Selling blue elephants: how to make great products that people want before they even know they want them

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Wharton School Pub., Apr 21, 2007 - Business & Economics - 252 pages
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Can you remember the world before the iPod? How about the world before chunky tomato sauce or brown mustard? Many of these products came about not through focus groups and polling, but rather through research and development labs and marketers developing the products they knew customers would want, before customers knew they wanted them. Today your customers can actually help you create your next product. Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE) is a solution-oriented learning experience. RDE is the systematized process of designing, testing and modifying alternative ideas, packages, products, or services in a disciplined way so that the developer and marketer discover what appeals to the customer, even if the customer can't articulate the need, much less the solution. The book begins by presenting best practices in the RDE from some of today's top companies: HP, Prego, Vlasic, and Mastercard. It then goes on to examine RDEs use in innovation and design, and goes on to examine its possible uses in the international, political, bioinformatics, and finance areas. Filled with real-life stories, this book will change the way people think about selling to their present and future customers. “Everyone thinks they need to break rules, but Moskowitz and Gofman skillfully show us how to develop and use the rules to define new perspectives and make better business decisions in virtually any field. An absolute must-read for any businessperson facing fierce competition!” -Sean Bauld, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, Sales & Trading, Reuters “Over the last 15 years significant shareholder value has been destroyed by ‘insightful and creative' marketers resulting in the shocking statistic that more than 90% of launches and re-launches do fail. Moskowitz and Gofman are serious geniuses who have dedicated their work to help all of us increase our chances of success significantly. RDE is a new tool that all marketers should acquire if they love their profession and are serious about creating shareholder value out of every launch.” -Tex Gunning, Group Vice President, Unilever Asia “In a series of well-written and engaging examples, Moskowitz and Gofman vividly illustrate the value of a truly scientific approach to understanding what consumers really want. But more than that, they show how experimentation is not only the spice of life, but can spice up all of our lives. This book is as much fun to read as it is informative, and it is as deeply rooted in psychology as it is in the science of marketing. They really deliver the goods!” -Professor Stephen Kosslyn, Chair, Psychology Department, Harvard University “We've been teaching business students how to understand the ‘mind of their customers' for a long time. Finally, the ordinary reader, as well as business people, social scientists, and politicians, can share in these tools. Moskowitz and Gofman have flattened the playing field with their book Selling Blue Elephants. I applaud you both. Two thumbs up.” -Professor Subrata Sen, Professor of Marketing, Yale University “We are in an age of the next killer application and it is elusive. Selling Blue Elephantsis an absolute must read for any business moving from strategy to execution. Howard and Alex have built a process driven engine (RDE) that delivers actionable results that have a direct tie back to business directives. Bringing reality from concept is the key ingredient to a successful business idea- Selling Blue Elephantsis the cookbook.” -Peter Tripp, Vice President, Strategic Programs Office Global Outsourcing and Infrastructure Services, UNISYS “This book is a must read for anyone challenged with showing that systematic experimental design does not start and end in R&D but should be ingrained in the corporate mindset.” -Dulce Paredes, PhD., Director, Consumer Sciences, Avon Products, Inc. Really great products and really huge successes don'tcome from focus groups! And if you simply rely on trial and error, or guesswork, you'll lose far more often than you'll win. Now, there's a solution: Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), the first systematized, disciplined, solution-oriented business process of experimentation. In Selling Blue Elephants, RDE's creators reveal how to systematically design, test, and modify alternative ideas, packages, products, and services, to discover offerings your customers will be passionate about...even if they can't articulate the need, much less the solution! Discover the seven easysteps that take you from cluelessness to clarity in just days... sometimes even hours. Watch RDE succeeding in companies ranging from Hewlett-Packard to Campbell's, MasterCard to Maxwell House... and learn how to get the same outstanding results yourself, one step at a time, every time! Discover “how the world works” in your market Reveal the hidden rules that define your next breakthrough product Create prototypes that answer the right questions, fast Get at the truths your customers don't know how to tell you Use automated tools to streamline the entire process Streamline your research, and get actionable answers in just days Extend RDE value throughout the enterprise From messaging to corporate communications to investor behavior About the Authors Howard Moskowitzis President and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. He is a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics and an inventor of world-class market research technology. Widely published in the scientific press, Dr. Moskowitz is known worldwide as the leading thinker and creator of advanced research technology in the area of new product and concept development. His background includes a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University and seven years as a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. In July 2004, he was elected as an IFT Fellow for his contributions in the field of food science and technology. He was also awarded the American Marketing Association's 2005 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize” of the market research industry. Dr. Moskowitz has spoken widely at both scientific and market research conferences, and guest-lectured at leading business schools including Wharton, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Texas at Austin. He also appeared weekly from 2004-2006 on ABC News Now as The Food Doctor, highlighting the food industry's most exciting innovations. Alex Gofman, VP and CTO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., is the architect of several globally-recognized market research technologies and holds multiple patents. Widely published in the scientific press on the topics of tec

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About the author (2007)

Howard R. Moskowitz, Ph.D. is president and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., White Plains, NY, a firm he founded in 1981. Moskowitz is a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics (the study of perception and its relation to physical stimuli), and an inventor of world-class market research technology. Among his important contributions to market research is his 1975 introduction of psychophysical scaling and product optimization for consumer product development. A Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and member of numerous other professional societies, he has written/edited twelve books, published well over 250 articles, and serves on the editorial board of major journals. With colleague E.P. Koster, Moskowitz co-founded the journal "Chemical Senses and Flavor," now called "Chemical Senses," the leading journal in the field.

Sebastiano Porretta, Ph.D. is a senior researcher of the Italian Ministry of Industry at the Experimental Station for the Food Preservation Industry in Parma, Italy. He is well known for his research devoted to the study of the quality, and particularly the development of techniques, for a more accurate quality evaluation considering the relationships between the physico-chemical and sensory properties of food. He contributes to the "Sensory and Consumer Evaluation of Food and Food Market" with original approaches: the interactions between foods and the consumers. Great work was done to evaluate the effect of ingredients on food quality and consumer acceptability.
Currently, Porretta's Professor of Food Processing at the Catholic University of Piacenza, Professor of Sensory and Consumer Science at the University of GastronomicSciences of Pollenzo, and President of the Italian Association of Food Technology (AITA), since 1997. Additionally, Porretta is the Author/Editor of sixteen books and papers in scientific journals and a member of several boards of international peer reviewed journals.

Matthias Silcher, M.A. is assistant project director at Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. and has a background in empirical communication research, sociology and political science from the University of Berlin, Germany. His thesis, "Survey by Short Messaging Service" was the first academic paper on this subject. He has consulted for Kienbaum Consultants and advised as a political researcher for NFO Infratest.

Howard Moskowitzis president and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. He is a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics and an inventor of world-class market research technology. Widely published in the scientific press, Dr. Moskowitz is known worldwide as the leading thinker and creator of advanced research technology in the area of new product and concept development.Alex Gofman, VP of Technology and CTO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., was the architect of several globally-recognized commercially available technologies and the author of many patents. His papers have been presented and published extensively.

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