Want to Create Hit Products and Services? You Must Focus On Your Distinctive Competence

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Hit products and services like the iPod, Starbucks and FedEx were seemingly embraced by the market overnight. But it wasn't luck, creativity or clever marketing that led to their success according to the authors of a new book from Wiley. Tuned In companies know their distinctive competence.

For example, the one thing FedEx focuses on as their distinctive competence is reliability

Anyone can create hits that resonate if they stop guessing what people need and start building deep connections to what their buyers value most, say the authors of Tuned In the new book about uncovering the extraordinary opportunities that lead to business breakthroughs.

Buyers choose to purchase product or service based on their belief that it solves their problems better than any other, say the authors. Successful companies understand their organization's unique abilities to deliver value to customers, what the authors of Tuned In call "distinctive competence." This competence can take many forms and may include unique business models, product attributes, distribution and sales methods, training, customer service, innovation, quality, or other aspects.

"For example, the one thing FedEx focuses on as their distinctive competence is reliability," says Craig Stull, CEO of Pragmatic Marketing and co-author of Tuned In. "Every decision the leaders at FedEx make supports the company's ability to provide and sustain a reliable package delivery service. Your distinctive competence should dictate how you build products and services."

Distinctive competence also helps describe your organization to buyers, so they are more likely to choose you instead of your competitor. An organization's distinctive competence also drives marketing communications initiatives because it is used to create connections with buyers based on the products and services your organization uniquely provides.

"Your product development department must build your distinctive competence into the product design," says Stull. "For example, if Volvo were to build a new sports car, the design team and R&D people would need to go about their work with the stated understanding that they were building 'the safe sports car'."

With a strategy for achieving market resonance that has been developed over fifteen years, Tuned In shows how to find unsolved problems in the marketplace and create breakthrough experiences people want to buy.

The authors of Tuned In offer a model for success used by many companies to create breakthrough products and services. Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs by Craig Stull, Phil Myers, and David Meerman Scott is published by Wiley on June 27, 2008 and available wherever business books are sold. ISBN: 978-0470260364

Anyone can use Tuned In to replicate the model for success. It works for well-known companies like Ford, Apple, and GE and those not-so-famous like GoPro and Zipcar. It works for realtors, doctors, ministers and even rock stars. Tuned In will teach you how to transform your everyday activities into those which create the kind of culture that builds market leaders.

Authors Craig Stull and Phil Myers lead the team at Pragmatic Marketing, the company behind Tuned In. David Meerman Scott is an online thought-leadership strategist who teaches the New Rules of Marketing seminar for Pragmatic Marketing.

About Pragmatic Marketing: Twice recognized as one of America's fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine, Pragmatic Marketing provides training seminars, onsite workshops, consulting services, and an online community for technology product managers, marketers and executives. Over 45,000 people at more than 3,000 companies world-wide have been trained using the Pragmatic Marketing Framework, a practical, market-driven approach to creating and launching technology products. See http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com.


Graham Joyce





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