Different, by Example

Humanistic, meaningful, distinctive – different: Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon recently released her new book, DIFFERENT: Escaping the Competitive Herd.

I’m her target audience. As someone who trudges through as few business books as possible (most seem choppy and predictably written, and with lots of reconstituted ideas ~ all code for boring), DIFFERENT was, different.

The title is the book’s theme. Ms Moon builds her case for DIFFERENT, around a few basic ideas:

  • Homogeneity gets disguised as betterment, in actuality, sameness rules.
  • Current business models are ubiquitous ~ so much so that we tune them out.
  • Brand loyalty has become brand sampling.

Moon encourages us to set aside weaknesses – instead, turn strengths into differentiation. She talks about differentiation, not as a marketing tool, but as a mindset. Similar to a design thinking state of mind.

I found DIFFERENT refreshing, humorous, surprisingly open-ended and most of all unique. And that’s not easy these days. Ms Moon achieves this feat not only by what she is saying, but through a combination of her distinct “voice, storytelling ability, wit, and insight.” That’s how the PR tells it, and it’s actually spot on.

Perhaps the future of successful marketing is not about competition, but differentiation and coexistence.

The book has been criticized as the same-same wrapped up in beautiful package. Agree or not with Moon’s message and approach, the book is a good read. Pick up a copy. Let me know what you decide.

As a practice-what-she-preaches approach, Ms Moon employed an interesting direction and tone to her marketing efforts.

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