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5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ,
Best Book to define your customer, use it on a regular basis, and you can work directly with the examples at the end of each chapter.
Published 7 months ago by Juancho

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique Selling Proposition
This is an interesting twist on the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The idea of which has been around a long, long time. Though the idea isn't new Bloom has renamed USP the uncommon offering in his honor. But just because the book lacks novelty doesn't mean it is without merit. In my opinion it is worth reading especially for the entrenched business looking to...
Published on November 30, 2007 by James D. Nichol


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique Selling Proposition, November 30, 2007
By 
James D. Nichol (Upper Midwest, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
This is an interesting twist on the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The idea of which has been around a long, long time. Though the idea isn't new Bloom has renamed USP the uncommon offering in his honor. But just because the book lacks novelty doesn't mean it is without merit. In my opinion it is worth reading especially for the entrenched business looking to break-out into double digit growth. This book provides a simple plan for growth through solid, proven marketing principles and business simplification.

The uncommon offering, is the "Inside Advantage" and it all starts with what you are already doing according to Bloom. Discovering the hidden potential inside your business is about the `growth discovery processes.' Meaning you don't have to reinvent your business or branch out for more offerings making thing more complicated. Instead you will need to uncover and capitalize on you're ONE thing. That ONE thing your business does better than the competition. The growth discovery process is uncovering the hidden potential that already exists in your offering. Then Improve it.

This book offers us a four step process and each step is broken down into its own components. The four steps of the big picture are:

1) Find your CORE customers. Beyond demographics; beyond what you may think of when you think of your customers. It is interesting to look at possibilities for the WHO and consider all of the options, such as defining your core customers based on their value for; being the best braggers for your product, being the biggest customers, being the longest relationship with you, being the least lily to complain, being the most likely to repeat their business, being the most likely to not repeat and why. Then you may want to identify these same customers in your competitor's base. Do a little demographic shifting and look at the next step.
2) Discover and deliver your uncommon offering, just listen to your core customers. They will tell you what you do best and why they buy it from you. You will want to examine this from an external and internal base. Writing down all of the ideas and phases people use to describe your offering and distill it down to a statement of 10 to 15 words.
3) Develop persuasive strategies in written statements for action. Growing your business through refining your communication and thought association for your company and offering. To me this read like some of the better branding books I've read lately, but in a short abbreviated chapter. This is a lesson in statements in action to immediately associate your offering with your company.
4) Imaginative acts. Creative public relations or publicity stunts that are tied to your uncommon offering and for the benefit of your core customers. There are some very good examples of what other companies have done most of which you will be familiar with.

I can recommend this book to any company that is looking to break out of a rut they may be in. However, for most creative, progressive companies it will just be a good reminder of what works. This book does a very good job of chronologically drafting out a step by step process employed by the Author. (His record of success speaks for itself)

For the small, new business or start-up this book is good, but you will need to put it into context for the size of clients Bloom works with and the fact that they are very established.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ,, November 28, 2013
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Best Book to define your customer, use it on a regular basis, and you can work directly with the examples at the end of each chapter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. Highly recommended to all stagnant businesses, August 18, 2013
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An easy or read, straight to the point, thought provoking, action inspiring book. Well worth the time invested in reading and doing the exercises.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!, January 23, 2013
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Interesting and easy to read. Lot's of examples. Simple theory which worked out for a lot of companies. Very inspiring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A solid, specific and well portrayed way to grow revenue, December 5, 2010
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This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
A step-by-step map for growing a revenue stream, by discovering the growth engine that's right inside the business. Numerous examples.

This is the most specific approach I've yet seen, and it's applicable to most any business.

Read it, do the thinking and planning it lays out, and revenue will very likely rise noticeably.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for any marketer out there, December 9, 2008
This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
The author is a very seasoned successful marketer with a long list of very high impact campaigns to his credit. On top of the experience he brings the knowledge and insight to make the sometime esoteric topic of marketing very simple and straightforward. Our history in this market ties completely in what Bloom espouses. He brings good value with this book , as he lays out not only what to do , but step by step how to do this work with your own people. This is required reading for any marketer and a CEO would find this tremendously informative. I always enjoy the client stories and found his on NeoCitran/Theraflu, Nestle, Southwest Airlines and T-Mobile especially compelling. Check out [...]
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to "unlock the hidden growth" in any business, October 8, 2007
This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
I recently read two books that explain how to achieve and then sustain a decisive competitive advantage: this one written by Robert Bloom with Dave Conti and Steven Feinberg's The Advantage-Makers. Both Bloom and Feinberg stress the importance of being able to recognize opportunities that others don't see (overcoming what I characterize as "the invisibility of the obvious"); possessing sound judgment to determine whether or not a an attractive opportunity is also (key word) appropriate; knowing how and when to respond to each such opportunity; having sufficient resources and the willingness to commit them, sometime quickly; and meanwhile, remaining flexible and resilient. Feinberg's focus is on Advantage-Makers as he explains how these "exceptional leaders win by creating opportunities others don't."

