Apples to Apples: How to Stand Out from Your Competition by Dan Paulson - a book review

Buffer

4 1/2 stars out of 5.

I’m honored that Dan Paulson invited me, as President of the B2B lead generation company Find New Customers to review his new book. This book held particular interest for me because I believe that commoditization is a hugeApples to Apples problem for most businesses. Prospective buyers are unable to spot meaningful differences.

With buyers unable to see real differences between company offerings, companies face pressure on margins and have lowered win rates. Think of a bushel basket filled with red apples. They all look the same. But one golden apple would stand out. This is also the concept in Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. And why when I was asked for the marketing take-away of the week on HubspotTV, I said “Think Different.”

Dan Paulson of InVision Business Development and Marketing LLC is experienced at helping companies overcome this dilemma. This book walks the reader through a process to help them uncover true differentiation.

One of the key things I look for in book reviews is where the book fits in the existing arena of books. Some books, like on social media and demand generation (not to mention the Civil War) are well-covered. But books that break new ground are of greater value I think. (We give half a star for this.) Dan’s book blazes new trails I think. This is a key topic for business leaders.

Dan introduces the topic by explaining that price differentiation is inadequate. He goes on to explain that change requires deep self-examination and that change must go deep. He emphasizes that your people are your brand. Dan introduces the Five Tasks of the Golden Apple in the book.

  1. Direction - your vision, mission and values
  2. Path - your strategy and innovation
  3. People - leadership, talent and culture
  4. Process - balancing standardization and flexibility with cultural alignment
  5. Measures - using data for diagnosis and predictions
I also like his “Know This” and “Do This” tips scattered throughout the book.
We give Apples to Apples 4 1/2 stars.
What do you think? We love comments and those who share.

Read my blog on Kindle

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancy Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

“If more companies listened to (Find New Customers) a lot more would be sold.” Dan McDade, Pointclear.

Switch to our mobile site