Beyond the Familiar - Long-Term Growth throughCustomer Focus and Innovation
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More About This Title Beyond the Familiar - Long-Term Growth throughCustomer Focus and Innovation


Strong customer-focused companies have a clear, relevant promise which they obsessively deliver day-in, day-out. At the same time, they relentlessly drive the market by evolving the offer in the face of market developments and opportunities. Because they meet customer needs better than the competition, again and again, they are able to generate sustainable, profitable, market-leading organic growth. The problem the book addresses is how to achieve this. The authors identify five key steps using their framework for success:
  • Offer a clear, relevant customer promise
  • Build customer trust by reliably delivering that promise
  • Continuously improve the promise, while still reliably delivering it
  • Drive the market by innovating beyond the familiar
  • Support all this with an open organization that promotes frank discussion based on clear facts and market feedback.

Above all the book runs counter to the fashionable claim that the starting-point for business success should be to find a 'blue-sky', 'out-of-the-box' breakthrough innovation. Barwise and Meehan use many compelling cases to illustrate how managers can find ways within their existing network and organization to achieve long term growth.


Patrick Barwise is emeritus professor of management and marketing at London Business School and chairman of Which?, the UK's leading consumer organization. He joined LBS in 1976 after an early career at IBM and has published widely on management, marketing, media, and research methods. He is an experienced conference speaker and expert witness, having worked on commercial, tax, and competition cases in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Washington. He has also has been involved in two successful start-up businesses: the online field research company Research Now (acquired by e-Rewards in 2009) and the online brand community specialist Verve.

Seán Meehan is the Martin Hilti Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. Since joining IMD in 1997, he has directed both its MBA program and its Orchestrating Winning Performance open executive program, but his main focus has been on designing and delivering customized offerings for leading global companies such as Air France-KLM, Caterpillar, Hilti, Mastercard, Sandvik, Telefonica, and Toyota. His research is about understanding and addressing the challenges of becoming customer-focused. His early career was in client service and marketing roles at Arthur Andersen and Deloitte.
The authors' previous book, Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most, won the American Marketing Association's 2005 Berry-AMA Book Prize and has been translated into seven other languages. Their research has also been published in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and other leading management journals.




Chapter 1 What Every CEO Wants 1

Chapter 2 Your Promise to the Customer 19

Chapter 3 Delivering Today’s Promise Better and Better Every Day 39

Chapter 4 Driving the Market by Relentlessly Improving the Promise 67

Chapter 5 Innovating Beyond the Familiar 93

Chapter 6 Opening Up: What Leaders Must Do 119