Summary of The Discipline of Market Leaders

Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market

Perseus Books,
First Edition: 1995 more...

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The Discipline of Market Leaders book summary
Market leaders pick a path — price, quality or service — and pursue it like mountain climbers focused on just one peak.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema make it clear that market leading companies all concentrate on creating value for their customers. Then they focus on specific cases from Nike to Johnson & Johnson. No company, including yours, can succeed by trying to be all things to all people. Companies must ascertain the unique value - be it price, quality or problem solving - they can deliver to a specific market. The book proves that comparisons are not odious if they are interesting, and the comparisons it offers are intriguing indeed. Anecdotes and case histories cover companies that are market leaders today - AT&T, Intel, Airborne Express - and companies that used to be market leaders. The authors offer you three choices: lead with low costs, great products or outstanding ability to solve customers’ problems. But if you are going to lead, you have to pick a direction and implement a management strategy that supports it, a lesson eased along by the clarity of the writing. recommends this book to executives who are seeking advice on trumping their markets.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What it takes to be a market leader in either price, quality or customer service;
  • What operating model aligns with each of these leadership tiers; and
  • How market leaders reached that height or attained it only to fall and climb again.


Three Dimensions of Value
Why can Swatch produce an inexpensive watch that runs accurately for years while Rolex can’t do the same for 100 times the money? Starbucks offers a wonderful cup of coffee for $1, but it is next to impossible to get a decent cup of coffee at most major airports...
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About the Authors

Michael Treacy is the founder of Treacy & Company LLC, a Boston-based management consulting firm specializing in corporate transformation. Fred Wiersema is the founder of Ibex Partners, which specializes in strategic and management team alignment.

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