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Abstract

Most profitable strategies are built on differentiation: offering customers something they value that competitors don't have. But most companies concentrate only on their products or services. In fact, a company can differentiate itself at every point where it comes in contact with its customers - from the moment customers realize they need a product to service to the time when they dispose of it. The authors believe that if companies open up their thinking to their customers' entire experience with a product or service - the consumption chain - they can uncover opportunities to position their offerings in ways that neither they nor their competitors thought possible. The authors show how even a mundane product such as candles can be successfully differentiated. By analyzing its customers' experiences and exploring various options, Blyth Industries, for example, has grown from a USD2 million US candle manufacturer into a global candle and accessory business with nearly USD500 million in sales and a market value of USD1.2 billion.

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Abstract

Most profitable strategies are built on differentiation: offering customers something they value that competitors don't have. But most companies concentrate only on their products or services. In fact, a company can differentiate itself at every point where it comes in contact with its customers - from the moment customers realize they need a product to service to the time when they dispose of it. The authors believe that if companies open up their thinking to their customers' entire experience with a product or service - the consumption chain - they can uncover opportunities to position their offerings in ways that neither they nor their competitors thought possible. The authors show how even a mundane product such as candles can be successfully differentiated. By analyzing its customers' experiences and exploring various options, Blyth Industries, for example, has grown from a USD2 million US candle manufacturer into a global candle and accessory business with nearly USD500 million in sales and a market value of USD1.2 billion.

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