In this "radically conservative" book, the authors advocate a "back-to-basics" approach to marketing that replaces the relentless quest for differentiation with a relentless focus on these types of basic customer needs. The authors' research shows that most companies have been ignoring the basics for too long. At the heart of the authors' approach is a view of why customers buy what they do. Barwise and Meehan argue that marketers must understand what customers want from the entire product or service category. So, rather than focus on new luxury attributes for a specific car - marketer's need to understand what basic needs customers have for automobiles in general (ie: safety, handling, etc). Once they figure that out - they need to deliver on those basic needs better than everyone else.