Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands
"When everybody zigs, zag," says Marty Neumeier in this fresh view of brand strategy. ZAG follows the ultra-clear "whiteboard overview" style of the author’s first book, THE BRAND GAP, but drills deeper into the question of how brands can harness the power of differentiation. The author argues that in an extremely cluttered marketplace, traditional differentiation is no longer enough—today companies need “radical differentiation” to create lasting value for their shareholders and customers. In an entertaining 3-hour read you’ll learn:
- why me-too brands are doomed to fail - how to "read" customer feedback on new products and messages - the 17 steps for designing “difference” into your brand - how to turn your brand’s “onliness” into a “trueline” to drive synergy - the secrets of naming products, services, and companies - the four deadly dangers faced by brand portfolios - how to “stretch” your brand without breaking it - how to succeed at all three stages of the competition cycle
From the back cover: In an age of me-too products and instant communications, keeping up with the competition is no longer a winning strategy. Today you have to out-position, out-maneuver, and out-design the competition. The new rule? When everybody zigs, zag. In his first book, THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier showed companies how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design. In ZAG, he illustrates the number-one strategy of high-performance brands—radical differentiation.
ZAG is an AIGA Design Press book, published under Peachpit's New Riders imprint in partnership with AIGA. For a quick peek inside ZAG, go to www.zagbook.com.
How to "zag" when everyone else "zigs"
By Robert Morris - June 28, 2007
In a previous book, The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier explains how companies can bridge the gap between business strategy and customer experience, noting that brand-building isn't a series of isolated activities; rather, it is a complete system in which five disciplines - differentiation, collaboration, innovation, validation, and cultivation - "combine to produce a sustainable competitive advantage. " His intent in Zag "is to zoom in on differentiation to reveal the system within the system."
Initially, he observes that the human mind deals with clutter the best way it can: by blocking it out. As a result, "the newest barriers to competition are the mental walls that customers erect to keep out clutter. For the first time in history, the most powerful barriers to competition are not controlled by companies, but by customers. Those little boxes they build in their minds determine the boundaries of brands." (Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck also have much of value to say... read more
Buy it (unless you can answer the question)
By Jeff Scurry - March 9, 2007
How do you know if you should read this book? Simple, finish this sentence:
Our brand is the only ____________that ______________.
If you completed that sentence with something only your brand can do then you don't need to bother. If not, stop reading and order now.
Although everyone says they are (probably) uniquely qualified to do whatever it is they do, few can actually plug the holes in the sentence. Zag will teach you how.
Zag teaches that the only way to differentiate yourself is to zag when everybody zigs. Go where no one else has gone before. Don't make it different - make it radically different! Don't worry, there is a 17-point checklist to walk you through it.
Like the Brand Gap, Neumeier has dropped the heft and delivered "easy-to-read, easy-to-use and easy-to-remember principles." No words or pages are wasted in Zag.
I give it my highest rating.
Great Ideas, None From the Author
By Marcos - December 13, 2009
I guess if the author had stated clearly that this book was a pastitsio, or a mix of other marketing books, I could actually give it 4 stars. Indeed, it is a great short summary of marketing common sense, and one which I could easily refer students to. The core of the book is a check list from the company's mission to communication to the points of contact with the customer, much like a homework marketing managers should be doing already.
However, the book doesn't bring ONE new idea into the stage. They are all ideas from other authors, whom surprisingly recommend the book, when they should instead be suing Neumeier for plagiarism.
The very concept of ZAG, a catch word if there was ever one, is the same as Seth Godin's Purple Cow: a unique differentiation concept that would put you ahead of the competition. Then he spends a good time explaining how the consumer has a specific mind niche for each category, a concept that is present in the 1980 book "Positioning",... read more
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