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Darwin's Divergence Theory Powerful in Business Marketing,
This review is from: The Origin of Brands: How Product Evolution Creates Endless Possibilities for New Brands (Paperback)Using Charles Darwin's theory of divergence as a foundation, Al and Laura Ries argue that the new trend of convergence (cellphones with cameras, and refrigerators with internet) is the complete wrong direction for brands to move. They present, quite successfully, the view that convergence is a loser. Categories of products diverge and the first to that new category is the winner.
I initially found the this book very interesting, but unpractical. Realistically I had to be able to come up with more examples, than they had, of successful convergence. But I couldn't. As I continued to read and, more importantly, reflect on the real world, I found myself in total agreement. Strong brands succeed because they are great at one thing, not pretty good at a couple.
Al and Laura also make a great point about being first to a category. People still believe it is more important to be the best and fight the good fight. Definetely there are some examples where the firsts to categories have faltered, but for the most part, first equals the winner. They gather all the buzz and establish themselves as the leader in the category.
There are many factors that contribute to a successful brand, but I believe these theories should be among them. Definetely recommended reading for any brand manager or business owner. I find myself viewing companies, big and small, through this lens on a daily basis. What causes their brand to succeed or fail? I've found many times it's how they apply these concepts that lead to the result.