The one problem I have with the Kindle is that it’s easy to lose track of a book. Without the physical reminder sitting there, waiting for you to finish it, it is just too easy to get distracted by another tasty read.
This has happened to me more than once and this last time with a very excellent book. While working on my Product-Pruning post, I went back to my notes on Youngme Moon’s book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, only to realize that I missed the last chapter. After finishing it off, I went back and reread several of the chapters.
After reflecting on the book for a second time, I realized what I liked about it so much was its balance between product development and traditional brand marketing. Moon uses several case studies (some that she produced as a Harvard Business School Professor) to show how thick competition often drives product augmentation vs. innovation. All the work done by product mangers to differentiate can result in a category filled with products clones that few can tell apart.
Moon offers several techniques that can be used to create products and brands that really are different. From using reverse-positioning to outright hostility, there are ways to be seen in a completely different frame even in crowded, ultra-competitive markets. Even though Moon doesn’t go deep into her case examples, I am a big fan of her mindset argument.
The year isn’t over yet but right now Different is in strong contention to be my book of 2010. I took a lot of notes while reading this book so I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you here. Enjoy!