McGraw-Hill, October 2017
From the marketing strategist who helped Steve Jobs launch the original Apple Macintosh comes a groundbreaking guide to positioning any company for industry dominance
Andy Cunningham has been at the forefront of tech and innovation since day one, and she’s been helping companies create new product categories ever since. Now she reveals the winning framework she uses to transform markets and industries.
Get to Aha! shows how to establish the kind of foundation world-class brands are built on. Too many business leaders fail to ask the most basic questions about their company—Who are we? And why do we matter?—before they leap right into branding. Big mistake. A company must first know itself (establish its position) before it can express its identity (execute its branding).
There are three types of companies in the world, each with its own DNA: Mothers are customer-oriented, Mechanics are product-oriented, and Missionaries are concept-oriented—and it’s absolutely critical for business leaders to know which type their company is to create an authentic and ultimately “sticky” position in the market. A company’s DNA is the key to achieving this and with it, a competitive advantage. Why? Because if a Mechanic creates a marketing campaign based on its belief that it is a Missionary, the underlying positioning will not ring true and the company won’t gain a foothold in the market. But if a company positions itself in alignment with its DNA, it will resonate authentically and establish its role and relevance even in the face of a major competitor.
Get to Aha! presents a clear step-by-step framework that will help you determine your company’s precise position in the marketing landscape, using Andy’s DNA-based methodology. It takes you through the process of performing “genetic testing” on your company, examining the market through the six Cs of positioning, and developing your positioning statement—a rational, factual statement about your company’s role and relevance. Then and only then can you create a branding and marketing strategy that will build market momentum and crush the competition.
Trust Andy. Steve Jobs did.
Hardcover | ISBN: 9781260031201 | Publication Date: October 2017
"Andy Cunningham spent years working with the great Silicon Valley technology giants learning how to market innovation. In her remarkably accessible Get to Aha!, she pulls the curtain back to reveal the secrets of success."
—Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators
"Andy Cunningham puts forth a brand-new way to position companies based on her insightful concept of corporate DNA: internal code that reveals the essence of great marketing strategy."
—Regis McKenna, Silicon Valley's original marketing guru
"In Get to Aha!, PR legend Andy Cunningham shares her secret for bringing innovation to market in Silicon Valley. It's all about positioning."
—Steve Blank, Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, father of the Lean Startup movement, and bestselling author of The Startup Owner's Manual
"Disruptive products require disruptive positioning, and there's no one better equipped to explain how to do it than Andy Cunningham in Get to Aha!"
—Reed Hastings, cofounder and CEO of Netflix
"I highly recommend that you read this book to understand Andy's framework and prepare your company for worldwide domination. Andy is truly one of the people who caused Apple's success, so she could help you become the next Apple!"
—Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and bestselling author of The Art of the Start 2.0 (from the foreword)
"Branding is what you say about yourself. Positioning is what other people say about you. Andy Cunningham knows the difference, and she shows readers how to create authentic marketing communications in a digital age."
—Geoffrey Moore, bestselling author of Crossing the Chasm
"Stop! Before you start a branding program, read Andy Cunningham's book. First figure out your company's DNA. Mother, Mechanic, or Missionary? A revolutionary idea, well-written and quite convincing."
—Al Ries, bestselling coauthor of Positioning
"A brilliant marketing mind explains how to gain competitive advantage by telling the truth. In the Internet Age substance beats bling."
—Bill Davidow, cofounder of Mohr Davidow Ventures
"Positioning with corporate DNA in mind leads to better marketing. In Get to Aha!, Andy Cunningham shows that when you know what you're made of, you can be a better you."
—David Kelley, founder, chairman, and managing partner of IDEO and bestselling coauthor of Creative Confidence
"Andy Cunningham is a natural; she learned all about positioning long ago when she launched the Macintosh and helped it grow into the success it is today. But now she's done more than that; she has explained how to do it for your product or service."
—Esther Dyson, founder of HICCup and author of Release 2.1
"It's noisy out there. Andy Cunningham perfectly pulls a Watson and Crick for marketing and helps identify your corporate DNA. If you position it, they will come."
—Andy Kessler, technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal and author of Running Money and Eat People
"Andy Cunningham has been there and done that for many of the critical turns in the technology industry. Consider Get to Aha! the core curriculum in the continuing education of any modern branding executive."
—Stewart Alsop Jr., partner at Alsop Louie Partners
"In Get to Aha!, Andy Cunningham shares her many years of experience in Silicon Valley, launching innovation after innovation beginning with the Macintosh. She captures the essence of marketing—strategic positioning—in the digital age."
—Rich Moran, president of Menlo College and author of The Thing About Work
"Get to Aha! is as smart and grounded as Andy Cunningham herself. For more than three decades, journalists have known that in Cunningham they will find someone rich with common sense and ready with straight answers, someone who knows not to waste people's time. This book is all that and more—a crucial set of insights into what it takes for a corporation to know itself well enough to get results—all while staying true to its deeply embedded DNA."
—Katie Hafner, technology journalist and coauthor of Where Wizards Stay Up Late