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Entries Tagged as 'Books'

Who determines absolute value?

March 5th, 2014 · Books, Branding, Trends

AbsoluteValueMany people, myself included, believe in the power of a strong brand. Brand positioning has influenced buying decisions for years and a company with a strong sense of their own brand and a commitment to authentically walking out that brand is at an advantage over their competitors.

In the past, a great brand could significantly influence if not determine the absolute value of a product or service.

But, is that marketing truth evolving?

I’ve just finished reading the book Absolute Value, What Really Influences Customers in the Age of Nearly Perfect Information* by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen and it digs into this issue. The book offers many examples of how consumers have viewed and evaluated brands in the past and how they are coming to interact and judge them today. When you see the trends spelled out, in example after example, it’s pretty eye opening.

To kick things off — the authors list 5 widely held beliefs and suggest that they are all becoming less true today.

  1. A company’s brand is more important today than it has ever been
  2. Nurturing loyalty should be the marketer’s primary, day-to-day concern
  3. All customers are irrational
  4. An overload of opinions may actually paralyze people
  5. Positioning is the most important part of the marketing game

The authors assert that most brands are losing their role as a definer of quality and that a consumer’s past satisfaction is not as anchoring as it used to be. They also contend that because of the abundance of rational information that is so readily available to all of us, our methods of evaluating products and services has changed dramatically.

We really don’t shop/buy the way we used to. Let’s say you need to buy a car. Back in the day, you either went to a dealer based on your brand preference or you might have reacted to a TV spot or your neighbor’s experience.

But today, what would you do? You would look online and read the reviews. You’d look at safety reports. You’d then go to a site and could review exactly what the dealer paid for any car you were interested in. Finally, armed with print outs and a price you knew was 3% over dealer invoice, you’d head to the dealership.

Suddenly, you have access to all kinds of data that wasn’t readily available a decade ago and much of that data is ranking, grading and critiquing the item in question.

Given those two choices – a fuzzy brand preference or hundreds/thousands of reviews from other people – which do you think will influence you more today?

If you’re like most other people, you’ll trust the masses more than your own perception or previous experiences, unless you’re already a brand zealot.

That’s where the problem comes in for marketers. In this new marketplace, there’s a voice that is overshadowing theirs. And it’s not just word of mouth. It’s word of mouth, amplified. Many voices and they’re so much easier to find/listen to. And it turns out, their collective wisdom and experience is quite compelling.

This book is a thought provoking read. (Buy a copy of the book**) It will make the marketer in you tilt your head and really wonder about the effectiveness of your efforts. It will make the consumer in you examine your own purchasing patterns and identify some of your biggest influencers.

But whichever hat you’re wearing — it will force you to look at our world and your work in marketing a little differently. Just like your consumers are doing.

 

 

 

*I received a copy of this book from Emanuel Rosen but I really did read it and I really liked it and found it thought provoking.  You’d be amazed at the number of books I receive that I don’t really like… and therefore, don’t mention to you.

**Amazon affiliate link

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I want you to get extreme!

January 28th, 2014 · Books, Business owner/leader stuff

2014-Summit Web-Banner_full-leg

I like to pass along people, ideas and events I think you’ll find valuable.

My friend, Steve Farber, is a world-renowned leadership expert. He consults with global 100 brands. His book The Radical LEAP has been named one of the 100 best business books of all time and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while — you know that in my opinion, it’s one of the three most brilliant business books I’ve ever read.

To announce the Extreme Leadership Summit, coming April 11-13 in Chicago, Steve is offering an MP3 audio download of his popular program, Extreme Leadership: How to Put More Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof into Your Work. The DVD of this 2-hour speech sells for $90, but Steve is offering this audio to my friends for free.

Yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy. I’m confident you’ll resonate with Steve’s call to take a LEAP in your life at work and at home – this is, to practice Extreme Leadership through Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Cultivate more love in, and for, your business
  • Generate energy for a more productive career
  • Develop more courage to change your world
  • Prove your value and credibility to others – and yourself
  • Lead in an extreme manner that gets big results

Not only is Steve’s program packed with great content, his delivery is entertaining, provocative, and funny.

Click here and opt-in to receive the MP3 file. You’ll find Steve great company on your commute, your next flight, or during your treadmill tribulations.

Steve delivers high value in everything he does, so I’m confident this is a relationship you’ll appreciate and cultivate.

Consider it a holiday gift from Steve and me to you. To your success in 2014!

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Top 5 books every marketer should read

September 24th, 2013 · Books, Growing & Learning, Marketing, Strategy · 5 Comments

I don’t believe you can be successful if you don’t keep ingesting new ideas, information and stories.  As you know, I’m a big reader and try to get through a book a week to keep my brain’s juices cooking. For a recent presentation, I was asked to provide my all time top 5 books every [Read more...]

Promote Yourself

September 5th, 2013 · Books, Employees · 1 Comment

When I first heard the title of Dan Schawbel‘s new book — Promote Yourself (The actual full title is Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success) I thought, uh oh…another how to use social media to get in the spotlight book. But knowing Dan, I should have known better. Instead of a re-tread on an [Read more...]

Useful = today’s marketing secret

September 3rd, 2013 · Books, Psychology, Sales, Strategy · 29 Comments

Let’s look at the reality: Fragmented media choices Permission-based media on the rise Ability to filter, skip, ignore irrelevant advertising Nothing beats word of mouth A jaded, cynical consumer Consumers tuning out, taking over and talking loudly about brands That mountain of challenges is what faces marketers every single day.  So how in the world [Read more...]

Is your marketing making you a rock star?

May 31st, 2013 · Books · 9 Comments

Mack Collier has hit a home run with his book Think Like A Rock Star* and I really want all of you to get his message. As consumers get more jaded by traditional advertising and marketing that interrupts rather than connects — this book serves up the answer. Why not be so good, create so [Read more...]

Persuasive storytelling is centuries old

November 7th, 2012 · Books, Business owner/leader stuff, Storytelling · 2 Comments

Let me tell you a little story.  I promise — we’ll close the circle with some marketing insights but I need to set the stage. Back when I launched my blog in ’06, I met Todd Andrlik about the time he was creating what would eventually become the AdAge Power 150 index of marketing blogs. [Read more...]

Are you Marketing Smart

October 17th, 2012 · Books, Marketing · No Comments

Marketing Smart by my friend John Gumas from Gumas Advertising is a collection of proven strategies and tips to help you take on your competitors and win! The book is straight-forward, pragmatic and actionable! Be prepared to dog-ear, highlight and nod your head as you read.  You know I don’t love books that tell you [Read more...]

Rules of the Hunt – do you know what they are?

September 3rd, 2012 · Books, Business owner/leader stuff · No Comments

There’s a new book called Rules of the Hunt* that is unlike many of the business books on the shelf today.  No witty parables, no acronyms for an overarching belief, in fact it’s absolutely void of anything trendy or theoretical. Instead, this book is just down to earth and friendly advice like you might expect from a [Read more...]

Marketing in the Round (is your marketing a 360° effort?)

July 13th, 2012 · Books, Marketing, Strategy · 7 Comments

You know those people who modify who they are, based on who’s around or where they are? They behave one way at work, one way on Friday nights and another way on Sunday mornings. I think it’s difficult to trust people who don’t live one, integrated life. We react the same way to brands and [Read more...]