Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Outdoor Deals on HTL

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars24
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$26.12+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2010
SUMMARY: Strategy from the Outside In is an exceptionally important and very readable new book. The authors have distilled and reconceptualized cutting-edge research into what separates consistently top performing firms from inferior performers. In the process they have greatly advanced the art and science of business strategy. The approach advocated by the authors may be subtle, but the improvement in business performance is significant. At the heart of the Outside-In strategy is what the authors call the four customer value imperatives: 1) Be a customer value leader, 2) Innovate new value for customers, 3) Capitalize on the customer as an asset, and 4) Capitalize on the brand as an asset. Of course, the devil is always in the details. Fortunately, the authors clearly explain these imperatives and provide numerous real-world examples that illustrate how to bring them to life. Strategy from the Outside In is the most important book on business strategy in over 30 years.


Is there really a need for another book on business strategy?

Michael Porter has been the preeminent thinker and writer on business strategy for the last three decades. His book, Competitive Strategy, is nearing its 60th printing in English. His book Competitive Advantage was described by Financial Times as "The most influential management book of the past quarter century."

According to the publisher of Competitive Strategy, "More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalized Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors, and choose competitive positions."

Unfortunately, as Porter's influence has grown, US business performance has steadily declined. Since Competitive Strategy was first published in 1980, US economy-wide Return on Assets (ROA) of publically traded firms have steadily declined more than 70%. (Source: "Shift Index: Industry Metrics and Perspectives," Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge, November 2009, p. 92). In another study, an international review of 1,854 large public companies, found that, between 1988 and 1998, 87% of them did not even earn back their cost of capital (Source: Chris Zook with James Allan, Profit from the Core: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence
[Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001], p. 11).

Clearly, there is a significant need for a new approach to how leaders think about business strategy. Many have tried and fallen short. Fortunately, George Day and Christine Moorman (the authors) of Strategy from the Outside In have written a powerful yet easy-to-read book that should influence business strategy for decades.

What makes Strategy from the Outside In different?

First, it is built on well established, peer reviewed, research into what separates consistently top performing firms from inferior performers. This research is made up of more than 3,500 journal articles and books that have come out in the past 15 years on market orientation. This research unfortunately has not migrated from academia to executive leadership because of its abstract nature and scholarly jargon. Day and Moorman do a great job translating the research into actionable strategic ideas for executives. And it is very enjoyable and easy to read.

The book also references contemporary business insights from great books like Blue Ocean Strategy and others. The authors distill the insights from these sources into a new, coherent, and easy to understand approach to strategy, with great examples.

What are the key points?

The authors' convincingly argue that popular strategy theories encourage executives to focus on the firm rather than customers. Six sigma, core competence, right sizing, re-engineering the corporation, and capabilities- or resource-based views of the firm are all internally focused management fads that have left corporations less profitable (on average) today than 20 years ago. In the authors' views, these are inside-out mental models that unconsciously shape the countless decisions made everyday in a company. Unfortunately, these mental models encourage decisions that paradoxically destroy both customer and shareholder value.

Day and Moorman's Strategy from the Outside In model requires executives to make subtle but important shifts in thinking. Inside-Out thinkers believe that customers buy performance features. Outside-In thinkers believe customers buy the expectation of value. Inside-Out thinkers believe that expanding the customer base is crucial. Outside-In thinkers believe customer loyalty is the key to profitability.

The authors' research reveals that consistently profitable firms deeply understand market dynamics. These include a deep understanding of customers, competitors and other elements of the outside world. It is this knowledge that drives all business decisions using what Day and Moorman call the Four Customer Value Imperatives. The imperatives are as follows:

1) Be a customer value leader with a distinct and compelling customer value proposition.
2) Innovate new value for customers.
3) Capitalize on the customer as an asset.
4) Capitalize on the brand as an asset.

Of course, the devil is always in the details. Fortunately, Day and Moorman clearly explain these imperatives and provide numerous real-world examples that illustrate how to bring them to life.

Who should read this book?

