Selling Blue Elephants: How to Make Great Products That People Want Before They Even Know They Want Them

Overview

Can you remember the world before the iPod? How about the world before chunky tomato sauce or brown mustard? Many of these products came about not through focus groups and polling, but rather through research and development labs and marketers developing the products they knew customers would want, before customers knew they wanted them. Today your customers can actually help you create your next product. Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE) is a solution-oriented learning experience. RDE is the systematized ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$21.03
BN.com price
(Save 36%)$32.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $2.20   
  • New (3) from $130.08   
  • Used (6) from $2.20   
Selling Blue Elephants: How to make great products that people want BEFORE they even know they want them

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$18.49
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$32.99 List Price

Overview

Can you remember the world before the iPod? How about the world before chunky tomato sauce or brown mustard? Many of these products came about not through focus groups and polling, but rather through research and development labs and marketers developing the products they knew customers would want, before customers knew they wanted them. Today your customers can actually help you create your next product. Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE) is a solution-oriented learning experience. RDE is the systematized process of designing, testing and modifying alternative ideas, packages, products, or services in a disciplined way so that the developer and marketer discover what appeals to the customer, even if the customer can't articulate the need, much less the solution. The book begins by presenting best practices in the RDE from some of today's top companies: HP, Prego, Vlasic, and Mastercard. It then goes on to examine RDEs use in innovation and design, and goes on to examine its possible uses in the international, political, bioinformatics, and finance areas. Filled with real-life stories, this book will change the way people think about selling to their present and future customers.

“Everyone thinks they need to break rules, but Moskowitz and Gofman skillfully show us how to develop and use the rules to define new perspectives and make better business decisions in virtually any field. An absolute must-read for any businessperson facing fierce competition!”

—Sean Bauld, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, Sales & Trading, Reuters

“Over the last 15 years significant shareholder value has been destroyed by ‘insightful and creative’ marketers resulting in the shocking statistic that more than 90% of launches and re-launches do fail. Moskowitz and Gofman are serious geniuses who have dedicated their work to help all of us increase our chances of success significantly. RDE is a new tool that all marketers should acquire if they love their profession and are serious about creating shareholder value out of every launch.”

—Tex Gunning, Group Vice President, Unilever Asia

“In a series of well-written and engaging examples, Moskowitz and Gofman vividly illustrate the value of a truly scientific approach to understanding what consumers really want. But more than that, they show how experimentation is not only the spice of life, but can spice up all of our lives.
This book is as much fun to read as it is informative, and it is as deeply rooted in psychology as it is in the science of marketing. They really deliver the goods!”

—Professor Stephen Kosslyn, Chair, Psychology Department, Harvard University

“We’ve been teaching business students how to understand the ‘mind of their customers’ for a long time. Finally, the ordinary reader, as well as business people, social scientists, and politicians, can share in these tools. Moskowitz and Gofman have flattened the playing field with their book Selling Blue Elephants. I applaud you both. Two thumbs up.”

—Professor Subrata Sen, Professor of Marketing, Yale University

“We are in an age of the next killer application and it is elusive. Selling Blue Elephants is an absolute must read for any business moving from strategy to execution. Howard and Alex have built a process driven engine (RDE) that delivers actionable results that have a direct tie back to business directives. Bringing reality from concept is the key ingredient to a successful business idea—Selling Blue Elephants is the cookbook.”

—Peter Tripp, Vice President, Strategic Programs Office Global Outsourcing and Infrastructure Services, UNISYS

“This book is a must read for anyone challenged with showing that systematic experimental design does not start and end in R&D but should be ingrained in the corporate mindset.”

—Dulce Paredes, PhD., Director, Consumer Sciences, Avon Products, Inc.

Really great products and really huge successes don’t come from focus groups! And if you simply rely on trial and error, or guesswork, you’ll lose far more often than you’ll win. Now, there’s a solution: Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), the first systematized, disciplined, solution-oriented business process of experimentation.

In Selling Blue Elephants, RDE’s creators reveal how to systematically design, test, and modify alternative ideas, packages, products, and services, to discover offerings your customers will be passionate about...even if they can’t articulate the need, much less the solution!

Discover the seven easy steps that take you from cluelessness to clarity in just days... sometimes even hours. Watch RDE succeeding in companies ranging from Hewlett-Packard to Campbell’s, MasterCard to Maxwell House... and learn how to get the same outstanding results yourself, one step at a time, every time!

