Tag Archives: The Inside Advantage

Robert Bloom Introduces us to the New Experts

(A note to our readers — I am traveling this week, speaking both in Las Vegas and Indianapolis.  So I will be posting fewer times.  My apology.  And thanks to the other members of our team for making this a team-blog effort).


I heard Robert Bloom speak today to a group of highly inquisitive coaches, eager to give the best to their clients.  Robert Bloom is the author of The Inside Advantage, which I have blogged about before, and the author of a new book soon to be released, The New Experts:  Win Today’s Newly Empowered Customers At Their 4 Decisive Moments.  His earlier book is simple, profounmd, and incredibly useful.  He asks:

Who Is Your Core Customer
What is Your Uncommon Offering
How is the persuasive strategy that will convince your core cutomer 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.

His new book delves deeply into the mind of the new experts — the people who understand that information is always at their fingertips, and they know how to find it.  A person with an iPhone is now able to know more than the salespeople and the customer service folks that are supposed to be experts.  It truly is a different world.

One change is this — customer loyalty is dead.  We already know this; it died long ago.  But what we now have is “customer preference” that must be re-earned over and over again.  He said:

“One customer at a time — you have to win the customer quickly.”

Yes, you do.

Never Aim for the Middle — Wisdom from James Surowiecki

News item: Apple Sells Out iPad Pre-Order Inventory As Launch Nears.


James Surowiecki is the author of the influential book, The Wisdom Of Crowds (one of the books I have presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis), and a regular columnist for The New Yorker.  He is an astute observer of the trends and changes in our culture.  Here’s his latest.

In a big-picture scheme of things, we have two groups that are healthy, and one that is in real trouble.  The two healthy groups are the “very best,” and the “good enough.” It is the “middle” that is in real danger.  This is the premise behind his article SOFT IN THE MIDDLE. Here’s part of his opening paragraph:

Starting at five hundred dollars, the iPad is significantly more expensive than its competitors. But Apple’s assumption is that, if the iPad is also significantly better, people will happily shell out for it (as they already do for iPods, iPhones, and Macs). That’s why when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad he said that, if a product wasn’t “far better” than what was already out there, it had “no reason for being.

At the other end of the spectrum is the “good enough — adequate.”  Here’s a paragraph about this group:

On the contrary, companies like Ikea, H. & M., and the makers of the Flip video camera are flourishing not by selling products or services that are “far better” than anyone else’s but by selling things that aren’t bad and cost a lot less. These products are much better than the cheap stuff you used to buy at Woolworth, and they tend to be appealingly styled, but, unlike Apple, the companies aren’t trying to build the best mousetrap out there. Instead, they’re engaged in what Wired recently christened the “good-enough revolution.” For them, the key to success isn’t excellence. It’s well-priced adequacy.

And though these two examples are about different ends of the consumer world, they have something in common:

These two strategies may look completely different, but they have one crucial thing in common: they don’t target the amorphous blob of consumers who make up the middle of the market.

Surowiecki concludes with this:

According to one estimate, Nokia has nearly twenty times Apple’s market share, but the iPhone alone makes almost as much money as all Nokia’s phones combined. But making money by selling moderately good products that are moderately expensive isn’t going to get any easier, which suggests a slight rewrite of the old Highland ballad. You take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and we’ll both be in Scotland afore the guy in the middle.

Here’s my take.  A while back, I read (and presented) the Robert Bloom book, The Inside Advantage.  In it, he spoke of the importance of these two questions

• Who is my core customer?
• What is my uncommon offering?

From the Surowiecki article, we learn that it may be much easier to answer these questions for the upper and the lower end of markets, and a whole lot harder to target the “amorphous middle.”

Switch & Tribes & Many Other New Business Book Synopsis Presentations now available at 15minutebusinessbooks.com

Karl Krayer and I have just completed our 12th year of monthly presentations of business books at the First Friday Book Synopsis.

Our webmaster (thanks, Dana!) has just uploaded a number of these on our companion website, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.  When you purchase one of our presentations, you receive the handout, which includes representative key quotes from the book, and an outline of the content of the book.  In addition, you receive the audio of our synopsis in an MP3 format, which you can listen to on your computer, load into your iPhone/iPod, of use in any other way you would like.

The way to take maximum advantage of this is obvious – listen to the recording while following along with the handout.  This is what the participants at our live monthly event do each month.  But you can get plenty of information by listening alone while you work-out or drive, or just by reading the handout alone.

Here’s a testimonial from the CEO of a mid-sized, growing company.  He knew that a client was a fan of one the books we had presented, and wanted to discuss the book’s implications for his business.  The CEO purchased our synopsis from our site, read over the handout (he did not have time to listen to the audio), and then met with his client. The client had read the book – the CEO had not.  As they discussed the book, it was clear that our handout had provided enough of the important content that the CEO actually had a better grasp of the key content and transferable principles of the book than the other person had, who had actually read the book.

If you have never ordered from us, you might want to read the FAQ’s to understand where these presentations and recordings were made, and learn a little more about what we offer.  Some of these were presented by my colleague Karl Krayer, and the others were presentations I made.

Here is a partial list of the new titles now available on our site.  And more are coming each month.

59 Seconds

Book author(s) Richard Wiseman

Presented at FFBS in 2010 March

The Design of Business

Book author(s) Roger Martin

Presented at FFBS in 2010 February

Fierce Leadership

Book author(s) Susan Scott

Presented at FFBS in TYBTL

The Healing of America

Book author(s) TR Reid

Presented at the Urban Engagement Book Club

Inside Advantage

Book author(s) Robert Bloom with Dave Conti

Special Presentation

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

Book author(s) Verne Harnish

Special Presentation


Book author(s) Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Presented at FFBS in 2010 February


Book author(s) Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner

Presented at FFBS in 2009 December


Book author(s) Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Presented at FFBS in 2010 March


Book author(s) Kevin Maney

Presented at FFBS in 2010 January


Book author(s) Seth Godin

Presented at FFBS in 2009 January

Tyranny of Email

Book author(s) John Freeman

Presented at FFBS in 2010 January

“The Growth Discovery Process” — useful wisdom from Robert Bloom’s The Inside Advantage

I’m reading The Inside AdvantageThe Strategy That Unlocks the Hidden Growth in your Business by Robert H. Bloom.   (This is a “special presentation,”  requested by a client).  Robert Bloom is the marketing mind that helped us all know about brands such as:  Southwest Airlines, Perrier (in the US), and T-Mobile, Juicy Juice and Power Bar for Nestlé.

In the book, he has a very clear “Growth Discovery Process.” It really is tangible, and terrific.  Here it is:

The Growth Discovery Process:


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.


(I will have my synopsis of this book, with handout + audio, available soon on our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com).