First and foremost CEOs must read this book and internalize its insights. Setting strategy and guiding a firm's culture are key responsibilities for all CEOs. Second, each member of the C-suite must read and internalize its insights. Either a firm is fully market-driven or its not. That means Operations, R&D, Finance, HR, Marketing, and all other functions must adopt the outside in mindset. Finally, all middle managers and individual contributors who wish to positively contribute to creating profitable growth. Employees make countless decisions everyday that either move the firm towards its goals or away from it. Reading this book will help them improve their firm's customer value offering and profitability.

Why should it be read?

Though Day and Moorman do not dwell on the metrics of how Outside-In companies outperform their rivals, I am familiar with what the academic research has revealed. Outside-In firms out perform their rivals across the board, including profit growth, innovation, stock price, ROA, ROE, ROCE, customer satisfaction and retention, employee satisfaction and engagement, cost efficiency, and on and on. Read this book because Porter's theory of business strategy has failed. Read it because you need and want to build a consistently top performing company. Read it because your employees and their families rely on your decisions regarding how to successfully run a business. Read it because your firm's shareholders will thank you for bringing the key ideas to life in your business.


I have a couple of disagreements with the authors:

First, the authors suggest that the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) should be accountable for the Four Imperatives. I disagree. Though there are many brilliant CMOs, most are too tactical and short-term focused. By and large they lack the perspective and political clout to take on this role. In my opinion it must be the CEO's responsibility. The CEO can delegate, but if he/she is not the driver of the Four Imperatives, the strategy will flounder. The CEO must own it.

Second, the author's do not adequately address the critical role of organizational culture in bringing the Outside-In strategy to life. Its been said by others that organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast. I agree. The authors dedicate part of one chapter to this critical topic.

Neither of these short-comings materially effect the value of Strategy from the Outside In. It is a brilliant book that executives will be able to put to good use immediately. Buy it. Read it. Lead it.

Note: The author of this review has not and will not receive compensation for writing this review.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
"Strategy from the Outside In" is an outstanding book - I have been searching in vain for a book which actually helps a corporate strategist such as myself with a practical, useful framework for developing growth strategies. Most books on strategy stay at the high level, with little to no practical guidance on implementing plans for strategic growth. Moreover, traditional strategy authors have focused on the firm and industry structures as determinants of strategic success, while Day and Moorman offer a brilliant and insightful new perspective - relentless focus on customers is a surer path to success. It's this combination of customer focused innovation imperatives and practical steps to actually implementing such a strategy that makes this book unique.

The first few chapters develop the concept of the customer imperative - effectively providing examples and an intellectually satisfying case for having an "outside-in" approach to developing a market position. I was struck by the contrast with the firm-centric views espoused by Porter and the like. The customer imperative framework introduced in this book will, in my opinion, eventually be accepted as a third leg of analysis required to completely develop a successful strategy in any market.

My company relies heavily on Jim Collins' Hedgehog principle, and I find that this has often led to an inward looking perspective which has limited growth options. This book has finally given me the intellectual ammunition I need to start a conversation about changing the mindset within the company.

I would call out Chapter 6 of the book as the best step-by-step guide to developing a customer-driven innovation strategy for meaningful growth with the highest likelihood of success. I have personally used this framework to look at emerging markets, and have received multiple kudos for my work.

I strongly recommend this book for the practicing strategist - I am convinced it will make a huge difference!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
Throughout P&G's long history, we have focused on the four customer value imperatives outlined in this excellent book--and are as committed to them today as ever. This is essential reading for leaders focused on making a positive difference in the world and, as a direct result, delivering growth for both the near and long term."
--Robert A. McDonald, Chairman, President, and CEO, The Procter & Gamble Company

I think this quote describes well of what this book is all about. I first bought this book because it seemed to be an interesting combination of different views of the firm: the resource based view of the firm and the customer based view of the firm. The authors gave a refreshing point of view of how to consider the firm's success via its strategy and its strategy planning, how sometimes the chosen strategy is good and makes the company competitive, profitable and makes it gain marketshare, whereas in another market and economic situation, the same strategy choice can be wrong and make the company fail, loose its customers and market share.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2010
Day and Moorman have assembled an amazing body of work. This book is replete with examples and mini-case studies from great companies...and not the same old tired ones in every other management book. The authors have used their academic backgrounds, consulting expertise and Marketing Science Institute prominence to create a work that is dense and could have easily been several books.

