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August 9, 2006

News & Opinion: Lost Essentials - Jump Start Your Business Brain

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:58 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales


More from the archives...

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I read Jump Start Your Business Brain about a year ago. As an engineer, I don't like many of the mishy-mushy aspects of marketing. Neither did Doug Hall. His background was chemical engineering and he struggled with "a lack of disciplined principles" while working at Procter and Gamble.

After left P&G, he started his own company and began a quest. Hall looked at a set of 4000 concept descriptions for new products and services and tried to find out why some ideas succeed and some fail. They looked at things like brand category, sizing, and pricing versus the competition. None of the concrete measurements correlated with the success of the idea. The big break came when they started to look at the perceptions and archetypes the customers had running through their head. Some examples of this are benefits, features, focus, value perception, and emotional versus rational orientation.

The research yielded three factors that Hall claims can be statistically linked to improving the success of a business idea:
  • Overt Benefit - What is in it for the customer? You must be very direct in the cluttered marketplace for your customers to get it.
  • Reason to Believe - Customer confidence is at an all-time low. You must provide persuasive credibility that you will do as you promised.
  • Dramatic Difference - Without uniqueness, you are selling a commodity. The difference must be dramatic, 10X more dramatic then you think.

Only 20% of business ideas actually succeed in the marketplace. Hall says you can double your chances of success by marketing around these three ideas.

I used these principles as I developed a marketing plan for my business. I think they helped focus my message. Looking back now, I think I could push the envelope on all three aspects and get an even greater benefit.

P.S. And that is only half of the book. The second half talks "The Three Laws of Capitalist Creativity" - improving the quality of your ideas.

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[The Original A Penny For... Post]

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.