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Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements [Kindle Edition]

Robbin Phillips , Greg Cordell , Geno Church , Spike Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Develop and harness a powerful, sustainable word-of-mouthmovement

How did the 360-year-old scissor company, Fiskars, double itsprofit in key markets just by realizing its customers had alreadyformed a community of avid scrapbookers? How is Best Buy planningto dominate the musical instruments market? By understanding theBrains on Fire model of tapping movements and stepping away fromthe old-school marketing "campaign" mentality.

Brains on Fire offers original, practical and actionable stepsfor creating a word-of-mouth movement for corporations, products,services, and organizations. It takes you step-by-step through thenecessary actions needed to start your own authentic movement.

  • Develop and harness a powerful, sustainable, word-of-mouthmovement
  • Describes 10 lessons to master and create a powerful,sustainable movement
  • The Brains on Fire blog is often ranked in the top 100 ofAdAge's Power 150 Marketing Blogs

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Are you really surprised when you hear that people don't trust marketers? After all, who wants to be considered a "target," a "demographic," or just a faceless piece of "market share"? Who wants such a relationship? What's in it for them?

Yet even as they resist "marketing," your customers are embracing causes and communities that have meaning for them. Empowered by new technologies, they're speaking out, talking back, and spreading the word on what they're passionate about. Do you want your business to inspire and benefit from that passion? Brains on Fire reveals how to ignite powerful, meaningful, sustainable word of mouth movements that are "win-win" for your customers and your business.

Believing that the focus should be on people and not the shiny new tools and tactics du jour (like Facebook and Twitter), Brains on Fire gives you the keys to building long-term momentum both online and offline for your company, product, service, or organization. Featuring ten lessons you can start building on today, it takes you step by step through lessons the authors have learned on how to inspire excitement and engage the customers and other stakeholders who will advocate for you.

How did a 360-year-old company double its profits in key markets just by tapping into a community its customers had already formed? How does a major retailer plan to win as it moves into an entirely new type of business? Real-life examples show you how today's companies win at word of mouth; all are discussed so you can easily understand and apply the principles in your business.

What if "marketing" is really about connecting—finding the people who are looking for you and bringing greater value to their lives? Brains on Fire gives you the tools to connect with and excite your customers, launch authentic word of mouth movements, and produce exponential returns over the long term.

From the Back Cover


"Succeeds at doing what so many other business books attempt: it provides a recipe for how every company can succeed—but the secret isn't in the latest tools, online communities, or campaign tactics. It's about passion, humanization, and common sense."—Scott Monty, Head of Social Media, Ford Motor Company

"Loaded with great advice from a team of people who have repeatedly built successful movements . . . If you want to lead a movement, start with this book."—Dan Heath, coauthor of Switch and Made to Stick

"Enter Brains on Fire. It isn't just a book or a company, it is a collection of real people, with souls and hearts and stories able to offer real advice to anyone who wants to make a movement out of what they do all day."—Ellen McGirt, Senior Writer, Fast Company magazine

"Brains on Fire has the ability to assemble a powerful?team that speaks as one unit. This engaging?book is all about how that team works, including love, hard work, shared passion, with a constant?focus on the goal."—Douglas J.?Greenlaw, former head of sales and promotional marketing, MTV Networks, New York

Product Details

  • File Size: 484 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470614188
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 5, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Z0CQUY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,048 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brains & Hearts on Fire September 21, 2010
Let me begin this review by saying: if you're looking for a stodgy, traditional take on marketing that comes packaged in a business suit, move along. You're not gonna find it here. If you're looking for a brilliant handbook preaching a better way to build powerful, sustainable word of mouth movements - read on!

It's a shame amazon doesn't allow reviewers to attach photos to their reviews, because the number of dog-eared pages in my copy of Brains on Fire would speak for itself. I can tell you this, however: my copy arrived on a sunny Saturday morning. I opened it to take a peek, fully anticipating I would skim a few chapters and move along with my weekend. A few hours later, I reached the famous chapter eleven. In the process I had highlighted, underlined and dog-eared my way from cover to cover.