  • Discover “how the world works” in your market
  • Reveal the hidden rules that define your next breakthrough product
  • Create prototypes that answer the right questions, fast
  • Get at the truths your customers don’t know how to tell you
  • Use automated tools to streamline the entire process
  • Streamline your research, and get actionable answers in just days
  • Extend RDE value throughout the enterprise
  • From messaging to corporate communications to investor behavior

About the Authors

Howard Moskowitz is President and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. He is a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics and an inventor of world-class market research technology. Widely published in the scientific press, Dr. Moskowitz is known worldwide as the leading thinker and creator of advanced research technology in the area of new product and concept development.

His background includes a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University and seven years as a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. In July 2004, he was elected as an IFT Fellow for his contributions in the field of food science and technology. He was also awarded the American Marketing Association’s 2005 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize” of the market research industry.

Dr. Moskowitz has spoken widely at both scientific and market research conferences, and guest-lectured at leading business schools including Wharton, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Texas at Austin. He also appeared weekly from 2004-2006 on ABC News Now as The Food Doctor, highlighting the food industry’s most exciting innovations.

Alex Gofman, VP and CTO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., is the architect of several globally-recognized market research technologies and holds multiple patents. Widely published in the scientific press on the topics of technology-oriented experimental psychology, he has led new methodologies and algorithms development as well as other aspects of MJI operations since joining the firm in 1992, and is lead developer and architect of its IdeaMap® family of products. He holds a BS and a MS in Computer Science from Donetsk National Technical University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1981.

Contents

FOREWORD xi

ABOUT THE AUTHORS xiii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xv

INTRODUCTION 1

PART 1 MAKING MONEY 17

CHAPTER 1 HEWLETT-PACKARD SHIFTS GEARS 19

CHAPTER 2 MAXWELL HOUSE’S CALCULUS OF COFFEE 27

CHAPTER 3 DIALING UP DELICIOUS: MAJOR DISCOVERIES FROM VLASIC AND PREGO 47

CHAPTER 4 HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD EVEN WHEN THEY PAY MORE 65

CHAPTER 5 DISCOVER MORE ABOUT YOUR COMPETITORS THAN THEY THEMSELVES KNOW—LEGALLY! 87

PART 2 MAKING THE FUTURE 105

CHAPTER 6 RUBIK’S CUBE OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS INNOVATION 107

CHAPTER 7 BRIDGING COOL DESIGN WITH HOT SCIENCE 125

PART 3 FLYING TO VENUS 153

CHAPTER 8 MIND GENOMICS: CONSUMER MIND “ON THE SHELF” 155

CHAPTER 9 MAKING THE PRESIDENT AND PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS INTO “PRODUCTS” 183

CHAPTER 10 RDE DEFEATS MURPHY’S LAW AND “BARES” THE STOCK MARKETS 205

CHAPTER 11 ASIA CALLING, LTD.: THE CHINA ANGLE 225

CHAPTER 12 RDE’S “BRAVE NEW WORLD!” 235

EPILOGUE 239

INDEX 241

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136136682
  • Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 4/25/2007
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Moskowitz is President and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. He is a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics and an inventor of world-class market research technology. Widely published in the scientific press, Dr. Moskowitz is known worldwide as the leading thinker and creator of advanced research technology in the area of new product and concept development.

His background includes a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University and seven years as a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. In July 2004, he was elected as an IFT Fellow for his contributions in the field of food science and technology. He was also awarded the American Marketing Association’s 2005 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize” of the market research industry.

Dr. Moskowitz has spoken widely at both scientific and market research conferences, and guest-lectured at leading business schools including Wharton, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Texas at Austin. He also appeared weekly from 2004-2006 on ABC News Now as The Food Doctor, highlighting the food industry’s most exciting innovations.

Alex Gofman, VP and CTO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., is the architect of several globally-recognized market research technologies and holds multiple patents. Widely published in the scientific press on the topics of technology-oriented experimental psychology, he has led new methodologies and algorithms development as well as other aspects of MJI operations since joining the firm in 1992, and is lead developer and architect of its IdeaMap® family of products. He holds a BS and a MS in Computer Science from Donetsk National Technical University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1981.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

ForewordForeword

Welcome to the brave new world, where science and knowledge meet, and perhaps give the status quo a run for its money.

This book is about Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE)—a business process with which a company can know more about customers than many think even possible. That information sheds light on what the company has to do to ride the wave, get the next set of customers, and then anticipate the future. Armed with these new information-gathering tools, a company can find out what turns on their current and potential new customers, insightfully create new products, successfully launch them, and happily grab market share from the competitors. Imagine this as the world for generations to come—where what you are means less than what you can be tomorrow, and what you can be tomorrow becomes increasingly simpler to achieve for a company so determined.

