New Ways to Get Customers To Choose your Product & Ignore The Rest … Marshal Cohen

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During my new-found freedom recently, I decided to do some self-improvement by reading, which used to be a childhood hobby.  The first of a few books that I picked was “Buy Me!” by Marshal Cohen.  This yellow hard cover with two large words emblazoned in red “Buy Me!” initially attracted me to pick it up.  Yes, call me shallow, but heh, that’s consumer behaviour too – getting suckered by packaging!!

Alright, I wasn’t that shallow.  I took the next step.  I read the  fine print of the title which was  – New Ways to get customers to choose your product and ignore the rest! and flipped through a few chapters.

I told myself I had to read this book because I enjoy the topic of consumer behaviour and understanding people.  No doubt, Cohen’s content is in the North American context,  a marketer myself, getting insights from consumers from different parts of the world can be quite enlightening or in some cases pure common sense.  But it is interesting how we also need to be reminded about the basics occasionally.

Cohen makes the book easy  to read and filled it with lots of insightful case studies.   This book gives you the newest ways to create value to entice customers even in the most difficult of times.  You need to constantly reach out to your customers in new and different ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Based on the changing consumer behaviour and the recessional era of 2008 and 2009, consumer mindsets changed, creating the new economy.   This new economy has become the age of thrift when consumption has changed  Gone are the days where consumers see it, want it, buy it and worry about how to pay for the product later.  The consumers of today are looking for ways to stretch dollars or save for a rainy day.  There are new retail rules and Cohen shares 8 of them and the 7 stages of business in this book.

Cohen reminds businesses to stick to their core of their business.

The example used was Coca Cola replacing their Classic coke formula with the New coke only to bring back the original product after great consumer uproar.  Instead of introducing  a variation of it’s core product, the core product was replaced – Big mistake.

Nabisco  (bought over by Kraft) on the other hand got their act together and kept the original Oreo intact.  They built upon its success by introducing new colours, flavours and sizes of the cookies to its product range.

Apple has also done a great job in keeping to it’s core business by introducing variations of their core products.  Take the iPhone for example.  From a first generation iPhone, new technology and features are introduced and today we have the iPhone 4.  There is the buzz factor and the accessories that come with Apple products are just phenomenal.   In just first 3 days the iPhone 3G was in the US market, 1 million sets were sold.   However, in this case Apple has capitalized on technology which is the main driving force behind consumer desire.   Apple has innovated to keep consumers engaged.

Get the book to read about the other case studies on Hyundai, Ikea vs Circuit City, Lancome and the Oscillation Mascara, Nike Id, Ralph Lauren and Walmart, just to name a few.

So who is Marshal Cohen.  Cohen, who resides in Long Island, NY,  is the chief industry analyst for The NPD Group, Inc, a worldwide leader in market research and consumer behaviour.  Cohen has been with The NPD Group since 1999.  Cohen makes regular appearances on television shows such as the Today Show, ABC World News Tonight and CNN and is often interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Fortune and Time.  Cohen makes frequent contributions to Bloomberg TV and FOX Business News.  Cohen is also a guest professor at North Carolina State University, School of Textiles.  Cohen has also been a guest lecturer at the Fashion Institute of Technology and at the Wharton School of Business.

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Buy Me! is pubished by McGraw-Hill books and is copyrighted in 2010 b Marshal Cohen and the NPD Group, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-07-166783-8
MHID: 0-07-166783-0


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