- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (February 18, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1578519535
- ISBN-13: 978-1578519538
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,341,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers
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From Publishers Weekly
According to this turgid volume of business metaphysics, dwindling profit margins caused by intensified competition, a glut of commodity production and knowledgeable, web-empowered consumers will usher in "a new industrial system" characterized by "co-creating value through personalized experiences unique to the individual consumer." Under the new regime, headstrong consumers will "seek to exercise their influence in every part of the business system," and companies will accommodate them by, for example, allowing them to design their own individualized cosmetics and houseboats (an innovation whose benefits include "emotional bonding with... the company" and "a greater degree of self-esteem"). Rather than simply selling their products and services, companies will design "experience environments" that comfort the consumer in any contingency, such as General Motors' On-Star satellite communications system, which can summon help after an accident, open the car doors if the driver is locked out and direct motorists to the nearest Italian restaurant. Beneath the avant-garde terminology, the book mostly boils down to a medley of strategies to make business more consumer-friendly, like flexible pricing schemes, electronic gadgets that are easy to use instead of baffling, options and add-ons, meticulous market research and lavish customer service and support. But business professors Ramaswamy and Prahalad, coauthor of Competing for the Future, inflate this rather familiar "customer-is-king" approach to a level of abstraction and mystification-the health-care industry, for instance, is actually "a complex, evolving wellness space"-that is needlessly opaque and portentous. Managers who thought their job was to make or do something that people might want to buy will be scratching their heads over this book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"...an excellent new book." -- Fortune, January 2004
"...an important book, full of disruptive ideas." -- BusinessWeek, March 1, 2004
"Intriguing." -- Detroit Free Press, 27 January 2004
"The book's many examples cast a convincing spell that co-creation is the wave of the future." -- The Globe and Mail, April 14, 2004
Top customer reviews
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The authors do a fairly good job with their use of examples and theory to support their arguments that the marketplace is changing to a customer focused from a company focused arena. I appreciate the use of numerous companies in their examples from Palm to international and lesser known medical companies. Additionally, the DART explanation that the authors used to explain the co-creation of value was an easy to understand model that was simple to understand and comprehend throughout the book as the authors put additional levels onto it.
However, even with all of the supportive examples that were used, specific reference to specific tools and products to harness the information about the changing consumer and their experience were not sufficiently mentioned. The usage of tools such as Analytics, Data Mining or Myspace that are utilized to understand and perfect the co-value experience were not included and this was a field that was growing in popularity during 2004. If he were able to identify those trends during the writing of this book I would be more impressed. This is all not to say that the mentioning of process improvements such as Six Sigma were not strong evidence of his theories, but they could have mentioned more of the possibilities.
Furthermore, the author tended to mention a change in the in the marketplace but these were things that companies may have already been aware of then. If I ask the question of whether or not he contributed something new to the world of customer value? I would answer that maybe in 2004, but as for now, the book is slightly out of date and the information is already understood by the general business world.
The authors have created a thorough explanation of different ideas in connection with relative case studies, which makes it easy to grasp and entertaining to read. To illustrate the possibilty of technology on co-creating customer value for example, the authors are discussing about John Deere's innovative approach to agriculture by taking advantage using technology for differentiation from its competitors. Deere is co-creating customer value by making a product that is productive. The farmers are able to minimize cost by getting accurate and timely information of their consumers, equipment, land fertility, peer group interface, suppliers and dealers using Deere's new technology. Since most farm products are pershiable and could get destroyed so easily due to lack of information and knowledge, Deere is providing farmers accurate information on time to help prevent their product from getting spoiled or deliver to the market delayed. To conclude, the book is interesting to read and I learn a big deal out of it. Not only it discusses the relationship between cutomers and companies over decades, but also discusses on how the relationship starts. I recommend for any one to read this enjoyable book.
Most recent customer reviews
by: Nicholas J. Paolella
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