“Charming and enlightening, Demand is the book you didn’t know you needed until you read it, love it, and find that you can’t succeed without it.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business
Oliver Wyman’s Adrian Slywotzky examines the role demand creators play to bridge the gap between what people settle for and what they really want—using the six principles for creating what people can’t resist and competitors can’t copy.
Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It
By Adrian J. Slywotzky with Karl Weber
Despite the unsteady economy, some businesses are thriving—more than that, they are creating demand for their products now, and in the future. Both well-known and lesser-known organizations—including Amazon, Zipcar, Nespresso, Tetra Pak, CareMore, Bloomberg, Eurostar, the Boston Symphony, Wegmans, Pret a Manger, Teach for America, Pixar, and The Seattle Opera—have risen above the current economic environment to create what people can’t resist and competitors can’t copy. These demand creators actually seem to know what people want even before they do themselves.
In DEMAND: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Crown Business; October 4, 2011), Adrian Slywotzky, named by Industry Week one of the world’s six most influential management thinkers, looks at demand as modern alchemy—a quirky combination of anthropology, psychology, technology, design, economics, infrastructure and many other factors—that creates products people love, not just live with. Demand is the driving force that builds economies, produces wealth, creates fast-growing industries and jobs, and makes the world a better place. Yet demand is often thought about in narrow terms: Pull the right levers—more marketing, better advertising, more aggressive sales efforts, discounts, coupons—and we’ll sell more stuff.
All have their place, but put the cart before the horse.
Brilliant demand creators map the everyday hassles that make life painful, inconvenient, wasteful, or even dangerous. Then they fix those hassles by developing magnetic products and services that outsell those that are “good enough” by margins of 5 or even 10 to 1. In DEMAND, Slywotzky examines the six principles that set companies like Wegmans, CareMore, and The Seattle Opera apart from the rest. These ground-breaking concepts include:
**Make it MAGNETIC: Although Wegmans has been in the retail grocery business since 1930, it seems always on the cutting edge of demand creation. It won national attention for experiments like the first refrigerated display windows, a three-hundred-seat in-store cafeteria, and the pioneering use of water vapor sprays to keep counters full of produce fresh. Today, the unique magnetic appeal may seem obvious to anyone who has visited a Wegmans store—so much so that the chain has received more than seven thousand letters from customers in regions where no Wegmans store exists, most of them begging the company to come to town.
**Redraw the HASSLE MAP: CareMore—the best American health care story nobody knows about—has cut the Gordian Knot of the health care hassle map by providing the most vulnerable and expensive segment of the population, the frail elderly, with far better care at far lower cost. It designed its business around understanding how to keep patients healthy rather than treating them after they get sick. People who hear about it for the first time always ask the same questions: “How do they do it?” and “Why isn’t the same kind of care available for me, or for my parents?” In 2000, CareMore turned a $24 million profit; and it has remained solidly in the black ever since.
**Allow for VARIATION: Demand creators know that “the average customer” is a myth. They constantly focus on demand variation, asking themselves how customers differ from one another and how they can respond to those differences. This process of “de-averaging” is complex and takes a lot of work—but it also offers enormous opportunities. Take the Seattle Opera: it recognizes that there are enormous differences among core customers, trial-ists, and the “20-years-from-now” customers. Their secret weapon: a former high school teacher inspired by Leonard Bernstein who developed a collection of brand-new musical products specifically designed to make opera intensely attractive for high-school-age kids.
The lessons of DEMAND reveal opportunities for the creation of new demand—not just for people in business but also for social activists, governments leaders, non-profit managers, and other would-be innovators.
Adrian J. Slywotzky is a partner of Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm. Since 1979, he has consulted to Fortune 500 companies from a broad cross-section of industries, working extensively at the CEO and senior executive level for major corporations on issues related to new business development and creating new areas of value growth. The Times of London has named him one of the top 50 business thinkers, and Industry Week has named him one of the six most influential management thinkers—“promising to be what Peter Drucker was to much of the twentieth century: the management guru against whom all others are measured.” Slywotzky is a highly sought after speaker, and has appeared at a number of senior executive conferences, including the Microsoft CEO Summit, the Forbes, Fortune, and BusinessWeek CEO Conferences, and CFO Magazine and Conference Board conferences. He is a regular contributor to FastCompany.com.
Karl Weber is a writer specializing in business, politics, and social issues. He has collaborated with Adrian Slywotzky on four previous books, including The Upside and How Digital Is Your Business? Weber has also collaborated with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and author of Creating a World Without Poverty, and edited the best-selling movie companion books Food Inc. and Waiting for “Superman.”
DEMAND by Adrian J. Slywotzky with Karl Weber
On-sale: October 4, 2011 | Hardcover | 320 pages | ISBN: 978-0-307-88732-0 | Price: $27.00 | Also available as an eBook
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