September 5, 2000

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Simplicity Marketing

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:28 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter and Confusion by Steven Cristol and Peter Sealey, The Free Press, 250 Pages, $26.00 Hardcover, October 2000, ISBN 0684859181
About four months ago, as I was opening my third package of business books for publishers that day, I realized that if I was having problems keeping information about new business books straight, you guys had to just about given up trying to figure out what was new and important. What you are reading now is what came out of that insight. I didn't realize it then but I was practicing what the authors recommend in this book. I wanted to simplify your business book search. The authors write about the stress consumers feel that needs to be relieved to build loyalty and in turn build a competitive advantage. Just like I am trying to do. They spend quite a bit of time showing the reader that the quantity of products and services offered to us is staggering, from the 52 versions of Crest toothpaste to the 37 available configurations of the Dodge Caravan. They first break and simplify the range of strategies into four easy to understand tools- Replace, Repackage, Reposition, and Replenish. They show ten actual specific ideas to relieve the stress your customers feel. For example, in the Replace area, they have two subcategories- Substitution and Consolidation. The authors use many examples to explain their points throughout the book and to help illustrate this category they talk about cream rinse and shampoos. Before Pert Plus!, everybody had to buy two products to wash your hair. Shampoo and cream rinse. P&G created Pert Plus! and the hair care market changed forever. P&G had consolidated and therefore simplified the customer's experience. At the end of the book the authors have a very comprehensive tool called "Simplicity Marketing audit" that allows you to look at your situation and helps you get a head start on your competitors to relieve your customers stress. In a world where the grocery store has 15% new stuff every month, simplification makes sense as a strategic position.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.