August 2011

The strategy canvas is an essential tool to help you focus on establishing a differentiation based competitive advantage. It goes by different names –  W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne call the Strategy Canvas in Blue Ocean Strategy, Cliff Bowman calls the Customer Matrix, I call a Customer Value Attribute Map and others call it […]

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One of the most popular tools in business planning and strategic planning is SWOT Analysis. What is SWOT Analysis? SWOT stands for: Strengths – factors that are good in the business now . Weaknesses – factors that are bad in the business now . Opportunities – factors that could be good in the future . […]

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Dare To Be Different by Alessandro Forte

by Paul Simister on August 18, 2011

The book I have bought is called Dare To Be Different: How To Create Business Advantage Through Innovation And Unique Selling Propositions by Alessandro Forte. For someone interested in business strategy, differentiation and USPs, it sounded ideal. But it’s not what the book is about. Dare To Be Different – This Book is Certainly Different […]

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Turning A Business Around by Mark Blayney

by Paul Simister on August 18, 2011

I read the book “Turning A Business Around” by Mark Blayney under its first edition title of  “Turning Your Business Around: How To Spot The Warning Signs And Keep Your Business Healthy” This is a very, very good book if you ever find yourself in the stressful situation of owning or managing a business in […]

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Reality In Advertising by Rosser Reeves

by Paul Simister on August 18, 2011

Reality In Advertising by Rosser Reeves is the famous book credited with popularising the concept of the Unique Selling Proposition. It was first published in 1961 so can a book that is fifty years old have anything to teach us about advertising and marketing? You bet it does. Reality In Advertising starts with perhaps the […]

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Advantages & Disadvantages Of Value Chain Analysis

by Paul Simister on August 18, 2011

Value Chain Analysis is the big idea in Michael Porter’s classic strategy book Competitive Advantage. Image Rights for diagram The Advantages Of Value Chain Analysis A big advantage is that the value chain is a very flexible strategy tool for looking at your business, your competitors and the respective places in the industry’s value system. […]

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One Size Fits All & The Myth Of Procrustes

by Paul Simister on August 16, 2011

The opposite of a niche marketing approach is to use the philosophy of “one size fits all“. To understand how silly this is, we can go back to the Greek myth of Procrustes. Procustes was the son of the sea god Poseidon and he had a stronghold on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. […]

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The Purchase Tipping Point

by Paul Simister on August 11, 2011

The Purchase Tipping Point is not to be confused with the Profit Tipping Point, the name of my free report to help business owners make more profit. The Purchase Tipping Point refers to the buying decision and how it tips from uncertainty about which is the best choice to certainty that you have made the […]

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Your unique selling point (also known as unique selling proposition and often shortened to USP) answers the big question: Why should I buy from you rather than any of your competitors? I was reading a book about branding and marketing earlier today which said that the USP is dead. I don’t agree. The idea of […]

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Has Your Marketing Turned Into Anti-Marketing?

by Paul Simister on August 10, 2011

If marketing is everything you do in the business to attract, convert and keep customers and clients then what happens if your marketing doesn’t work? It may have become anti-marketing. What is Anti-Marketing? Anti-marketing provides a reason for your marketing messages to be ignored and for potential customers to leave you and existing customers to […]

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The book Business Model Generation: A Handbook For Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is a remarkable triumph of visual design. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book like it before. I have some criticisms about how easy it is to read and the fact that the content is […]

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Be Distinct or Extinct

by Paul Simister on August 9, 2011

It was Tom Peters, the management/leadership guru who co-wrote In Search of Excellence and many other books who came up with the phrase “be distinct… or extinct!” I really wish I’d thought of it and it conveys the same message as Jack Trout’s Differentiate Or Die. It puts over the differentiation/branding issue very well although […]

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The Experience Curve & The Impact On Innovation

by Paul Simister on August 9, 2011

I’ve written before about the importance of the experience curve for cost management and the importance to manage it actively rather than hoping that more experience automatically leads to lower costs. The Impact Of The Experience Curve On Innovation & Differentiation I’ve never discussed its impact on differentiation and how focusing on getting the most […]

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Opportunity Gap Exploitation

by Paul Simister on August 8, 2011

The phrase opportunity gap exploitation is one I’ve borrowed from Dan Kennedy and it refers to one of the ways to find your unique selling proposition or, if you want to get fancier, your differentiated value proposition. A great example is Dominos USP – fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes – guaranteed.

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My thinking on strategy is heavily influenced by Michael Porter and his classic book Competitive Advantage introduced the concept of the value chain analysis. The value chain is an original Porter concept although he built on the idea of the business system from strategy consultants McKinsey and its main purpose is to help you to […]

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It’s pretty clear that many of the major economies of the world are in a mess and that austerity and cuts are going to be on the agenda for years. This presents a challenging economic environment for businesses to operate in day-to-day and to plan for the future strategically. I get very frustrated with the […]

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How To Differentiate Your Internet Marketing Business

by Paul Simister on August 5, 2011

If you are an Internet entrepreneur then you need to differentiate your business. The very way that the search engines work means that when the potential customer types in a search phrases, Google and the others will do their best to find the most relevant pages. That groups competitors together.

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4 Niche Marketing Myths

by Paul Simister on August 4, 2011

The book Battling Big Box referred to four niche marketing myths identified by entrepreneur, speaker and author Harvey Mackay which I thought were well worth telling you about. Many business advisers and marketing experts say “get a niche” without saying much about how to choose a niche. Let’s Go Niche Marketing Myths-Busting:

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“Differentiate Your Business” Says The Professor

by Paul Simister on August 3, 2011

I had fiverr.com recommended to me a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t resist Professor Hans Von Puppet. . . What do you think? To get the Profit Tipping Point report, just fill in your name and email address in the box on the right. Paul Simister is the business strategy coach who helps […]

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Battling Big Box by Henry Dubroff & Susan Marks

by Paul Simister on August 3, 2011

Battling Big Box: How Nimble Niche Companies Can Outmaneuver Giant Competitors by Henry Dubroff and Susan J Marks is supposed to be a book about how small businesses can get the better of the giant competitors in their market who appear to have all the advantages. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations.

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Small Businesses Can Have A Competitive Advantage

by Paul Simister on August 3, 2011

I’m shocked when I talk to business owners who are under the mistaken belief that only big businesses can have a competitive advantage. It’s not true – you can have a small business with a strong and compelling competitive advantage and in many ways I think it’s much easier to develop a competitive edge in […]

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Niche Marketing And Differentiation

by Paul Simister on August 2, 2011

Last Friday I was asked “Paul, what’s the difference between niche marketing and differentiation?” I can understand the confusion because niche marketing and differentiating your business are related concepts but you can: use niche marketing principles and not be differentiated; or differentiate your business and not practice niche marketing. Most of the time, successful businesses […]

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