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Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy 1st Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1422101650
ISBN-10: 1422101657
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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
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"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

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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: #273,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Phillips VINE VOICE on November 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 By Kevin Frantz on July 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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