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Collapse of Distinction: Stand out and move up while your competition fails (NelsonFree) Hardcover – April 5, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Distinction (or differentiation) initiatives must be based on a solid foundation. McCain identifies four and devotes a separate chapter to each: total Clarity about who and what the organization is...Read more ›
Most business books are long on pontificating and short on practical application. What I found refreshing in this book was the information was easy to digest and the main concept centered around a couple of small businesses in rural Indiana. Their contrasting attempts to overcome personal "David vs. Goliath" moments form the main ideas in the book--how do you stand out and succeed, especially when facing long odds and low capital? The answer makes perfect sense. Since reading the book, I have made a point to observe the businesses I frequent and conduct my own personal field tests. The establishments where the principles laid out by Mr. McKain are being followed (whether they know it or not) are not only busy, they have a better vibe. And that proves that you don't have to be Starbucks to be successful and cool. Read the book. Then you'll understand.
A good book, but not a great book in my opinion.
However, I think it could have been a great book if it had been shorter and better focused. And if the author (or publisher) had not added so much fluff to stretch it out, particularly the "Executive Summary" at the end of every chapter. Those summaries serve little real purpose other than to add pages. The main text of each chapter is already well-organized with plenty of subheadings and pull quotes and, thus, is easy to scan to find what you want. The "Action Steps, Questions, and Ideas" add-on at the end of each chapter is a little better and more useful but doesn't really add much value (again, it mostly adds pages).
I absolutely agree with McKain that our society in general, and marketing of businesses in particular, has degenerated into an overall sameness with very little to differentiate one from another. The exceptions serve to prove the truth of the observations. In the first third of the book, McKain does an excellent job of answering the question "how did we get into this mess?" He addresses the various self-destructive decisions that business all too often make in an attempt to meet the competition rather than provide something unique and valuable to the customer.
McKain then sets out to offer concrete steps you can take to differentiate your business and its products or services from the overwhelming sameness in your marketplace.Read more ›
McKain's whole premise is that businesses are no longer distinct or individualistic. As a consumer, I found myself agreeing with much of what he said. After all, is there really that much difference between McDonald's, Burger King, or Wendy's? Yes, they have their slightly unique flavor but if you are traveling down the interstate and want a quick burger do you care which one is at the next exit?
If you are a business owner, McKain encourages you to focus on the one thing you do really well or the one thing that makes you different from everyone else. Market that difference to your customers while making them feel important and they'll keep coming back.
Why am I reviewing this book? Well, 10 years ago I owned a business (Pampered Chef consultant), my parents currently own a tire and oil change shop, and my brother owns a beef farm. I guess you could say business runs in the family.
But beyond the applications for businesses, I found much of what McKain said to be applicable to blogging (I write a blog). If you want to increase your blog readership then focus on those 1-3 topics you are passionate about. Then make your readers feel valued and they'll keep coming back to read about your passions.
If you own a business, are considering owning a business or own a blog I recommend you read this book.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While this book had some useful information, it wasn't unique. A quick easy read that will leave you motivated.Published 19 months ago by Amanda Donatelli
The 100 million people who are losing wealth to be redistributed by the Federal Govern so 50 million can have health insurance are going to be holding on to their purse strings and... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Matt Davidson
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What I really like is that the book comes as an ebook and audiobook when purchased as a paperbook-- now that's creating distinction... Read morePublished on May 3, 2012 by Annette D
The Collapse of Distinction by Scott McKain is an excellent book for business owners and managers, as well as all marketers. Read morePublished on January 14, 2012 by Mary Lou Cheatham
It has taken me a while to write this review. Not from lack of reading time, I assure you, I often have 2-3 books going at once. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by E. Brown
I loved the subtitle: Stand out and move up while your competition fails. Unfortunately, this book didn't hold my attention. Read morePublished on September 19, 2010 by Nathan Martin
Some books are like a roller coaster ride and some are like plowing a field. Unfortunately, this book falls into the latter category. Read morePublished on April 7, 2010 by Donald Ryan
I recently finished Collapse of Distinction by Scott McKain. I always appreciate the wisdom and insights of a good business book. Read morePublished on April 7, 2010 by mlbort