Site moved to, redirecting in 1 second...

« Favorite Posts from 2009 | Main | PRICELESS | in less than 300 words »

January 08, 2010

Less Than 300 Project | TRADE-OFF

Business books have been a mainstay topic on the Brand Autopsy blog. We’ve done straight-up reviews, shared summaries, and done inane dramatic readings. This year, I plan to share concise summaries of most every business book I read. Concise as in... less than 300 words.

We kick off the Less Than 300 Project with Kevin Maney’s worthwhile book, TRADE-OFF: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don’t.


TRADE-OFF | summarized in less than 300 words

It’s common knowledge consumers make conscious decisions to trade up with some purchases and trade down with other purchases. Kevin Maney approaches this as a trade-off where consumers “make trade-offs between the fidelity of an experience and its convenience.”

Products and services with high "fidelity" have an aura about them and are valued as delivering remarkable experiences. Cost, in the broadest terms, for anything possessing high fidelity qualities becomes irrelevant. Benchmark example: anything from Apple and other brands with high margins.

On the other hand, "convenience" refers to products and services that are easily obtainable in every aspect from low cost to widespread availability. Benchmark example: McDonald’s and other low margin/big volume brands.

The worst place for a brand to be positioned is in what Maney calls the “fidelity belly.” In this spot, a brand is neither viewed as having fidelity nor being convenient, and thus has no marketability.

The best place for a brand to be positioned is either having “super-fidelity” or “super-convenience.” For those few brands fortunate to have such positioning, the difficulty comes in maintaining their “super-fidelity” or “super-convenience” status as competitors are eager to displace those winning products and services.


[NOTE: I often receive free copies of biz books from publishers and publicists. However, I spent my money for my copy of TRADE-OFF.]


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Less Than 300 Project | TRADE-OFF:


I really like the 300 words or less summary approach but would vote for a thumbs up or down on whether or not the rest of the book is worth taking a look at.

I haven't read the book yet but have become a fan of the fidelity concept and the "fidelity belly" label.

I am sure there is a good play here on companies either needing to pack on the pounds (layers) or cut weight in order to get out of the fidelity belly.

Thanks much!


Josh ... TRADE-OFF is a worthwhile read, slyly said so in the setup. So ya know, whenever I use worthwhile to describe a book, it's worth reading.

Thanks for the clarification. Will add it to the list.

Thanks again,


Looking forward to future reviews! I like this format - easily digestable. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.