Strategy & Marketing Books

Value Above Cost by Donald E Sexton

by Paul Simister on June 10, 2015

The full title of this book is Value Above Cost: Driving Superior Financial Performance with CVA, the Most Important Metric You’ve Never Used. It is by Donald E. Sexton who is Professor of Business at Columbia University and principal of The Arrow Group Ltd which provides training and consultancy services to large companies. CVA is […]

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Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer) is written by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, Alan Smith and designed by Trish Papadakos. This is a very stylish book, starting with the front and back covers which show the effects of good and bad value proposition designs repectively. It also […]

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The Well Timed Strategy by Peter Navarro

by Paul Simister on November 27, 2011

The Well Timed Strategy :  Managing the Business Cycle For Competitive Advantage by Peter Navarro is an important book which many business leaders will wish they’d read before the 2007 credit crunch and the 2008/9 recession. For too long, talk about the wider business environment through PEST analysis and scenario planning was seen as an […]

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Customer Power by David Swaddling & Charles Miller

by Paul Simister on November 15, 2011

Customer Power : How To Grow Sales And Profits In A Customer-Driven Marketplace is by David Swaddling and Charles Miller. At the time of writing the book, they were President and Senior VP of Insight-MAS, a consulting firm specialising in the measurement and management of Customer Perceived Value. I found their website when I became […]

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The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy

by Paul Simister on November 12, 2011

The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy : Classic Concepts and New Perspectives has been edited by Carl W. Stern and Michael S. Deimler. The Development Of Strategy What we know about strategy has come from three different sources: Business leaders and entrepreneurs doing what seems right and sensible to win in their markets . Academics […]

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The Language Of Trust by Michael Maslansky

by Paul Simister on November 6, 2011

The full title and attribution of this important book is The Language Of Trust : Selling Ideas In A World Of Skeptics by Michael Maslansky with Scott West, Gary DeMoss and David Saylor. Skeptics or Sceptics I’d better deal with the language issue upfront. The book title includes the word skeptics with a k but […]

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Important Strategy Questions – Seven Strategy Questions

by Paul Simister on November 5, 2011

I’ve been writing a series of articles about strategy questions so when I learnt that Harvard Business School professor Robert Simons has written a book called Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution it seems appropriate to include details of the questions. The Seven Strategy Questions

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Creating & Delivering Your Value Proposition

by Paul Simister on November 3, 2011

Creating & Delivering Your Value Proposition : Managing Customer Experience For Profit by Cindy Barnes, Helen Blake and David Pinder is a book which goes into a detailed methodology of how to create a value proposition. Creating & Delivering Your Value Proposition Review

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Developing Business Strategies by David Aaker

by Paul Simister on October 30, 2011

Developing Business Strategies by David A. Aacker is written to help managers to develop strategies that will help their businesses to compete more effectively and perform better. Developing Business Strategies Review Who Is Developing Business Strategies Written For? Many of the strategy books I review on my blog are: for academics and MBA students strategy […]

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Profit Patterns by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison

by Paul Simister on October 21, 2011

Profit Patterns : 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison, Ted Moser, Kevin Mundt, James Quella is a very interesting book which explains dynamics in strategy. Review of Profit Patterns Profit Patterns begins with the interesting metaphor of business strategy is like Picasso’s paintings.

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“The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably” by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden is widely recognised as the world’s best pricing book. Pricing is where your strategy is either tested and proven or fails. It is very much where the rubber meets the road. Review of The Strategy And Tactics […]

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Creating Value by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon

by Paul Simister on October 14, 2011

Creating Value :  Shaping Tomorrow’s Business Today by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon could be the best strategy book you’ve never heard of. It’s a fiercely original intellectual work which will challenge many of the traditional ways of thinking about business strategy. Review of Creating Value by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon Unfortunately both authors […]

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Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant

by Paul Simister on October 10, 2011

I was lucky because Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant was the core text book for my MBA strategy module at the Manchester Business School. I was in Waterstones yesterday and it still looks the best of the strategy text books to me. Its big rival was Exploring Corporate Strategy but I think this is […]

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Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman

by Paul Simister on October 6, 2011

Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman is a book for managers who contribute to the strategy debates going on within their businesses. This makes it very different from many of the strategy texts which are either written for the MBA market or for strategy experts. Who Is Cliff Bowman? Cliff Bowman is Professor of Strategic […]

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The Profit Zone by Adrian Slywotzky & David Morrison

by Paul Simister on October 2, 2011

The Profit Zone : How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits by Adrian J. Slywotzky and David J. Morrison is a fascinating look at the power of business models to determine the success of a business. The Profit Zone Review The authors, Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison argue that the traditional sources […]

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The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

by Paul Simister on September 28, 2011

“The Art of Profitability” by Adrian Slywotzky is a fascinating book which reveals twenty three different business models which an entrepreneur can use to build a profitable business. What Is A Business Model? A business model is the way your business creates value for customers and captures its fair share as profit. The best business […]

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Hypercompetition by Richard D’Aveni

by Paul Simister on September 26, 2011

Hypercompetition : Managing the Dynamics Of Strategic Maneuvering by Richard D’Aveni is a book I’ve wanted to read for many years and finally, earlier this year I did. Although it dates back to 1994 I’m very impressed about its ideas on strategy dynamics. Hypercompetition Review The view of business strategy presented in Hypercompetition by Richard […]

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The full title of this book is “Simplified Strategic Planning : A No Nonsense Guide For Busy People Who Want Results Fast” written by Robert W Bradford and L Peter Duncan with Brian Tarcy. It captures the approach of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning. In my opinion it is a very good guide for […]

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Competing For The Future by Gary Hamel & CK Prahalad

by Paul Simister on September 7, 2011

Competing For The Future : Breakthrough Strategies For Seizing Control Of Your Industry And Creating The Markets Of Tomorrow by Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad is an important book in the history of strategy. It popularised the important insights and ideas that came out of resource based strategy in the early nineties because it’s one […]

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Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

by Paul Simister on September 3, 2011

Blue Ocean Strategy : How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is a must-read book for anyone interested in business strategy, customer value and innovation. The book has been brilliantly conceived and marketed and it starts with the powerful metaphor. Blue Ocean Strategy vs […]

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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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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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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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Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

by Paul Simister on July 30, 2011

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference And Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt is a thought-provoking book which challenges many of the practices that are passed off as strategy today. Strategy Sounds Important – It Must Be Good I have a pet hate. If you want to make something sound important, then you call it […]

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Creating Competitive Advantage by Jaynie Smith

by Paul Simister on July 21, 2011

Every now and again I read a book that plenty of other people rave about but I don’t get – Creating Competitive Advantage: Give Customers A Reason To Choose You Over Your Competitors by Jaynie L. Smith is such a book. I want you to be inspired to escape the commodity trap, to create and […]

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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. The problem with reading a book that deals with […]

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43 Mistakes Businesses Make by Duncan Bannatyne

by Paul Simister on July 15, 2011

Because I enjoyed Wake Up And Change Your Life so much, I thought I’d read another business book by Duncan Bannatyne  called the 43 Mistakes Businesses Make … And How To Avoid Them. It’s another interesting read for any prospective entrepreneur.

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Thinking For A Change by Lisa Scheinkopf

by Paul Simister on July 14, 2011

I’ve recently read Thinking For A Change: Putting The TOC Thinking Processes To Work by Lisa J Scheinkopf. I wish I’d read it years ago. It goes into detail on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) thinking techniques which were introduced in the It’s Not Luck business novel. My Introduction To The TOC Thinking Processes I […]

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