Forget what the advertising gurus say about big ideas and differentiation. The solution to marketing's ills is not more creativity, it's less.
A study of 1,300 U.S. companies by Chuck Lucier, senior vice president emeritus at Booz Allen Hamilton, reveals that only four broad ideas, copied again and again across sectors, accounted for 80 percent of the breakout businesses created between 1985 and 1995: power retailing, megabranding, focus/simplify/standardize, and the value chain bypass.
[ This is an excerpt, provided by strategy + business, from the forthcoming book, The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable, by the Group of 33 and edited by Seth Godin (published by Portfolio). To learn more about the book visit http://www.sethgodin.com/bigmoo/. ]