Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

Different Escaping the Competitive Herd Why trying to be the best competing like crazy makes you mediocreEvery few years a book through a combination of the author s unique voice storytelling ability wit and insight simply breaks the mol

  • Title: Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
  • Author: Youngme Moon
  • ISBN: 9780307460851
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Why trying to be the best competing like crazy makes you mediocreEvery few years a book through a combination of the author s unique voice, storytelling ability, wit, and insight simply breaks the mold Bill Bryson s A Walk in the Woods is one example Richard Feynman s Surely You re Joking, Mr Feynman is another Now comes Youngme Moon s Different, a book for peoWhy trying to be the best competing like crazy makes you mediocreEvery few years a book through a combination of the author s unique voice, storytelling ability, wit, and insight simply breaks the mold Bill Bryson s A Walk in the Woods is one example Richard Feynman s Surely You re Joking, Mr Feynman is another Now comes Youngme Moon s Different, a book for people who don t read business books Actually, it s like a personal conversation with a friend who has thought deeply about how the world works and who gets you to see that world in a completely new light If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it s the absolute importance of competing like crazy Youngme Moon s message is simply Get off this treadmill that s taking you nowhere Going tit for tat and adding features, augmentations, and gimmicks to beat the competition has the perverse result of making you like everyone else Different provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive Youngme Moon identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of an approach that is adventurous Some are even hostile, almost daring you to buy what they are selling The MINI Cooper was launched with fearless abandon Worried that this car is too small Look here It s even smaller than you think These are players that strike a genuine chord with even the most jaded consumers In fact, almost every success story of the past two decades has been an exception to the rule Simply go to your computer and compare AOL and Yahoo with Google The former pile on feature upon feature to their home pages, while Google is like an austere boutique, dominating a category filled with extras Different shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns but exceptions rule.

    One thought on “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd”

    1. The author offers few revolutionary concepts. Mostly, she brings into focus how the conventional approaches to “differentiation” have resulted in a competitive chase for incremental differences. Companies move and follow one another rather predictably, like a herd. The outcome is industries with overwhelming choices but superficial differentiation to the point where consumers no longer identify with individual brands but instead with categories of brands as being rather generic. Innovative b [...]

    2. Thought provoking book. At first, I was frustrated because the author explains upfront that this won't be like other business books. No tidy takeaways and key action points. You have to slow down and let her walk you through her thinking. She's so eloquent, though, that once you do this, she does a brilliant job of coming at key points from surprising directions. The sign of a good book is one that stays with you and/or one you want to discuss with others and Different scored on both fronts. I e [...]

    3. I enjoyed the ideas and the way she writes but classic example of a book that was probably a magazine article or bschool case study that someone stretched to sell as a book.

    4. An insightful, nuanced, atypical "business" book. Usually business books are popular in their target audience because they offer actionable golden bullets: "do these 1, 2, 3 steps and you can succeed." This book intentionally eschews that route. It is not about "how" a business becomes "different," but rather, simply about describing cases of businesses that have really stood out for being different in one way or another. There are cases on Google, Ikea, Apple, Harley Davidson, etc. These compan [...]

    5. Interesting. Informative. Well written. Two of my favorite brands are profiled in the book: Ikea and In-N-Out Burger. While the author is addressing larger businesses and their product marketing efforts, I chose to read this to see how some of the concepts could be applied to indie art/craft businesses (which, in recent years, seem to be adopting the same marketing strategies as regular "brands" to their detriment, IMHO). Nice to see big brands that do it their own way and find success!

    6. This book was about business and I liked how it was unique because unlike other business books I gave up on in the first page this was more interesting. I liked how it gave lots of examples starting from Jet Blue to Harley-Davidson. It talked about the benefits of being different as a company. It said the three types of different businesses were hostile brands, reversed brands and breakaway brands.

    7. This book had some interesting points, but it felt like the author had a need to fill space and added a lot of unnecessary rambling. She is unapologetic for her style in the intro, which is kind of a mishmash of thoughts. I could deal with that, but the book probably could have been about 100 pages instead of 200+.

    8. I liked the general manifesto, but the book didn't really have enough depth. I didn't finish reading it feeling armed with great case studies or facts. I also found the references to the author's own family / children / students a bit off putting.

    9. - a proliferação de uma categoria de produtos( hipercompetitivas) começa a gerar cada vez menos diferenças entre os produtos/ marcas. Os diferenciais são imperceptíveis para o consumidor.- conhecimento profundo anda lado a lado com a devoção, sentimos afinidade pela categoria de produtos, viramos aficcionados e ai pode haver um momento de maturação de uma categoria onde começamos a nos alienar pelas diferenças e a categoria entra em expiral.- homogeneidade heterogênica - as diferen [...]

    10. 2.5 stars.I really wanted to like this book, and to some extent I did. But I also found it extremely frustrating. All to say, there are some real pros and cons to this book. It's really more of a beach read than academic.Pros:- It's interesting- There is some good information to be learned about human behavior and information processing- It's a very easy readCons:- The examples are cherry picked and the analysis of their impact entirely post-hoc. It is far from scientific. There are no examples [...]

    11. Moon is of great insight of how competition eventually leads to less product differentiation. The book gives a few novel ideas to escape competition dilemma. The last two chapters however are redundant to me. It would be better to put them in an epilogue. Saying a great thing and a good thing is less charming then saying a great thing only. Overall, it refreshes the mindsets in marketing and product design.