I particularly enjoyed their work on innovation pathways and the way that they linked it to Day's earlier books. In particular, their words "think big, start small, fail cheap and scale fast," in this section were a clarion call for me. Moorman also extended her work on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) into Prospective Customer Lifetime Value (PLV) which I found intriguing and would like to incorporate into my work.

In total it's a great book, packed with data and intermingled concepts centering around their theme of "outside-in".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 20, 2010
This is an important book. George Day and Christine Moorman, two of the finest minds in the field of strategy and marketing, explain how to create customer driven organizations. The authors propose the outside in approach - studying customers and markets and ensuring that their strategies and actions are formulated and executed with a strong customer point of view - as the best way to design effective business strategies. They back up their claim with numerous examples of successful and not so successful companies, as well as research published in prestigious academic journals, including the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Marketing. After years of studying and looking for patterns and commonalities that explain organizational performance, and analyzing solid academic research, they have drawn a number of conclusions which they discuss in this fascinating book.

The authors suggest that a distinguishing feature of excellent companies is that their business strategies are formulated from the perspective of the market. According to Day and Moorman, although most executives understand that their company's success depends on the customers who buy their company's products or services, strategy from the outside in is the exception rather than the rule: few managers organize their businesses from the outside in. On the contrary, managers fall into the trap of taking an inside out perspective: managers emphasize internal processes, capabilities, and resources. The authors note that although the outside in approach may sound simple and easy to implement, it is very uncommon. Instead of asking, "What can we do for the market?" most managers' strategic thinking is framed by asking, "What can the market do for us?"

After Day and Moorman explain why the inside out approach is so prevalent they go on to propose a road map for designing strategy from the outside in. Their innovative way of operationalising the outside in strategy and the task of creating customer value and maximizing profits is truly fascinating. Central to this perspective is a series of actions intended to build and reinforce customer value and profitability. These actions are the major focus of this book and are, according to Day and Moorman, the factors that really distinguish market leaders. The authors call them customer value imperatives because they are crucial to success. Lack of serious attention to these imperatives will cause drastic erosion of a firm's market position and profitability.

"Strategy from the Outside In" is the best book on business strategy today. It makes for a compelling read. It provides a fresh approach that can be used by leaders of all types of business organizations to revamp their business strategy and build value over the long run. It combines practical insights gleaned from their studies of numerous companies with solid academic research.

George Day and Christine Moorman truly understand what it takes to create highly effective customer driven organizations. They have written an excellent book that is going to shape the field of business strategy in the coming years. I highly recommend it to managers, consultants, MBA students, and anyone interested in building customer driven organizations.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2011
I bought the book because outside-in approach is also my personal approach to business strategy. But after reading 30 or 40 pages I realized that these authors are talking some other kind of outside-in concept whereby their reccommendations inside-out approaches in many parts of the book (like Stage III, Expand the Growth Opportunities). Also they have a very weird understanding of innovation and brand management.

The book starts with stating that inside-out strategies where you focus on pushing the sales on existing products or services, i.e. increasing the efficiency of the enterprise. This is good. They then move on to explain how this can be achieved. For this they offer 4 imperatives:

1. To be a customer value leader with a distinct and compelling customer value proposition,
2. Innovate new value for customers,
3. Capitalize on customer as an asset,
4. Capitalize on the brand as an asset.

The authors then move on to explain each one of these imperatives, usually with contradictory examples. But as you keep reading, you realize that number one and number two are one and the same thing. It is pretty obvious that if you want to be a customer value leader, you have to keep coming to the market with new and different customer value propositions (CVP). But then, to be able to create new and superior CVPs you have only one way to go: Innovate.

When you reach the explanation of innovation, you find out that they have a very weird understanding of innovation. For them (although in a later chapter they give more examples on innovation)innovation is about moving to adjacencies. Their greatest example in the book is Tesco. They mention that Tesco "innovated" three types of stores which differ in their sizes and collection of SKUs: Tesco Express, Tesco Metro, Tesco Extra. And this is a major innovation !!!!!! Moreover, Tesco entered into banking industry and this is offered to us as a major innovation. This is a very dangerous suggestion to companies. Because adjacency moves are usually very risky and especially when the adjacency is far away from your core business (read Chris Zook's "Profit from the Core"). I wonder why Tesco is not moving into hotel management business? Or may be cruise business. The authors reccommendations are a perfect recipe for death.

