Monday, September 05, 2005

3 down 3 to go

Just finished Marketing Imagination, New, Expanded Edition, by Theodore Levitt.

Halfway there to overcoming the challenge.

Ted Levitt wrote a very famous paper titled Marketing Myopia which is also included in this book.

Although this book was published nearly 20 years ago, a lot of the concepts and ideas he mentions are still quite relevant. Indeed it's easy to imagine that this book was a source of insight for many later marketing books.

I feel it is going to be one of those books that I find myself grabbing off the shelf.

A respected scholar and Harvard Business School professor, Dr. Levitt also has quite the sense of humor and it shows in some examples "designs for sadists to rub salt into open wounds" (describing how to extend the product life cycle for salt shakers), "in the dark desperate 1930's... and before unemployment compensation, Social Security, Medicare, HUD, and pot" (describing how people's wants/needs have changed.

Quotes I liked:

"There is no such thing as a commodity. All goods and services can be differentiated and usually are."

"Nothing drives progress like the imagination."

"Let me repeat: The purpose of a business is to get and keep a customer. Without customers, no amount of engineering wizardy, clever financing, or operatoins expertise can keep the company going." (Dal- Interesting reading this after the Enron book, especially the part about clever financing.)

"The difference between data and information is that while data are crudely aggregated collections of raw facts, information represents teh selective organization, and imaginative interpretation of those facts."

"The plans and programs had better be reaonably right, appropriate, and compelling. They must be reasonably congruent with everyday common sense and, especially, easily understandable."

"To be succesful a strategy must also be simple, clear, and expressible in only a few written lines."

"The view that an industry is a customer-satisfying process, not a goods-producing process, is vital for all businessmen to understand."


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