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Outsmart the MBA Clones

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Outsmart the MBA Clones

The Alternative Guide to Competitive Strategy, Marketing, and Branding

Paramount Market Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Outwit the think-alike M.B.A. grads in marketing and strategy. Compete with them on your terms, not theirs.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Dan Herman’s book is not really about M.B.A.s; it’s just badly titled. Actually, his subject is the continuing power of product differentiation, and he is challenging how marketers conceptualize their work. He explains how to “electrify” consumers by developing innovative products and services that your “M.B.A.-clone” competitors are reluctant to imitate, thereby handing you a monopoly. Herman comes out swinging as a bold strategist, but because his thinking is both nuanced and complex, his book is sometimes difficult to follow. Still, getAbstract considers it a useful text in marketing strategy and recommends it to marketers of all stripes. Even if you decide not to follow Herman’s logic down all its paths, you can harness his clever ideas and out-market all those M.B.A. clones.


Gain an “Unfair Advantage” Over Your Competitors

Do you believe that long-term strategies make your company successful? Think again. “Long-term” no longer exists when business moves as fast as it does now. So how do you stay ahead of the competition with its M.B.A.-toting CEOs? Don’t fall into the trap of the routine-bound “M.B.A. clones,” repeating the same old strategies. Instead, leapfrog your competitors. Take unfair advantage of them with compelling differentiation.

You can out-think the M.B.A. clones, even though they represent the crème de la crème of business schools. That is their strength, but also their weakness. They’ve all studied the same outdated marketing theories and, like good clones, they all think alike. So they set strategy the same way, they compete for the same clients and they create products that look the same to customers. Instead, you can win on your terms by creating a unique competitive advantage.

Competing on price won’t help you. Your rivals will always match you and drive down profits for everyone. Price is not that big a deal with consumers; they don’t mind spending more to get what they truly want. An unfair competitive advantage...

About the Author

Dan Herman, the co-owner and CEO of a global strategy consulting firm, is also a speaker and training workshop moderator.

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