If product is no longer king, what is? Companies like Dell Computers, Lexus, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com have found phenomenal success by coming up with the answer-channels. The channels by which goods are marketed and distributed have become the new drivers of economic success. From these channels flow customer satisfaction, market share, revenue gains and profitability. It's not so much what you sell today, but how you sell it. And there is no going back. In The Channel Advantage, Booz-Allen & Hamilton consultants Steven Wheeler an Evan Hirsh write about dozens of companies that have excelled in this channel-driven economy. In one telling example, Wheeler and Hirsch analyze the great success of Dell Computer. While Dell makes top-quality personal computers, it's the company's direct-to-customer sales channel that sets it apart. By building computers to order, Dell keeps inventory low, lets consumers buy exactly what they want, and pushes prices down by cutting out the middleman. The Channel Advantage examines today's "Channel Champions," the companies that have mastered this new environment.
Wheeler and Hirsh tell us how Lexus broke into the luxury car business by focusing so intensely on customer service that dealers personally called up customers to report a product recall. The authors also explain how the rise of Amazon.com represents the exploration of an entirely new channel: e-commerce via the Internet. Wheeler and Hirsh, both partners at Booz-Allen & Hamilton, the leading management consulting firm, base their exploration and analysis on real-world experience working with clients. They've not only identified this change, they've lived-making The Channel Advantage a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what it takes to thrive in today's channel-based economy.