice in the modern society. Ignoring uniqueness, changes in the market and differentness will make a company weak. In order to differentiate ourselves from other competitors, we need to know the factors that influence customers to make decisions. The author points out four types of customer decision making: intuitivists, thinkers, feelers and sensors. Each kind of customer will be attracted by different features. Therefore, differentiation should be considered diversiform. In addition, the author offers a four-step process to help readers develop differentiating factors. Step 1: make sense in context. Make sure you find out what you really want to get is a quick snapshot of the perceptions that exist in the mind. Step 2: find the differentiating idea. You must be unique and find something that separates you from your competitors. Step 3: have credentials. You should not only have the difference, but also be able to demonstrate your difference perfectly. Step 4: communicate your difference. After creating the uniqueness, you need to change your customers’ perception. Another important part of this book is the successful differentiation strategies which includes be first, maintain attribute ownership, be a leader, have a history, specialize in your market, be the preferred provider, make your products in a special way and be hot. As for me, this is an interesting and valuable book. Before reading this book, if someone asks me what is the most important part can set my brand or product apart from other competitors; I will answer either quality or price. However, this question is the most interesting part of this book: what differentiate is not. Those “yellow flags” that need to avoid includes quality and customer orientation, creativity and price. From the author’s point of view, quality and customer orientation rarely work as good ways to differentiate a product or brand. These improvement methods have a similarity. Both of them are short-term change. While companies focusing on quality improvement to meet the requirements of their customers, customers might will require more in a short period of time. In addition, if the gap of products quality and service needs are so obviously that we can notice that, our competitors are able to notice that too. Therefore, this gap is easy to fill up by every company. In other words, it is easy to catch up this improvement. To demonstrate this concept, the author uses an example of frequent buyer programs. American Airlines failed to differentiate themselves for frequent travelers to the degree that justified the costs and drawbacks of the program, and the worst part is easily imitated. American Airlines improved its service and expanded its business through this new service, but this is a short-term advantage as the author points out. Similarly, the price is a short-term improvement too. It’s not a good long-term difference creator because it’s too easy to catch up. Every company can do price cutting. However, a price attack is the least thing every company wants to meet because price cutting cannot bring any long-term profits. From my point of view, price cutting has more drawbacks than advantages. Even when there is a real cost difference due, as to