Bloom takes a much different approach as he presents his material within a framework he identifies as "The Growth Discovery Process." It has four separate but related sequential stages, each of which Bloom explains with rigor and eloquence:

1. Determine WHO is the core customer most likely to buy the given product or service in the quantity required with a margin that ensures optimal profit

2. Then determine WHAT is the uncommon offering that can be owned and leveraged

3. Next, determine HOW the persuasive strategy will convince core customers to select the uncommon offering rather than competitive offerings

4. Finally, OWN IT! by taking certain imaginative initiatives that celebrate the uncommon offering so that it becomes indispensable to core customers. Some of the most valuable material in this book addresses (In Part 4, Chapters 10-12) one of the greatest challenges all organizations now face: How to create and then sustain a critical mass of what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba aptly characterize as "customer evangelists."

In his Introduction, Bloom explains the meaning and significance of his book's title: "The best way to expand the size, scope, and profit of your business is to grow it from the inside, capitalizing on hidden strengths that already exist within the company or brand." First, it is imperative to formulate an appropriate strategy because (like a hammer) it will be needed to "drive" decision-makers through the aforementioned four-stage process. Think of Bloom as having many of the same functions and responsibilities, as did those trail masters who successfully led late-19th century relocations of thousands of cattle across the plains states, overcoming all manner of hardships along the way. Being a film buff, I am immediately reminded of Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Captain Woodrow F. Coll (Tommy Lee Jones) in Lonesome Dove as well as Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) and Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift) in Red River.

Bloom invites those who read his book to embark on a similar journey and he then accompanies them each step of the way, illustrating key points with an abundance of real-world examples from his decades of experience working with hundreds of clients. I especially appreciate Bloom's empirical approach and his relentless pragmatism. Although he has total confidence in "The Growth Discovery Process," he reiterates throughout the book's narrative is that it is merely a means by which to achieve and then sustain profitable growth...and do so with aggressive (i.e. "explosive") and imaginative but prudent initiatives that are most appropriate to the given organization.

I commend Bloom on stressing the importance of knowing what a company isn't or at least should not attempt to be, of knowing who its core customers aren't or at least shouldn't be, and of what not to do or attempt to do. More than 40 years ago, Peter Drucker spoke to this last point when observing that "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Hence the importance of understanding who the core customer is and that profile is invariably the same as the profile of the most valuable and most desirable of current customers. Many companies make the mistake of not carefully selecting their customers, as Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad recommend in Competing for the Future. Some customers are only marginally profitable, others are unprofitable, and still others create so many problems with constant and unrealistic demands as well as inappropriate behavior that they simply aren't worth keeping, much less pursuing.

Credit Bloom with nailing the basics in this book. And I presume to point out that all of the exemplary companies he examines were once start-ups. Following precisely the same core principles that Bloom advocates, these "acorns" eventually became "oak trees" but even the stoutest trees need "pruning" from time to time.

I highly recommend this book as well as Feinberg's The Advantage-Makers. Also McConnell and Huba's Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force, Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods... And How Companies Create Them (Revised and Updated) by Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske, Marti Barletta's Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment and her more recent PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders, and Gerald Zaltman's How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Highly Recommend the Book and Process, January 22, 2008
This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
I have read the book, seen Mr. Bloom speak and I have taken my team through the growth discovery process that Mr. Bloom has outlined in The Inside Advantage. His process has been an incredible insite for myself, my team, and our company. The process he describes helps a company discover WHO their core customer really is that they should target. This really helped us gain a more laser like focus for the customers of our software company that we did not have before. The WHAT and the HOW raised our awareness so that we could understand clearly what it is we have to offer and how we do it. The OWN IT is a key because it allowed us to define items that would ensure we executed.

Any of you that are big fans of Jim Collins book "Good to Great" and the hedgehog principle, will love this book. Why? Because discovering your hedgehog is not easy and "The Inside Advantage" gives you a process to look inside your company and gain insight and discovery that is hard to do. Mr. Bloom's process is so well described that you will not need a facilitator to follow it. It may not take you fully up to the mountain top to your Hedgehog but will get you high up the mountain so you see the top and find the rest of the way yourself.

The best reward for me as a CEO has been the many experiences in meetings and documentation that team members have referred to our WHO, WHAT, HOW and OWN IT that we learned from the process. The impact it is having is very apparent!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, April 12, 2008
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This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
This is one of the best books on defining ones business and doing it right. I was totally engrossed with it. We had a meeting where 9 of us had read it and we followed what we had read and were very excited about the results accomlishing in one day.
A must read for anyone with a product or service that wants to grow and be and be an industry leader.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Strategic and Smart, March 10, 2008
This review is from: The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (Hardcover)
As a business owner, focus on growth is the essential driver of our performance and success. The Inside Advantage offers a clear, smart and strategic pathway to clarify your unique advantage in the marketplace and bring it to life in every aspect of your business.

Our agency leveraged these simple steps and helpful tools to hone our business strategy and nearly double our revenues and staff in one year.

Bob Bloom offers decades of advertising expertise, real world examples and actionable insights that make this a must read for entrepreneurs working at every stage, size and scope of business development.
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The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business
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