Summary of Selling Blue Elephants

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Selling Blue Elephants book summary


6 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

5 Style


Marketing gurus Howard Moskowitz and Alex Gofman believe their method of product testing, called Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), can lower your costs, shorten turnaround time, and improve your product development, packaging, messaging and competitive analysis. RDE involves defining your problem, then testing a series of alternatives to determine its boundaries. The data you gather may confirm your expectations, but often enough it will contain surprises. Even if your customers can’t articulate their needs, their choices and behavior will show you what they want. RDE will also inform you about how to sell to each market segment. The authors illustrate their method with interesting case studies; they also include amusing, if irrelevant, sidebars (one covers the history of the tomato, for example). Their style may be digressive and flawed by the overuse of jargon, and some of the graphs and illustrations can be confusing, yet getAbstract recommends this book to experienced marketing managers who are tired of guessing about their strategies and want to base them on reliable data.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to improve your product design, marketing and messaging using systematic experiments;
  • How to use correct messaging to increase your top-line revenue;
  • How to learn about your customers using Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE); and
  • How to learn about your competition using RDE.

About the Authors

Howard Moskowitz is the president and CEO of a strategic brand development firm. In 2005 he received the Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award. Alex Gofman earned degrees in computer science and holds several patents. He has published widely on the topic of technology-based experimental psychology.



Rule Developing Experimentation and Green Eggs
In the Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham, the character Sam-I-Am tries to persuade everyone he meets to try his “product” – green eggs and ham. They refuse. Sam-I-Am may be a character in a children’s book, but his approach...

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