Sunday, July 21, 2013

Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

"Brainstorming for business models"
“Business model” has always been an obscure thing for me. Of course, I knew that a business model is the “how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value”, but this remained quite obscure to me. The book of Osterwalder and Pigneur makes a great step in putting some light on the “business model” concept. This is firstly done by defining a canvas, which describes the components of a business model, then giving a set of interesting patterns (templates), which are complemented by very clear and interesting market examples.
Model / Concepts
The main model is the “business model canvas”:
  • Key Activities: The most important activities in executing a company's value proposition.
  • Key Resources: The resources necessary to create value for the customer.
  • Key Partners: Buyer-supplier relationships permitting focusing on their core activity.
  • Value Proposition: The collection of products and services a business offers to meet the needs of its customers. Characterized by newness, performance, customization, design, brand, price, status, risk reduction, convenience/usability.
  • Customer Segments: Mass, niche, segmented, diversified, multi-sided
  • Channels: Direct/ indirect. Phases: awareness, evaluation, purchase, delivery, after sales.
  • Customer Relationship: Personal, dedicated personal, self-service, automated services, communities.
  • Cost Structure: Cost-driven, value-driven, fixed-cost, variable costs, economy of scale/scope.
  • Revenue Streams: Asset sales, usage fee, subscription fee, lending/renting/leasing, licensing, brokerage fee, advertising. Fixed pricing vs. dynamic pricing.

This is the weak point: It’s not easy to generate a direct impact for a company. In my case, it has been very helpful to better structure the business plan and also to better communicate it, but then it’s over. Probably the impact is more important in larger companies, where there are a lot of people in charge of the business model.
  • rating Amazon - 4.5/5.0 (268 reviews)
  • my rating - 4.0/5.0
  • fun factor - 4.0/5.0
  • simplicity - 5.0/5.0
  • impact - 3.0/5.0

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier

"Excellent book about the power of branding."

The brand gap is an excellent book about the power of branding. It defines and presents what brand and branding is with simple yet powerful definitions and concepts.
The book points out that a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company. It is therefore not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.
The brand gap is between strategies, marketing, and creative, between analytical, logical, linear, and intuitive, emotional, between concrete, numerical and spatial, visual.

Model / Concepts
The book presents the five disciplines of branding:
  1. Differentiate – Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter?
  2. Collaborate – Outsource vs. internally with an integrated marketing team.
  3. Innovate – Passion is magic, not logic: Creativity, naming, icons/avatars instead of logos, packaging.
  4. Validate – Test distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, extendibility, depth.
  5. Cultivate – Every person in the company has to be involved in the branding process. No decision should be made without asking: “Will this help or hurt the brand?”

If you are a new comer in branding, this book is worth gold: The basic definitions of branding and the clear focus into the branding exercise are key factors to bring a company into the market.
If you are a branding expert, I think that the book still brings you valuable information, especially with the disciplines and the virtuous circle created by them.

  • rating Amazon – 4.5/5.0 (89 reviews)
  • my rating - 4.5/5.0
  • fun factor – 4.5/5.0
  • simplicity - 4.5/5.0
  • impact - 4.5/5.0