Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most

Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most

by Patrick Barwise, Sean Meehan

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Most executives believe that winning and keeping customers requires offering something unique. But as physical products are seen as increasingly hard to differentiate, companies resort to branding, gimmicks, and “thinking outside the box.” Meanwhile, customers are less satisfied than they were a decade ago.

Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan argue that most companies have taken differentiation so far that they’ve left their customers behind. Customers don’t want bells and whistles and don’t care about trivial differences between brands. What they really want are quality products, reliable services, and fair value for money. Yet most companies consistently fail to meet these basic customer needs.

Simply Better is a no-nonsense, back-to-basics manifesto for today’s businesses. Barwise and Meehan argue that successful differentiation lies not in unique selling propositions, but in generic category benefits, such as good service, on-time delivery, and quality products, that any company can provide. The key is to deliver these consistently better than competitors. Illustrating this customer-focused differentiation through vivid examples of companies, including Toyota, P&G, Hilti, Tesco, and Ryanair, Simply Better outlines an actionable framework managers can use to:

• Understand what customers really value and why they buy the brands they do
• Discover basic, unmet needs ripe for reliable solutions
• Channel customer dissatisfaction into performance improvements
• Balance in-the-box thinking in strategy and innovation with out-of-the-box thinking in advertising and communications
• Create a learning culture that continuously responds to changing customer needs

While being unique might be exciting and appealing, it doesn’t drive business success. Simply Better shows how meeting and exceeding the most ordinary of customer expectations can lead to extraordinary—and lasting—rewards.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633692800
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 08/12/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Patrick Barwise is Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School. Seán Meehan is the Martin Hilti Professor of Marketing and Change Management and director of the MBA program at IMD, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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