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Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy [Hardcover]

by Erich Joachimsthaler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 17, 2007 1422101657 978-1422101650 1
Companies must innovate to grow, but they often forget to look beyond their own brands. Take Sony, for example. Its success with consumer innovations like the Walkman blinded it to obvious changes in how, when, and where people wanted their music. Apple capitalized on those changes in demand with the iPod, providing a new way of listening to music and of managing one’s entire music library.

This book explains how you can spot these opportunities that are hidden in plain sight. It introduces the demand-first innovation and growth model that will show you how to become an unbiased observer of people’s consumption and usage behaviors. Refining this skill helps companies generate organic growth through new products, services, solutions, and experiences that truly enhance peoples’ lives. Revealing the innovative processes of such organizations as BMW, Proctor and Gamble, GE Healthcare, and Frito-Lay, Hidden in Plain Sight offers you a new approach to identifying and executing your company’s growth strategy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Joachimsthaler offers another book that promotes use of reinvented basic marketing principles to assist highly innovative companies. The author describes his DIG model (Demand-First Innovation & Growth), which consists of three interlinked parts: explore the demand for their products and services through an in-depth understanding of how people behave and live their lives and how they consume; apply an innovative routine of structured thinking to identify opportunities that customers cannot articulate; and formulate a strategy for effectively pursuing new opportunities. We learn that although most companies conduct some type of market research, they may fail to look for real opportunities and quantify them or fail to develop viable action plans that lead to results. This model illustrates how to become an unbiased observer of people's consumption and usage behaviors and offers a new approach to identifying and executing a company's growth strategy. Joachimsthaler, a consultant, reports that "successful opportunities for innovation and growth are right here, in front of us, and we often can't see them or don't act on them." Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Hidden in Plain Sight gives us a fascinating tour around the global block on innovation." --The Financial Times, April 11, 2007

"Hidden in Plain Sight uncovers the essential truth of modern marketing -- the most successful products, programs, and activities are those that become an essential part of and enrich consumer lives. Grounded in the demand-first innovation and growth model and illustrated with numerous real-life applications and examples, Hidden in Plain Sight offers a wealth of insights into this crucially important topic." --Kevin Lane Keller, E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business

[Joachimsthaler] looks deeply at the meaning and expectations that consumers give brands in their own personal contexts. --Harvard Business Review, July/August 2007

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (May 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422101657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422101650
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Thesis - where's the action? November 19, 2007
I've had a chance to review Erich Joachimsthaler's book "Hidden in Plain Sight", which I've found to be an good book.

First, let me start out by saying that this book is not necessarily a book "about" innovation. This is a book about corporate strategy and what I like to call strategic intent. Hidden in Plain Sight addresses a far-too-common problem - the fact that many firms have become comfortable with their understanding and view of customers from the "inside out". In this manner, many firms have segmented the customer base and determined the specific needs and wants of customers - which is traditional marketing best practice. The problem is that too often this segmentation and understanding of needs is based on the company's perspective of the customers' needs and opportunities, rather than from the perspective of the customers themselves. What happens in these cases is learned myopia and artificial comfort from the fact that we "know" our customers and understand them. Eventually what happens in these cases is that an unexpected competitor disrupts the market because they had a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges the customer faces.

So, what Joachimshtaler proscribes is an "outside in" mentality, combined with a "demand first" innovation model. In the book, he describes how Frito-Lay undertook extensive research to understand how and why people used snack foods - going well beyond traditional quantitative research to understand the reasons behind why people ate what they ate and when they ate. Much of the work Joachimshtaler describes sounds like Voice of the Customer research, although he does not describe it that way. He calls this creating the "demand landscape".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Invisibility of the Obvious May 23, 2007
Erich Joachimsthaler offers what he claims is a "new model of strategic innovation for achieving profitable business growth" by abandoning "some of the tried and proven conventions of innovation, marketing, and strategy formulation" and by discarding "some of today's common assumptions and management practices and adopt a fresh way of planning an executing your strategies today and your innovation and growth strategies of tomorrow." The key word is "some" as he explains how.

After discussing "hidden opportunities to innovate and grow" in Part I, he focuses in Part II on several companies which exemplify a demand-first innovation and growth model (e.g. Frito-Lay, Allianz, GE Healthcare, and State Street) and then shifts his attention, in Part III, to various strategies by which to realize customer advantage.

As the title of this book suggests, Joachimsthaler asserts - and I agree - that many senior-level executives lack the ability to see - really see - "the opportunities presented by the changing consumption or usage behaviors of people [their organizations are] trying to serve. [They] cannot spot or recognize and pursue the abundant opportunities that exist in plain sight." Why? Joachimsthaler suggests several reasons which include routine but disparate processes which fragment a company's view of its customers, perpetuation of the status quo which limits a company's perspective on its competitive marketplace, a mistaken belief that "the key to growth lies in identifying customers' needs and wants [and/or] providing solutions for the tasks or jobs it knows customers must take on and get done," and an "inside-out" perspective which results in what Theodore Levitt once characterized as "marketing myopia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Formula for Innovation and Growth July 14, 2007
Erich Joachimsthaler provides a systematic approach to make marketing accountable for innovation and growth of BtoC and BtoB companies. We have seen the innovative business concept of share of customer evolve and being executed over the last years. Hidden in Plain Sight pushes that practice further to the concept of customer advantage, which means consequently managing impact and relevance, products and services have on customers daily lifes - on customers share of the day.

Erich Joachimsthaler formulates an explicit model, the demand-first innovation and growth model (DIG-Model), that illuminates the advantages of creating the demand landscape and sets a plan for action to specify the necessary effort to capture the relevant parts of the ecosystem of customer demand, reframes the specific business opportunity space, aligns business processes across all functions and sets the foundation for sustainable innovations and predictable growth.

As one reads the carefully selected international cases (e.g. Procter & Gamble, BMW, Apple, Deutsche Telekom, Volkswagen, NetFlix, Starbucks, General Electric, Sony, Allianz) reference is made to all parts of the DIG model and how all pieces have to work together to execute in business practice. Based on his deep insight and understanding of many industries, Erich Joachimsthaler proves his approach carefully and outlines, how innovation and growth can be systematically and replicable managed. That is why this book is relevant for people from many business functions and a variety of industries.

Thanks for this outstanding business book.

Kevin Frantz
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Maximizing 1440 minutes
Hidden In Plain Site by Erich Joachimsthaler
The best investment you can make for your company this year is to get Hidden in Plain Sight. Read more
Published on December 16, 2009 by Jennifer E. Sertl
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This is the first book to take the new market research techniques all the way from the basics of consumer needs all the way to managerial strategy. Read more
Published on June 19, 2008 by J. Johansson
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Marketing and innovation made really simple. Erich Joachimsthaler says if you want to come up with that "wow!" innovation, learn how your customers live. Read more
Published on February 10, 2008 by talkaboutquality
4.0 out of 5 stars A growth strategy from the outside in
Erich Joachimsthaler's book Hidden in Plain Sight challenges conventional wisdom on marketing and marketing strategy. Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an excellent book, an eye opener for any professional in marketing, particularly those fighting the dog war of private labels and commoditization.
Published on June 28, 2007 by Lluis Renart Cava
5.0 out of 5 stars A popular, inspirational pick.
Business managers and executives who want keys to locating the potential for a company's expansion will want to consult HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: HOW TO FIND AND EXECUTE YOUR... Read more
Published on June 17, 2007 by Midwest Book Review
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