cover image From Mind to Market: Reinventing the Retail Supply Chain

From Mind to Market: Reinventing the Retail Supply Chain

Roger D. Blackwell. HarperBusiness, $26.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-88730-833-8

With consumer preferences segmenting into ever-growing niches, the companies that will succeed in the future ""will be united by a common penetrate the mind of the consumer, "" contends the author. Blackwell, an Ohio State University marketing professor and business consultant, suggests that the way to do this is to move from merely understanding what people buy to why they buy it. Unfortunately, Blackwell is not specific about how to accomplish this. Although the bulk of his book is case studies of how firms such as Kinko's and Cardinal Health have developed successful marketing strategies, he doesn't offer unifying themes to explain what makes them winners. And some of Blackwell's examples, such as the story of the creation of the Ford Taurus, are dated, and a few companies (e.g., Limited) that are held up as paragons have struggled recently. The most intriguing quote in the book comes in the introduction, where an unidentified Wal-Mart executive says, ""We don't sell stuff, we buy stuff for consumers."" (Nov.)