Sam Horn - Intrigue

Monday, July 30, 2007 is Shaping Up by Shipping Out

As an expert in branding who helps individuals and organizations stand out from the crowd, I'm always looking for companies that are POPing out for all the right reasons. is setting a shining example.

An article in today's USA Today entitled "Amazon won't go down with the ship" quotes CEO Jeff Bezos as saying, "I love to kerfuffle Wall Street."

How so? Industry analysts predicted disaster when Amazon first started offering PRIME - their unprecedented offer of unlimited, FREE, two-day shipping for $79 a year which covers everything from toothbrushes to lawn mowers. (Yes, offers those items in addition to books and CDs.)

However, the retail giant just reported a rise in sales for its second quarter, now at a 7 year high.

Bezos said, "We know in our bones that siding with the customer pays off for everyone in the end."

Please reread that last sentence. What a profound philosophy. That commitment to providing value for customers is a PRIMary reason Amazon is now turning a profit.

Do you know a company that is turning a profit because it "sides with its customers?"

Tell us about it. Be one of the first three contributors and you'll receive a free copy of my book POP! Stand out in Any Crowd, about which Edelman Sr. VP Marilynn Mobley said, "If you liked Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, you'll love Sam Horn's POP!"

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Want to Outsell the Competition? OutThink Them.

An article on business travel in a recent issue of USA Today focused on how Independent Bookstores Find Readers on the Fly.

The essence of the article was, "How can smaller bookstores compete with retail giants who can buy and sell books for less?"

The answer? By zigging where the competition zags.

For example, business traveler Brian Norton was searching for a good book to read on the plane and was frustrated to find the airport bookstores featured only the top five leaders in each category of the New York Times Bestseller list.

What to do? Walter High, smart-thinking owner of the 2nd ed. Booksellers at Raleigh-Durham International, says, "I make a point of stocking books the new-book sellers don't. I recently bought a huge collection of Civil War books that includes first editions from the 1920's. You're not going to see that down the hall at Borders."

Are you offering the same selection of products/services as your competitors? That's a perscription for blending in, not breaking out.

Ask youself, "What are our potential customers looking for they can't find elsewhere?" Offer that and people will flock to your store or business.

As I say in my presentations, CD's and book on POP! (endorsed by Seth Godin, Jeffrey Gitomer, John Jantsch, and Ken Blanchard), "The best way to stand out from the crowd is to lead it, not follow it."

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