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December 20, 2007

News & Opinion: The Inside Advantage

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:27 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Robert Bloom has marketed the launch of some very great and successful companies--Southwest Airlines, Nestle, T-Mobile and Novartis just to name a few. He has worked with numerous others along the way, including BMW and L'Oreal. In each instance he applied a winning formula for growth based on the assertion that every company has an Inside Advantage. He is now sharing all that knowledge and experience with anyone who has $24.95 and a company to grow with his new book The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business. An Inside Advantage is an unexploited strength in a company that can be used to spur growth. Bloom believes every company has one, and that the path to growth starts with identifying this unique strength and using it to strengthen the company and brand as a whole. He lays out a system for finding and using that Inside Advantage he calls The Growth Discovery Process, and that process has four steps--WHO, WHAT, HOW, and OWN IT! A chart reprinted throughout the book explains the steps.
WHO is the core customer most likely to buy your product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit. WHAT is the uncommon offering that your business will own and leverage. HOW is the persuasive strategy that will convince your core customer to buy your uncommon offering versus all competitive offerings. OWN IT! is the series of imaginative acts that will celebrate your uncommon offering and make it well known to your core customer.
Those italicized phrases are used widely throughout the book to keep providing emphasis on aspects of your business Bloom believes are most critical to growth. He believes the word customer, for instance, is "the most important word in the vocabulary of business." That is the WHO, or your core customer. The WHAT is what you're offering, for sure, but he starts by urging us to discover WHAT business we're really in. He uses L'Oreal as an example here, explaining that while, yes, they are in the cosmetics and hair care business, their view is that they're in the business of "helping women look and feel beautiful." That viewpoint provides a much more emotional connection to their customer. The book is full of such insights, and there are "Bob Bloom Consulting Session" sections for each step of the process where he provides specific scenarios and walks you through how to find solutions. If you're looking to grow your business in the new year, this would be a good book to read over the holidays.