So with this vision of what the world's going to be like, let's return to Selling Blue Elephants. Moskowitz and Gofman are experienced in this world where in order to survive, businesses must understand the customers' needs, both current and not yet thought of. Translating them into successful business rules virtually overnight—and at the same time doing it inexpensively—is something that was unimaginable just a few years ago.

The authors have managed to systematize the approach so any business person can take advantage of it whenever needed. This is not one of those dreary handbooks or over-simplified manuals for people feeling challenged in marketing, product development, and so on. Howard and Alex have struck a beautiful balance; areadable scientific foundation free from mind-numbing and deep statistical excursions; a balance of hands-on experience without making the reader feel boot-camped or even coached; and principles plus case histories that are downright entertaining, informative, and educational. The book leads you on a captivating journey with each chapter introducing gradually more and more useful details about RDE widely applied from food product development to political campaigns, from advertisement to stock market predictions, from driving innovation to package and magazine cover design. And the list goes on. By the end of the book you realize you are ready to try it yourself. It is deep enough in details to let the reader jump-start RDE immediately, and at the same time general enough to stimulate a search for new applications.

When I started reading their work, I was amazed that companies could actually learn so much by systematic variation. It was surprising to me, who had grown up in a world of smart and systematic thinkers. We used some of these approaches when I worked closely with the founder of Schwab.com, but not to the extent, nor with the same rigor that our authors have done. We survived and grew, but we could have done things far faster and better than we did had we had the blueprint from experimentation. When it came time to apply this approach in our study and book, Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters, we got a chance to use the systematic experimentation that our authors promote. It worked like a charm, and confirmed in two weeks of "scientific work" those insights that we had found in a couple of years of interviews. We authors were convinced, and in fact so convinced that we wrote up the chapter about RDE as the final "methods" chapter in our book.

One of the traditional questions of any foreword is who is this book written for? With Selling Blue Elephants, this is a tricky question. On one hand, brand managers, advertising specialists, product developers, marketers and market researchers, designers, communications professionals, and of course students will clearly benefit from reading this book and applying RDE to their respective fields. The general reading public will find much of this book fascinating. On the other hand, even the authors seem to be uncertain where the limits of the approach are. Who knows, maybe the biggest RDE success will come out of the areas only hinted at or not even touched in this book.

So, again, why is RDE so important? Quite simply, none of us in the business world really knows all the answers all the time. Oh, certainly there are some of us who can ride a winning streak, who may be connected to "what's going on right now." But as an investor and business builder, I think it's important to take a longer view. It's good to be right. And, I've learned over the years that nothing is better than knowledge. Selling Blue Elephants gives us the way to gain that knowledge about the customers' mind easily, anywhere, anytime, and for virtually any topic. The authors have, in effect, created a manifesto for change that will be equally powerful in the hands of the small business and the large corporations anywhere in the world.

Spending a big portion of my professional life trying to understand and explain to others what entails to become successful, I feel that this book and RDE may be the most useful tools on the road to success for motivated businesspeople.

Howard and Alex have put together a really captivating book. They've woven together stories about business successes in a way that I as a businessman and investor find fascinating.

—Mark Thompson
Executive coach and management advisor, and co-author of the international bestseller Success Built to Last

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

FOREWORD xi

ABOUT THE AUTHORS xiii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xv

INTRODUCTION 1

PART 1 MAKING MONEY 17

CHAPTER 1 HEWLETT-PACKARD SHIFTS GEARS 19

CHAPTER 2 MAXWELL HOUSE’S CALCULUS OF COFFEE 27

CHAPTER 3 DIALING UP DELICIOUS: MAJOR DISCOVERIES FROM VLASIC AND PREGO 47

CHAPTER 4 HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD EVEN WHEN THEY PAY MORE 65

CHAPTER 5 DISCOVER MORE ABOUT YOUR COMPETITORS THAN THEY THEMSELVES KNOW—LEGALLY! 87

PART 2 MAKING THE FUTURE 105

CHAPTER 6 RUBIK’S CUBE OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS INNOVATION 107

CHAPTER 7 BRIDGING COOL DESIGN WITH HOT SCIENCE 125

PART 3 FLYING TO VENUS 153

CHAPTER 8 MIND GENOMICS: CONSUMER MIND “ON THE SHELF” 155

CHAPTER 9 MAKING THE PRESIDENT AND PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS INTO “PRODUCTS” 183

CHAPTER 10 RDE DEFEATS MURPHY’S LAW AND “BARES” THE STOCK MARKETS 205

CHAPTER 11 ASIA CALLING, LTD.: THE CHINA ANGLE 225

CHAPTER 12 RDE’S “BRAVE NEW WORLD!” 235

EPILOGUE 239

INDEX 241

Read More Show Less

Preface

ForewordForeword

Welcome to the brave new world, where science and knowledge meet, and perhaps give the status quo a run for its money.