    12. I really loved this book! It was a fascinating collection of case studies on different businesses, and I thought that Moon explained the marketing and ideas behind each brand in a very interesting way. All in all, a great analysis of larger societal trends in marketing and the companies that stand out.

    13. As a natural contrarian, I loved the ideas of the book. The higher the competition, the higher the homogenization. Thus, to be special, one must be different. The book offers a few categories of different. Again, I very much liked the ideas.

    14. Another book by another Harvard professor and what a disappointment. Same old unconventional marketing insight fluff.

    15. The author is an experienced marketeer, and gives you some guidelines to use in your marketing concepts. More than average.

    16. Excellent read for people interested in differentiation of brands and insights on how brands evolve over time.

    17. One of the most counter-intuitive business books I've ever read. Some takeaways: * The minute we choose to measure something, we are essentially choosing to aspire to it. * The act of measurement changes the behavior of the thing being measured.* There is a cost to differentiation. There is a price to be paid for excellence. * Google is a "reverse-positioned brand." A reverse-brand is one that makes the deliberate decision to defy the augmentation trend in a category in which customers have come [...]

    18. Checkout Permaculture: A Designers' Manual Bill MollisonChapter 14 - is a most important read for any would be strategist and designer of business models and architect of virtual and real spaces.--Combine the above with the very insightful and contemporary observations of Youngme Moon - a altogether *different* vision of economy and future begins to occur to mePETITION disables our energies. Just as the runner who runs for the enjoyment and beauty of it is free from the obsession, narrow minded [...]

    19. I was excited to read "Different" and gain insights from Dr. Moon's class at the Harvard Business School. This was especially true as I only took 1 Marketing class in undergrad and grad school (I diversified my studies a bit). However, "Different" left me with a lukewarm feeling. I was disappointed as I did not have many "Ah-ha!" moments while reading this book. The majority of the viewpoints presented were common sense to me. I kept waiting for the book to surprise me, and it really never did ( [...]

    20. I honestly was not expecting a book about marketing to be so insightful.Most business books are dry reads with textbook-esque page formats and chapter titles like "Designing and Implementing Your Marketing Plan" or "Dynamic Interactive Marketing". They're often informative but dry and simplified.Moon's book is true to the title: different.It reads like a lecture or a conversation. She starts out by telling you directly that she's going to meander, that her wording is organic, that it's a book ab [...]

    21. Even though I can't bring myself to say that I enjoyed a business book, I did find this one quite interesting. The concept of differentiation is really applicable to any industry, especially tech start-ups, and it was #neat to identify tactics that my own team is implementing in an effort to stay relevant and top-of-mind in the ecommerce marketing space. I did find that it got a bit wordy here and there, and some of her anecdotes were long-winded and unnecessary instead of to-the-point and illum [...]

    22. An Indictment of SamenessI was inspired to read Dr. Moon's book after attending a seminar she presented at a recent marketing conference. Hands down, her presentation towered over everyone else's, substantially & stylistically. Almost effortlessly, like a talented story teller, she effectively deflated America's obsession with competitiveness by fingering the outcome - banal sameness. Her book builds on the dialectic, detailing how our obsessive, almost retributive behavior of responding to [...]

    23. "The age of abundance is over, I remember thinking, not beacuase things are no longer abundant, but because abundance has lost its status as our reigning aspiration." (xi)"But measurement can cut both ways. In track and field, we happen to measure speed, and so we cultivate a nation of speedsters. If we happened to measure running style, we would cultivate a nation of gazelles. The minute we choose to measure something, we are essentially choosing to aspire to it." (29)"[T]his is what reverse br [...]

    24. Youngme explores what makes brand boring and what makes them inspirational in this book about breaking away from your competition. She highlights 3 brand types that achieve this called:1. Reverse brands- like when Google put out a homepage devoid of the million things AOL and Yahoo! had2. Breakaway brands- when Sony branded AIBO not as a robot but a pet and reframed how we thought of the product3. Hostile brands- Like the Mini Cooper which focused on how much smaller it was than you thought when [...]

    25. Business books tend not to be nail-biting, page-turning, or dramatic. This one is no exception, though I did find it approachable and engaging.Through multiple lines of questioning, Different explores why today’s consumers tend towards what Youngme Moon describes as “brand agnosticism” rather than brand loyalty. I tend to agree with her premise, that for all the products available to modern consumers, the selection in categories from cereal to luxury cars seem rife with a feeling of underw [...]

    26. A book on marketing by Moon, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School. I knew I'd like the book when, right in the beginning, she notes that scholars can add to a field in two ways: by distilling it, or by enriching it with shades of nuance, and she intended to do the latter. I'm sick of distillation-books lately, of which there are too many, books that clearly would rather be 10-page bullet-list outlines if only you could sell those for $10+. Different is not like those, as the title [...]

    27. An interesting read about branding attempts from quite a few industries and companies, though as Moon states from the beginning there is no straight up lesson on how to make your brand stand out. Some good insights - a company's tendency is to correct perceived weaknesses to catch up with the rest of the market, though the best way forward may be to double down on the strengths and let the weaknesses stand. Hostile brands - MiniCooper, Red Bull, Apple - do just that and have obtained success in [...]

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