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Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Insightful comparison of quality versus convenience

    Technology journalist Kevin Maney coined the term "fidelity swap" to describe the choice consumers make between "convenience" and "fidelity," which is the quality of the experience that a product or service provides. People make such trade-offs many times every day. To illustrate, consider whether you would rather watch the Yankees play live at Yankee Stadium or see the game from the comfort of your home? Would you rather enjoy the experience of browsing the aisles of your local bookstore or have the convenience of ordering books online? Products or services that lie on either extreme of the fidelity versus convenience continuum are most successful, while those that offer neither high quality nor extreme ease of use fall into the "fidelity belly," where they are doomed to mediocrity unless they can swim out. In his engaging book, Maney expertly uses numerous colorful case studies to explain the fidelity swap paradigm and lucidly demonstrates how to adopt it as a corporate strategy. getAbstract recommends his work to businesspeople contemplating issues of price versus prestige, availability versus exclusivity, and what works in the market, what doesn't and why.

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