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Beyond Price by Mary Kay Plantes and Robert D. Finfrock

The full title of this book by Mary Kay Plantes and Robert D. Finfrock is

Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company in Ways That Really Matter“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A leadership approach, for big rather than small businesses

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 problem with reading a book that deals with your own special interest 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.

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.

An eight step process is advocated:

1 – Understand the root cause of your problem (why you’ve become a victim of commoditisation).
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.
4 – Design a new strategically differentiated business model
5 – Realign the leadership team
6 – Create a meaningful corporate aspiration
7 – Establish strategic goals and create an annual planning process to achieve them
8 – Align culture with strategy

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

With so much emphasis on leadership and taking the full team with you on the journey, the impression I had was that the book is more suited to a big, publicly owned business than a small business where the business owner 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.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click). Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).


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