Thursday, September 13, 2012

Differentiate Your Software

Book review of Differentiate or Die - Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition by Jack Trout (published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

It's important for software developers to ensure that their products and services are different from their competitors' offerings. The software development industry has seen many failed attempts to create excitement about me-too, copy-cat software. To be successful in your software marketing, you have to talk about your application's unique features and benefits.

If you're only talking about your product's or service's high quality or good value, Trout tells us, you're not going to sell a lot in today's marketplace. You also have to say why your application is different - and better. While Trout wasn't talking specifically about software, his principles apply to the software development industry.

It's a mistake, the author tells us, to think that your software is a commodity, and that there's no realistic way to differentiate your application from your competitors' offerings.

This is a hard-hitting book about standing out from the crowd. Trout was the first author to create excitement about the concept of positioning. And now he's delivering practical advice about how to sell more stuff by differentiating your product or service.

Today's consumers have more marketplace choices than ever. Trout gives an example - Most families satisfy 80 to 85 percent of their supermarket needs with 150 products that they buy regularly. A typical supermarket in the United States sells 40,000 distinct products. This means that most consumers don't even try 99+ percent of supermarket products.

Sellers - including software sellers - have two options: Either convince buyers that your product or service is unique. Or fail. Or as Trout says, differentiate or die.

This book is a quick read, and it can boost your software marketing results.

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