By Frances Frei and Anne Morriss
Do you have the guts to disappoint customers? Many businesses don't -- and lose money kowtowing to demands. Great companies dare to make profitable tradeoffs rivals won't risk, argue the authors. For example, despite its rock-bottom interest rates on savings accounts, Commerce Bank ( saw deposits rise in 2012. Why? It keeps many branches open seven days a week -- a perk patrons love. )
Having a hard time getting top talent? Become a good spy and send mash notes to your rivals' top employees.