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Publisher's Summary

In today’s ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can visit the showrooms of over twenty auto makers. Differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history, yet it remains a key to a company’s survival.

In Differentiate or Die, best-selling author Jack Trout takes marketers to task for taking the easy route of high-tech razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand instead of marketing their product’s uniquely valuable qualities. He examines successful differentiation initiatives—from giants like Wal-Mart to tiny Trinity College—to determine why some succeed and some fail. The author outlines the many ways to achieve differentiation, while also warning of how difficult it is to achieve differentiation by being creative, cheap, customer oriented, or quality driven, things that your competitor can do as well.

Jack Trout is president of Trout & Partners, a marketing firm with offices in thirteen countries and a client list that includes AT&T, IBM, Sears, Merrill Lynch, and other Fortune 500 companies. He was the first to popularize the idea of “positioning” products in the minds of consumers. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of numerous marketing classics.

Steve Rivkin, the coauthor of The New Positioning and The Power of Simplicity, is head of his own communications consulting firm, whose clients include Kraft Foods, Olin Corporation, and Horizon Health System. He is based in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

©2000 Jack Trout (P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

" Differentiate or Die differentiates itself on the groaning marketing bookshelf with its lucid prose, its clear vision of the future marketplace…and its sensible solutions for surviving the frenzied competition we’re sure to find there." (Dan Rather, CBS News)
"What I like about Differentiate or Die is the book’s emphasis on the power of logic, simplicity, and clarity—getting to the essence of a problem. In Silicon Valley, attributes like that can make the difference between having lunch and being lunch." (Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.)

What listeners say about Differentiate or Die

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 24-06-2009

Please re-record this book!

I'm sure the information is valuable but the narration is painful! I could not make it through the first 30 minutes as the narrator himself seemed to have no idea what he was reading. The voice was that of a bad robot, proving that ALL differentiation in not necessarily GOOD differentiation.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • 06-01-2003

Well presented arguments

This book presents a strong, compelling argument for the need to differentiate your brand from others, with many examples to prove the author's points. Relevant to our modern business climate and engaging all the way to the end. The kind of thing you'll listen to more than once if you're involved in marketing, advertising, or brand building.

21 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Brown
  • 23-11-2008

hard to listen too

it is a great book but I cannot tell you how many times I had to back it up to hear what was said...the editor took ALL pauses out. there are no pauses in the reading and it is hard to listen too.....the sample does represent the reading

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jose Reyes
  • 06-11-2020

This book didn't age well

The book has some great ideas, but some examples and the author’s opinion didn't survive the 20 years that have passed since this book came out, like the Nokia story and the one from Toys R Us. If you can, look for a revised edition.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-2019

Very relevant, crisp & well researched

I loved how the book clearly gives tools and outlines of what can create or dilute a differentiation advantage for a company. So relevant for todays times where we everyone has access of heaps of information and options at a click.. how do you stand out ?? Great grooming guide for what top strategy executives should keep in mind in their critical decision making process. A must read.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 26-02-2003

Great speaking voice, humor, knowledge on topic

Great book - gets kind of sloppy in the end chapters - not as thought provoking. Highly recommended

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dustin
  • 06-10-2021

Complete to the point and many examples of market leaders

I would recommend this book to every entrepreneur, c suite executive, director of marketing & Product. Also has a witty feel to the writing that keeps the stories & examples moving.

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  • AttackGirl
  • 23-09-2021

Out dated..

Old info shows Maye ideas are not supported since most examples are out of business and no longer a market leader. Perhaps at the EMD of the book make reference to next book with explanation of why all the examples are now leaders or out of business. Ex. Nokia phones, toys are us, Sears, Montgomey Wards etc…

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  • Chase
  • 21-09-2021

Outdated

When this was first written, it was probably a lot more helpful than it is now. Technology has changed a lot since this was written, which is pretty much the reason for my lower ranking. Also the writer comes off as a bit pretentious, which is comical considering how wrong he was about so many of the companies (and some strategies) in this book.

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  • Paul
  • 19-09-2021

Good Concepts but it did not resist the time

Good but old, toy's retail history of success end very bad
as other many fundaments of this book

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  • Scott_Birch_1990
  • 20-10-2021

fantastic

it is a really insightful listen. some can be found in other books but it's given me a few ideas to differentiate my products.

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  • Liz
  • 31-07-2021

Interesting concept

Interesting read, enjoyed this book and the explanations it gave, makes a whole lot of sense in my head now and will make me think about companies marketing strategies and the number of products produced by each company.

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  • J. P. Walters
  • 03-02-2021

A MUST-READ for all marketers everywhere!

This one is very special to me. Uniqueness is always something I've struggled with....and this book lays out a clear way of doing so. Not only that, it gives many examples of the spectrum of differentiation.... showing how even the smallest changes to "differentiating" ideas can make a huge different and pull in a greater audience. This is will definitely be a re-read for me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. R. D. Cox
  • 23-03-2011

Obvious

This ties in with other books I have read on Lean, Communications and business - has given me the most important points of Marketing

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