We wanted to tackle a marketing book, but one that wasn't just about tactics. We chose "Different" by HBS professor Youngme Moon, as her high-level, strategic view on marketing as both a philosophy and an art was very appealing to us.
One of the core ideas in the book is that you can't just go along with the herd of companies and products that change incrementally over time - to be successful, you must actually be different. She highlights 3 separate strategies that you can use to truly differentiate your product, filled with clear examples of companies that have implemented them to become amazing companies and brands - Mini, Red Bull, and Google, to name a few.
Her ideas of getting away from the herd and reinventing your company and products is a perspective that resonated with us, especially as PMs in the Bay Area tech scene where more often than not, most products are hazy copies of others. Her push for readers to try riskier, less clear paths forward is one we both agreed with, and led us to really enjoy this book.
Listen here for our discussion on how to apply the ins and outs of competitive differentiation according to Moon.