Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue




Ingredient Branding

Branding is all the rage in marketing today (again). The actions a brand marketer should take to build brand value with products or services directed to the end-customer are well documented.  


This paper takes a look at how you products or services not sold directly to the end-customer can be leveraged using ingredient or co-branding. 


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Customer Manufacturing Update
December 2015

Dear Mitchell,


Here is your December Customer Manufacturing Update and Happy Holidays. 

This month's article is about ingredient branding. As the effective use of brands can produce value, many companies have products or services not sold to the end customer. This can create an opportunity for ingredient or co-branding. This paper, originally published in 2005 has been recently updated. Read it for the first time or again in its updated version to gain insights on how to create a powerful ingredient brand you can leverage.

Your Help Is Appreciated 

Many of you have a copy of one or more of our three books: It's Not Rocket Science; The Secret To Selling More; and Value Acceleration.


We would really appreciate you posting a review of any of these books on for us. To make it easy each title above is linked to the appropriate page on


Thank you in advance for your help. 


Creativity Is Not The Same As Innovation  
Back in the early 1980s Roger von Oech got everyone excited about the power of creativity. His book, A Whack on the Side of the Head, was a business best-seller as many CEOs believe that if their people were more creative, the company would perform better. Truth of the matter is that most companies do not lack for ideas, or even great ideas. They lack the ability to execute on those ideas, or the few right ones.

Paul Currant wrote an intriguing blog post: "Why Companies Shouldn't Hire Creative People." He tells a story of a prior and successful boss of his who realized the company she had been hired to turn around did not lack for creativity, they lacked for execution. It is also likely that her preferred behavior style was not a creative either, so she pushed the company to do things that were comfortable for her, and right for the company.

Innovation, the engine of competitive advantage, is not just about creativity. It is about taking new ideas and DOING something with them.

What's In A Name? 

My friend Allen Hauge pointed me to an interesting article about academic research focused on whether delivering more than you promise was a good business practice. Like many academic studies, the results of this one are questionable. Academics, by their approach, attempt to isolate a single variable and then study its effects. The problem is, in the real world, single variable isolation can be tricky and misleading.

The research concluded that the old adage "under-promise and over-deliver" is a waste. While the research showed that over-delivering had little added value, there are flaws in the research model. Additionally, some things the researchers failed to recognize happen in the real world that their experiment failed to replicate.

Firstly, gaining understanding and agreement on a complex "promise" in the business world can be tough, no matter the effort expended. Therefore over-delivering can help to mitigate the effect of inadvertently over-promising. While not a perfect solution, it may be helpful.

Observational evidence demonstrates that providing a bit more than expected has positive results. Whether it be the "baker's dozen," or the Southern tradition of lagniappe, people often appreciate the value of you going a bit further than expected. Cialdini's research into reciprocity would also seem to refute the research cited in the article.

All that being said, the research makes a couple of good points:
  1. The value of the over-delivery may not be as great as the cost to you; or the value of what you over-deliver on may not be of real value to the customer
  2. Over-delivering in one area will not make up for under-delivery in another
And, the other risk you run is that the over-delivery may become an expectation and no longer seen as over-delivery.

Bottom line: Be great at what your customers care about. As Walt Disney once said (ok he may have said it more than once): "To be successful in business you must be unique. You must be so different that if people want what you have, they must come to you to get it."

Is Creating New Marketing Titles Confusing Motion With Progress? 
Every time we turn around the Chief Marketing Officer title is being considered for a new title: Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Growth Officer. Really?

If you understand the true role of Marketing in a company, Chief Marketing Officer says it all.

However, now they are starting up on other Marketing positions and titles as well. A title floated by some is Chief Marketing Technologist. Seriously we need another position or another title to get the job done?

Even a cursory review of the position shows this so-called new position seems a perfect subset of Marketing Operations, and well within the purview of a competent Director of Marketing Operations.

But title change can be fun ... and distracting.

Free Reading Guide

If you have a copy of our book Value Acceleration, you can download a free reading guide to help you and your team get the most from the book. (And btw, the book is also available in a Kindle edition.)

We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.





Mitchell Goozé


Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc. 

Customer Manufacturing Group, 1900 Wyatt Drive, #11, Santa Clara, CA 95054
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