Yougme Moon, Harvard Business School professor, brings a fresh examination of marketing with a difference. From Google to Swatch, she argues that the temptation competitors face to “keep up with the Jones’” has served only to minimize the value propositions between brand ‘A’ and ‘B’.  She coins the phrase, “heterogeneous homogeneity”, to explain how herd mentality has driven products to be different in meaningless ways.

With detectable humility, Youngme cautions throughout that her book is not a ‘how-to’ manual, but rather a discussion of how some brands have managed to break away from the herd by taking an oftentimes counterintuitive stance towards conventional marketing wisdoms.

Youngme underscores how marketing tactics driven to add value in the absence of a high level differentiation strategy, is essentially the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. To be effective, we mustn't forget that consumption is strongly driven by illogical human emotion. In order to appeal to the senses products sometimes have to play hard to get…

She struck familiar chords; I myself have often lamented, "do we really need 300 different types of cereal?”... Too much meaningless choice at best serves only to frustrate the increasingly cynical consumer. At worse, too much choice can lead end users to failure -"Let’s simplify the user experience." I've often thought.

Different will turn your value proposition on its head. 


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