A Fresh and Important New Way to Understand Why We Buy
Why did the RAZR ultimately ruin Motorola? Why does Wal-Mart dominate rural and suburban areas but falter in large cities? Why did Starbucks stumble just when it seemed unstoppable?
The answer lies in the ever-present tension between fidelity (the quality of a consumer’s experience) and convenience (the ease of getting and paying for a product). In Trade-Off, Kevin Maney shows how these conflicting forces determine the success, or failure, of new products and services in the marketplace. He shows that almost every decision we make as consumers involves a trade-off between fidelity and convenience–between the products we love and the products we need. Rock stars sell out concerts because the experience is high in fidelity-–it can’t be replicated in any other way, and because of that, we are willing to suffer inconvenience for the experience. In contrast, a downloaded MP3 of a song is low in fidelity, but consumers buy music online because it’s superconvenient. Products that are at one extreme or the other–those that are high in fidelity or high in convenience–-tend to be successful. The things that fall into the middle-–products or services that have moderate fidelity and convenience-–fail to win an enthusiastic audience. Using examples from Amazon and Disney to People Express and the invention of the ATM, Maney demonstrates that the most successful companies skew their offerings to either one extreme or the other-–fidelity or convenience-–in shaping products and building brands.
About the Author
KEVIN MANEY, the author of Megamedia Shakeout and The Maverick and His Machine, has been a contributing editor to Condé Nast Portfolio and a contributor to The Atlantic, Wired, NPR, and ABC News NOW. He covered the technology industry for USA Today for almost two decades. He lives outside of Washington, D.C.
Visit the author at his website, www.kevinmaney.com.
Praise for Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't…
“A rare book that leaves you with a simple but profound way to build stronger products, organizations, and careers. Trade-Off introduces one of those ideas that will stick in your mind for decades. Get ready to re-think what differentiates success from failure.”
--Tom Rath, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Strengths Based Leadership
“What’s new out there, what’s good, and will it be around tomorrow? Kevin Maney has written a provocative and original exploration of some of the mysteries of our consuming lives: why, for instance, has Apple stayed hot and Motorola gone cold? Will Starbucks and Wal-Mart and American Airlines flourish or flop? Required reading for all CEOs; intriguing and entertaining for the rest of us.”
--Harold Evans, author of They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators
“This book demystifies success in the marketplace. Buy it, read it, learn from it and use it.”
--Keith Ferrazzi, bestselling author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back
“Moving deftly from Crocs to the Kindle, to Ozzy Osborne, to the daily newspaper, Kevin Maney shows how the trade-off between fidelity and convenience can make or break a business. He shares several success stories, of course. But even better, he tells us about some serious commercial bloopers. These cautionary tales alone are worth the price of this terrific book.”
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
"Trade-Off by Kevin Maney shows how the tug-of-war between quality and convenience can make or break a product, a brand, or even a company. This book puts a new slant on why we make the choices we make in the marketplace. A fresh and fascinating read!"
--Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and Leading at a Higher Level
“Packed with historical and contemporary case studies, Trade-Off is a practical guide to overcoming business dilemmas and steering your company toward long-term success. Kevin Maney offers straight talk about choosing winning strategies that will keep your brand strong.”
--Tom Kelley, bestselling author of The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation
“Unputdownable! Trade-Off will change the way you think about why some things–iphones or Coach bags–take off, while others fall by the wayside. It you want to understand why the marketplace works the way it does, read it–then read it again.”
--Linda Kaplan Thaler, bestselling author of The Power of Nice and The Power of Small
“...like Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling books Outliers and Blink, Maney presents a seemingly simple premise and the evidence to support it -- as well as various factors that can complicate it.”
“Worth a read for another take on shifting ideas of quality.”