Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers

Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers

by Niraj Dawar
     
 

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Shift your strategy downstream.

Why do your customers buy from you rather than from your competitors? If you think the answer is your superior products, think again.

Products are important, of course. For decades, businesses sought competitive advantage almost exclusively in activities related to new product creation. They won by building bigger

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Overview


Shift your strategy downstream.

Why do your customers buy from you rather than from your competitors? If you think the answer is your superior products, think again.

Products are important, of course. For decades, businesses sought competitive advantage almost exclusively in activities related to new product creation. They won by building bigger factories, by finding cheaper raw materials or labor, or by coming up with more efficient ways to move and store inventory—and by inventing exciting new products that competitors could not replicate.

But these sources of competitive advantage are being irreversibly leveled by globalization and technology. Today, competitors can rapidly decipher and deploy the recipe for your product’s secret sauce and use it against you. “Upstream,” product-related advantages are rapidly eroding.

This does not mean that competitive advantage is a thing of the past. Rather, its center has shifted. As marketing professor Niraj Dawar compellingly argues, advantage is now found “downstream,” where companies interact with customers in the marketplace.

Tilt will help you grasp the global nature of this downstream shift and its profound implications for your strategy and your organization. With vivid examples from around the world, ranging across industries and sectors, Dawar shows how companies are reorienting their strategies around customer interactions to create and capture unique value. And he demonstrates how, unlike product-related advantage, this value is cumulative, continuously building over time.

In an increasingly customer-centered world marketplace, let Tilt serve as your guide to shifting your strategy downstream—and achieving enduring competitive advantage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Included in Forbes “Eight Noteworthy Books of 2014” list.

“A Top Shelf Best Business Book pick of the Year: Marketing” — strategy+business magazine

Tilt is a must read for business heads as it will allow them to have a relook at their strategy. Investments made in understanding consumers and designing specific solutions for them have a much bigger payoff than upstream investments, which can be outsourced to a large extent.” — Business World magazine

“makes a strong argument for marketers to actively dictate and manage the expectations of the markets in which they operate.” — Quirk’s Marketing Research Report

ADVANCE PRAISE for Tilt:

Don Tapscott, best-selling author or coauthor of fifteen books, most recently Macrowikinomics
“Dawar deftly explains why competitive advantage is being seized by companies that understand how profoundly customer relationships have changed in a networked economy, and how your company can achieve similar success.”

Russell S. Winer, William H. Joyce Professor of Marketing; Chair, Marketing Department, NYU Stern School of Business—
“In this highly readable and important book, Niraj Dawar offers marketing managers a road map for obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage. By ‘tilting’ toward their customers and their interactions with them, marketers will move from product-centric to customer-centric thinking and increase their success in today’s highly competitive marketplace.”

Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO, ZenBanx Inc.; former Chairman and CEO, ING Direct—
Tilt challenges us to place customers at the heart of strategy. With product cycles shortening and product costs shrinking, this book brings to life a deeper understanding of how strategy can be made more powerful. A must-read.”

Chris Barrow, Chief Strategy Officer, Heineken N.V.—
“Given the changes in the consumer goods industry, Tilt really got me to think in a different way. It puts a new focus on understanding and leveraging any organization’s customers and consumers. An essential read for all current and aspiring C-level executives.”

Rohit Deshpandé, Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School—
“The democratization of technology, the flattening of the earth, and emergent market disruptors are fundamentally changing how we should think about competitive strategy. Niraj Dawar makes a powerful argument for tilting company resources from upstream to downstream value creation in order to capture and retain customers. Read this book.”

Vivek Mehra, Partner, August Capital—
“This book will shake the faith of any tech start-up’s product obsession. It provides a fresh new way of looking at market dynamics, customers, and competition. Tilt is essential reading for entrepreneurs and executives building successful businesses, not just better products.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422187173
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
11/05/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Niraj Dawar is a strategic thinker and author who has worked with leading organizations on three continents. He is Professor of Marketing at the Ivey Business School in Canada and Hong Kong. He has worked with senior management teams in companies in the technology, banking, and consumer goods industries. His published work appears in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and in the leading academic journals in marketing.

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