Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs
By Craig Stull
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If you market a product, service, or idea in any business, industry or organization, you must read Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs, a guide to understanding and meeting the needs of consumers, whether or not they make those needs clear. An easy-to-follow six-step process developed over the past 15 years can help you address unsolved problems, recognize buyer personas, quantify impact and create breakthrough experiences. Stop wasting time by guessing what your market needs and start understanding consumer desire.
Product and service sensations like the iPod, Starbucks, and FedEx were seemingly successful overnight. But it wasn't luck, creativity, or clever marketing that led to their breakthroughs. Anyone can create hits that resonate if they stop guessing what people need and start spending their time building real and deep connections to what their buyers value most.
A proven strategy for dominating markets developed over fifteen years, Tuned In reveals the secrets that separate market leaders from followers and failures. It shows you how to stop wasting time and money trying to be innovative and start creating"resonators"— great products or services that peoplebuy because they solve the problems they have and make their lives better.
Using a simple six-step process, Tuned In teaches you how to discover real and meaningful insights into any market. You'll learn how to identify unresolved problems, understand what buyers really want, create breakthrough experiences, and establish strong, sustainable connections to your market. Through dozens of real-life examples across a wide variety of industries, you'll learn how leaders create products and services that resonate—and the traps many others fall into when they don't.
Anyone can use Tuned In to replicate the model for success. It works for well-known companies like Ford, Apple, and GE, as well as those not-so-famous companies like GoPro and Zipcar. It works for realtors, doctors, ministers, and even rock stars. Tuned In teaches you how to transform your everyday activities into those that create the kind of culture that builds market leaders.
If you want to win in today's marketplace, stop pushing products your buyers don't want with expensive, meaningless advertising. Instead, read Tuned In and discover how to connect to what people really want, and—most importantly—how you can become an organization they trust.
By Brad Shorr
Why did the Apple Newton flop and the iPod rock? How did a struggling magician transform himself into a success with a three-word tagline? How did a car rental startup grab an entire market segment that was just sitting there for the big guys to gobble up? Answer: it was all a matter of tuning in.
It stands to reason if an organization wants to develop products and services that resonate with people, the first step is to ask people what they want. Simple as it sounds, authors Stull, Myers, and Scott, each of whom has extensive experience working with large firms and non-profits, observe that many of them simply don't do it. Those that do often lack the right processes to gather and act upon the information they receive. As a result, they roll out products and services that fall absolutely flat, squandering their resources and completely missing golden opportunities.
The authors contend the solution is to tune in. Instead of selecting new product initiatives in ivory tower executive suites and developing them in the lab, get to the grass roots. Talk to actual people, uncover their most urgent needs, and craft solutions. This strikes me as an incredibly sensible approach; perhaps that is why big companies are apt to overlook it.
The book focuses on the why and how of tuning in, with emphasis on the how. The authors lay out a 6-step process for tuning in, very detailed yet written in plain English every reader will understand -
1. Find unresolved problems
2. Understand buyer personas
3. Quantify the impact
4. Create breakthrough experiences
5. Articulate powerful ideas
6. Establish authentic connections
Even though it is simple and straightforward, the tuning in process, like any other, has its share of pitfalls, problems, and subtleties. Here's where the authors' impressive consulting and training experience really distinguishes this book from others I've read on similar topics. These men are able to identify the hazards organizations will encounter in the trenches, and explain - largely through the use of real life case studies and their own war stories - how to handle (and not handle) them.
I like the emphasis on real life stories. They give the whole book the flavor of authenticity books like this need. The procession of examples is what makes tuning in seem implementable, rather than being just another cool-sounding new marketing theory.
Any organizational leader, marketing specialist, or sales executive will profit from, and probably be challenged by, "Tuned In", since tuning in involves jettisoning conventional wisdom (for instance, making new product decisions based strictly on what current customers say), and engaging in new forms of communication such as blogs and social networking communities. Still, this is one of those books you're better off reading sooner rather than later. As more and more companies start tuning in, those that don't are going to start looking worse and worse in the marketplace.