Commodity Products & Services

In the last year we’ve seen various price promises from the leading supermarkets in the UK – Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys and price competition intensifies as national austerity restricts spending. The idea is simple. The supermarket agrees to reimburse the buyer for any difference in the price of his or her shopping that would have […]

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Can Blockbuster Be Turned Around?

by Paul Simister on March 25, 2013

Blockbuster, the DVD rental chain went into administration in January 2013 as demand shrank under pressures from online video streaming services like NetFlix and Amazon’s LoveFilm and the increased entertainment options provided by the many channels available on satellite TV. It was announced just before the quarterly rents were due for payment in late March […]

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How To Survive A Price War

by Paul Simister on March 19, 2013

This article looks at prices wars and in particular, how to survive a price war if you find yourself being dragged into one by competitive rivalry by undifferentiated competitors or a particularly aggressive strategy by one competitor who may be differentiated but whose actions damage the entire market. My Experience Of Price Wars I have […]

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What If All Rock Bands Sounded Like Led Zeppelin?

by Paul Simister on September 15, 2011

While Led Zeppelin aren’t my favourite rock band from the 1970s, they are such an archetypal group and widely copied. Let’s take a look at what made Led Zeppelin special and wonder what it would be like if more Led Zeppelin soundalikes had made it big.

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Does Your Marketing Dazzle Like A Zebra?

by Paul Simister on September 6, 2011

If your marketing dazzles like a zebra, then potentially you’ve got a big problem. Let me explain. On its own, a zebra is a beautiful creature unlike anything else. You can think of it as a stripy horse but smaller.

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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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It’s very nice to build a business that is different and distinctive. It gives you a feeling of superiority because you’ve created something that you can be really proud of. But we can’t escape from the basic idea of differentiation…

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Too Scared To Differentiate Your Business?

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

Let me be blunt. If you haven’t differentiated your business is it because you are too scared to be different? In a survey people said that there were more scared of public speaking than dying! That’s a bit extreme but some people don’t want to be the centre of attention, all eyes on them, watching […]

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June 24th was a quarter day and that means in the UK, rents became due for the next three months and it created a wave of insolvencies among big retailers like Jane Norman, Habitat, TJ Hughes and Moben. Allegedly other retailers are under severe financial pressure like Clinton Cards and HMV. Even the giant electrical […]

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“Paul I don’t agree with your idea that you have to be different to succeed” said a business owner I was speaking to last week. His idea was that if he could make his business as much like the market leader as possible, he’d get some of the sales. And his logic was fascinating because […]

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Before you spend a fortune on marketing and communicating messages to targeted customers, you must find a way to make your business stand out. That’s what this entire Differentiate Your Business blog is all about so you’ll find plenty in here about being distinctive in a crowded marketplace. Please take the opportunity to look at […]

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Marketing Bingo Or Yellow Pages Bingo For Accountants

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2011

Yellow Pages Bingo or Marketing Bingo is my game for checking that your marketing hasn’t fallen into the trap of being too similar to your competitors. This is a practical example of applying Yellow Pages Bingo to the Accountants market. In this blog I look at the Yellow Pages for accountants in Central Birmingham. I […]

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Marketing Bingo, Yellow Pages Bingo Or Website Bingo

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2011

Management-speak bingo is a fun game employees can play while listening to senior executives give a rallying call to the troops. They pick ten popular management buzzwords or phrases along with their fellow players and wait for the esteemed leader to call them out. If one gets a full house – every phrases they’ve selected […]

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Stuck In The Middle Of Porter’s Generic Strategies

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2011

Harvard professor and world famous business strategist Michael Porter has a simple view to business and how you can generate superior returns from your business – the generic strategies –  but you can get stuck in the middle, not one thing or the other. These ideas were introduced in the book Competitive Strategy by Michael […]

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