This book is about Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE)—a business process with which a company can know more about customers than many think even possible. That information sheds light on what the company has to do to ride the wave, get the next set of customers, and then anticipate the future. Armed with these new information-gathering tools, a company can find out what turns on their current and potential new customers, insightfully create new products, successfully launch them, and happily grab market share from the competitors. Imagine this as the world for generations to come—where what you are means less than what you can be tomorrow, and what you can be tomorrow becomes increasingly simpler to achieve for a company so determined.

So with this vision of what the world's going to be like, let's return to Selling Blue Elephants. Moskowitz and Gofman are experienced in this world where in order to survive, businesses must understand the customers' needs, both current and not yet thought of. Translating them into successful business rules virtually overnight—and at the same time doing it inexpensively—is something that was unimaginable just a few years ago.

The authors have managed to systematize the approach so any business person can take advantage of it whenever needed. This is not one of those dreary handbooks or over-simplified manuals for people feeling challenged in marketing, product development, and so on. Howard and Alex have struck a beautifulbalance; a readable scientific foundation free from mind-numbing and deep statistical excursions; a balance of hands-on experience without making the reader feel boot-camped or even coached; and principles plus case histories that are downright entertaining, informative, and educational. The book leads you on a captivating journey with each chapter introducing gradually more and more useful details about RDE widely applied from food product development to political campaigns, from advertisement to stock market predictions, from driving innovation to package and magazine cover design. And the list goes on. By the end of the book you realize you are ready to try it yourself. It is deep enough in details to let the reader jump-start RDE immediately, and at the same time general enough to stimulate a search for new applications.

When I started reading their work, I was amazed that companies could actually learn so much by systematic variation. It was surprising to me, who had grown up in a world of smart and systematic thinkers. We used some of these approaches when I worked closely with the founder of Schwab.com, but not to the extent, nor with the same rigor that our authors have done. We survived and grew, but we could have done things far faster and better than we did had we had the blueprint from experimentation. When it came time to apply this approach in our study and book, Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters, we got a chance to use the systematic experimentation that our authors promote. It worked like a charm, and confirmed in two weeks of "scientific work" those insights that we had found in a couple of years of interviews. We authors were convinced, and in fact so convinced that we wrote up the chapter about RDE as the final "methods" chapter in our book.

One of the traditional questions of any foreword is who is this book written for? With Selling Blue Elephants, this is a tricky question. On one hand, brand managers, advertising specialists, product developers, marketers and market researchers, designers, communications professionals, and of course students will clearly benefit from reading this book and applying RDE to their respective fields. The general reading public will find much of this book fascinating. On the other hand, even the authors seem to be uncertain where the limits of the approach are. Who knows, maybe the biggest RDE success will come out of the areas only hinted at or not even touched in this book.

So, again, why is RDE so important? Quite simply, none of us in the business world really knows all the answers all the time. Oh, certainly there are some of us who can ride a winning streak, who may be connected to "what's going on right now." But as an investor and business builder, I think it's important to take a longer view. It's good to be right. And, I've learned over the years that nothing is better than knowledge. Selling Blue Elephants gives us the way to gain that knowledge about the customers' mind easily, anywhere, anytime, and for virtually any topic. The authors have, in effect, created a manifesto for change that will be equally powerful in the hands of the small business and the large corporations anywhere in the world.

Spending a big portion of my professional life trying to understand and explain to others what entails to become successful, I feel that this book and RDE may be the most useful tools on the road to success for motivated businesspeople.

Howard and Alex have put together a really captivating book. They've woven together stories about business successes in a way that I as a businessman and investor find fascinating.

—Mark Thompson
Executive coach and management advisor, and co-author of the international bestseller Success Built to Last


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    How to use statistics to create and market new products

    Marketing gurus Howard Moskowitz and Alex Gofman believe their method of product testing, called Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), can lower your costs, shorten turnaround time, and improve your product development, packaging, messaging and competitive analysis. RDE involves defining your problem, then testing a series of alternatives to determine its boundaries. The data you gather may confirm your expectations, but often enough it will contain surprises. Even if your customers can¿t articulate their needs, their choices and behavior will show you what they want. RDE will also inform you about how to sell to each market segment. The authors illustrate their method with interesting case studies they also include amusing, if irrelevant, sidebars (one covers the history of the tomato, for example). Their style may be digressive and flawed by the overuse of jargon, and some of the graphs and illustrations can be confusing, yet we recommend this book to experienced marketing managers who are tired of guessing about their strategies and want to base them on reliable data.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)