Selling Blue Elephants

How to Make Great Products That People Want Before They Even Know They Want Them

Howard Moskowitz, Alex Gofman

Publisher: Wharton School Publishing, 2007, 252 pages

ISBN: 0-13-613668-0

Keywords: Marketing

Last modified: March 28, 2012, 10:26 a.m.

Can you remember the world before the iPod? How about the world before chunky tomato sauce or brown mustard? Many of these products came about not through focus groups and polling, but rather through research and development labs and marketers developing the products they knew customers would want, before customers knew they wanted them. Today your customers can actually help you create your next product.

Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE) is a solution-oriented learning experience. RDE is the systematized process of designing, testing and modifying alternative ideas, packages, products, or services in a disciplined way so that the developer and marketer discover what appeals to the customer, even if the customer can't articulate the need, much less the solution. Read about best practices in the RDE from some of today's top companies: HP, Prego, Vlasic, MasterCard and others. Filled with real-life stories, this book will change the way people think about selling to their present and future customers.

  • Part I. Making Money
    1. Hewlett-Packard shifts gears
    2. Maxwell House’s calculus of coffee
    3. Dialing up Delicious: Major discoveries from Prego and Vlasic
    4. How to make people feel good even when they pay more
    5. Discover more about your competitors than they themselves know
  • Part II. Making the Future
    1. Rubik's Cube of consumer electronics innovation
    2. Bridging cool design with hot science
  • Part III. Flying to Venus
    1. Mind Genomics: Consumer mind 'on the shelf'
    2. Making the President and public communications into 'products'
    3. RDE defeats Murphy’s Law and 'bares' the Stock Markets
    4. Asia Calling Ltd. — The China angle
    5. RDE’s 'Brave New World!'


Selling Blue Elephants

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Mediocre **** (4 out of 10)

Last modified: March 28, 2012, 10:27 a.m.

The ToC is great! So is the concept (aka do market research). Unfortunately, the book doesn't contain very much, and what it really contains are mostly incomplete.

Learn the concept online, and skip this book.


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