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Malcolm McDonald on Value Propositions

The full title of this book by Malcolm McDonald and Grant Oliver is

Malcolm McDonald on Value Propositions: How to Develop Them, How to Quantify Them

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 2 Stars rating. This means it is Disappointing.

Here is my book review.

Very disappointing. High expectations not delivered

How well businesses differentiate themselves in the eyes of their potential customers is a bit of a hobbyhorse for me.

I believe it’s often one of the fundamental problems that lie at the heart of underperformance in business. It’s also an area I find fascinating.

This means that I make it a policy to read most books on differentiation, value propositions and unique selling propositions.

I pre-ordered this book when I saw it was to be released because I had high expectations.

That’s when the problems begin. It’s taken me a long time to move past the first few chapters.

I think it’s because of the writing style. It seems disjointed to me and poorly structured. It keeps referring to other chapters and other books by the author(s) for more explanation so it doesn’t feel like a standalone review of the topic. I expected it to be much better.

It also has information only contained in diagrams and tables. This may be ok for the printed version but it’s a problem if, like me, you read the kindle version on your phone. In fact it is really irritating.

Worse, the book makes a fascinating subject seem dull. There is a superficial chapter on the emotional aspects of customer value when this is a huge, vital dimension. Just think about what you buy and how owning and using the product or service makes you feel.

After that the book just becomes hard work, trying to make sense of information in hard to read diagrams.

How sad that a book about value should fail so badly. I admit I became so frustrated, I abandoned the book part way through. Based on what I’d read so far, I don’t think I’m likely to miss much.

I expected this to be a key reference book on value propositions but I’m left thinking I wasted my money buying it and time reading it.


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