Their dangerous reccommendations do not stop there. They reccommend brand extension. Even though one of the authors is apparently an expert on marketing, they still seem to forget this very basic rule of branding: Brand extension could be potentially a dangerous strategy and hence should be very carefully studied before moving into. Also the following statement is not correct: "Brands can also be valuable assets for companies. However, many companies fail to capitalize on the brand as an asset." Nothing could be further from the truth. If you search marketing literature, you will see more boks on branding and brand management than any other subject. Branding is one of the most focused areas in real business. My question to the authors will be this: Do you think the luxury goods group LVMH is among those companies who fail to capitalize on the brand as an asset? Because instead of branding everthing as Louis Voitton (which is a very very strong brand), they have tens of different brands whereby the final consumer does not even know that the brand Bulgari or the whisky brand Glenmorangie belong to Louis Vuitton group.

So my overall view about this book is:

* Firstly that the concept of "outside-in" is rather old and not an invention of the authors. Adrian Slywotzky, for example, has been writing on this concept for many years. He also has a much clear methodology for outside-in Strategy developmet,
* Secondly, this is a patchwork-like book which does not have a strong conceptual framework of its on. It is a little bit Blue Ocean Strategy, a little Clayton Christensen, some CRM (is the customer pocket share concept stil being talked about?),
* Thirdly, it is very hard to read. This is firstly because of the contradictory nature of the arguments and examples and secondly because of bad prose. Also they try to create unnecessary jargon as if existing jargon is not confusing enough. How about this: Customer Asset Manager.
* Michael Porter, in his 1995 HBR paper said this: "Strategy is about being different." In this book I found the words `different' 3 times and `differentiaton' 8 times. Maybe somenone should remind the authors that the main purpose of outside-in Strategy making is to discover new and "differentiating" CVPs and nothing else. I am thus sorry to say that, if you do not maket his Point at the outset and keep repeating it, you Strategy book ceizes to look like a Strategy book at all.

In a nutshell, I personally did not learn any single thing from this book. I consider my time wasted.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 24, 2010
While much has been written about building market focused organizations over the years, Professors Day and Moorman take the discussion to the next level. Their premise is that there are many forces that drive companies toward an inward focus (momentum, past successes), but these forces do not offer a long term sustainable advantage. Instead, the authors make a compelling case for the "Outside in" approach.

Day and Moorman offer fresh, practical frameworks that show how to create and sustain a customer driven firm. This book is rich with data and timely examples, not just of success stories, but also of companies that have stumbled along the way.

Whether for the practitioner, the teacher or the student of marketing, this book offers an invaluable roadmap for understanding the path to creating value for customers
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 13, 2010
Do you want your business to succeed? Do you want to sustain that success over a long period of time? These are the important questions I found answers to in this book. It is straightforward guidance that can be used by any company, in any business...and having both large and small corporate experience, I found that the advice in this book fits well in any size business. I particularly liked the side bar discussions...I now know, for example that soup has a soul! The authors present their points in a format that makes them easy to put to use right away. For me that is the single most important aspect of any business book - can I make use of the information now...and for me the answer is yes.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 19, 2013
This book does a good job of modeling how customers derive and perceive value and the best ways for companies to build a strategy around providing such value.

One of the best insights is the need to choose what customer value vector you will build your business around (price, performance, or relational) and how best to manage that strategy using appropriate metrics, messaging, and corporate alignment.

The book is filled with examples of businesses that have succeeded or failed to execute an outside-in, customer focused strategy.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2014
Is a splendid book. The book itself give us a great contribution for a change of mindset of the driven market, to driven customer.
For me is a book necessary to read for anyone, even more if you read another books newer. A good book to add, complementing and after that read, is Outside-In by Kerry Bodine. I recommend strongly to broaden your vision. Once that George's book, speaks about 'the customer', and today we must to see 'stakeholders/social'.
Is a good book to starts to initialize to atmosphere Service Dominant Logic too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed

Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach
Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach by Orville C. Walker (Paperback - January 24, 2013)

A Guide to Everyday Economic Statistics
A Guide to Everyday Economic Statistics by Gary E. Clayton (Paperback - September 21, 2009)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.