Beyond Price by Mary Kay Plantes & Robert Finfrock

by Paul Simister on July 21, 2011

Beyond Price is a book about how to escape harsh price competition by differentiating your business so it was bound to catch my attention.

The full title is Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company In Ways That Really Matter by Mary Kay Plantes and Robert D. Finfrock.

beyond price

The problem with reading a book that deals with your own speciality is that you find yourself thinking “I don’t do it like that. It’s wrong.”It isn’t of course. It’s just a different perspective.

Beyond Price Review

The book takes what I think of as a leadership perspective on the issue of differentiation rather than a strategic perspective (think Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage book) or a customer driven marketing perspective.

The Beyond Price 8 Step Process

An eight step process is advocated in Beyond Price:

  1. Understand the root cause of your problem (why you’ve become a victim of commoditisation)
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  2. Forget customer driven; become market driven (an interesting perspective which I agree with – while it is useful to ask customers what they want, they are very limited in what they can imagine so you should go beyond what they say they want)
    .
  3. Conduct a strategic assessment
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  4. Design a new strategically differentiated business model
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  5. Realign the leadership team
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  6. Create a meaningful corporate aspiration
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  7. Establish strategic goals and create an annual planning process to achieve them
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  8. Align culture with strategy

Personally I’d have preferred more attention to issues like market segmentation, the key elements of customer value a creating a value proposition and business defining core offer.

Beyond Price Is More Suitable To Big Businesses

With so much emphasis on leadership and taking the full team with you on the journey, the impression I had was that Beyond Price is more suitable to bigger, publicly owned businesses than small businesses where the entrepreneur or business owner (whichever you prefer) is the main driving force.

I suspect that Beyond Price will be particularly useful for senior managers who are strong on marketing skills – so don’t need the bits that are missing from the book – and weak on leadership and culture change which the book covers well.

How To Get Your Copy Of Beyond Price

You can get a copy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (affiliate links). It has been very well received with 22 5 star reviews so far.

Have You Read Beyond Price?

If you’ve read Beyond Price, I’d like to know what you think of the book. Did the eight step process outlined in the book help you to differentiate your business?

Let me know by leaving a comment please.

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, by being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplaceā€¦. in other words, by building a business to be proud of.

You too can move past your profit tipping point (free report) by answering the seven big questions of business success (mp3)

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