A true testament to the content of the Brains on Fire book, and its practical application in everyday life, became apparent in the days after I read the book. I found myself sharing bits and pieces of the book with a variety of friends and family inside AND outside the marketing world. Much to my delight, it sparked dialogue and discovery. The afternoon a friend pulled a pair of scissors out of her kitchen drawer was the same day she learned the word "fiskateer" (and gained a whole new respect for those orange-handled scissors!)

If you're looking for case studies, facts and figures, you'll find them peppering the pages, but it is the shared message of heart, movements and community-building that Brains on Fire is known for where you will discover the most powerful insight. As you read the book, you will be given an opportunity to evaluate what you're doing and how you're doing it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure where I stumbled onto Brains on Fire blog - but I'm glad I found it. Brains on Fire has some really awesome stuff when it comes to creating movements for your customers, advocates and zealots. I've marked up my copy with action points to take to several of my businesses ranging from publishing to adventure travel. They've done a superb job of breaking down the 10 elements that go into the mix for creating movements and tight communities.

With traditional media having less impact it may be time for marketers to stop defaulting to the yo-yo of advertising campaigns and instead really look to "ignite" a word-of-mouth movement. Some of the advice here really hits home for the conversations that are taking place around your business or brand driven from the bottom-up.

The Brains on Fire crew of Phillips, Cordell, Church and Jones hand you 10 rules for how they've engineered self-sustaining and extremely passionate (and successful) movements like the Fiskateers and Rage against the Haze for anti-smoking in South Carolina. Those are the two you hear the most about in the book and both are worthy of case studies by themselves. Fiskateers took a 360-year old company that makes scissors and helped double their profits by tapping into advocates in key markets. If you read this book with an open mind you might just see some significant changes to make in your marketing and business.

This goes nicely with Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon and True Believer by Eric Hoffer if you really want to get deep into creating zealots around your movement.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

Social Media Marketing is the buzz phenomenon of our time; the goal of every major company is to have its own customer so dearly love the company and its products or services, that they market the company "for free" because they love it so dearly. Brains on Fire is a book in that genre, the genre of here-is-this-amazing-thing-called-social-media and everyone needs to jump on the bandwagon, or in this case, stand around the campfire, with a burning brand movement of bodacious blistering bluss of brand brashiness.

As someone who teaches Social Media Marketing, I enjoyed the book - and I actually bought it to read because someone who read one of my own reviews on asked me about it. So here was old style word-of-mouth intersecting with new school social media marketing (my own reviews on Amazon, to promote my Social Media Marketing training classes - just Google 'Jason McDonald' to find me), what could be better?
But I digress..

Is the basic premise of Brands on Fire believable? Can companies truly create movements of their customers, and have those customers be so on fire about the brand, that they nearly market themselves? Are we living in a new era of marketing in which only the foolish advertise, while the smart use Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to get customers to market for free? And does social media marketing cost money?

Brains on Fire waffles (to mix a metaphor) on both counts. On the one hand, the authors imply again and again that we are living in a new age of permission marketing... An age in which customers can become fans, and products movements...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent--thought provoking! If one is considering marketing or...
Excellent--thought provoking! If one is considering marketing or branding an organization, this book provides strong, valuable advice.
Published 1 month ago by Dennis Docheff
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for those that want to be a part of something bigger than...
Was recommended this book by a top level leader. As a pastor at a large church, this book has introduced some of the best ideas of reaching people that I have read in quite some... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Marketing revolution
a remarkably modern advertising book that offers a fresh perspective on marketing. The message is simple: stop thinking in terms of campaigns and start thinking in terms of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chris Osman
3.0 out of 5 stars Brains on Fire
This was recommended to me as a must read book. I could only read bits at a go but what I have read so far is interesting.
Published 10 months ago by felicity johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars You Have a Friend with Brains on Fire
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Peggy L. Bieniek
5.0 out of 5 stars Brains on Fire
As a health care professional the idea of marketing doesn't always feel right. This book allowed me to view it from a different perspective and I feel inspired.
Published 14 months ago by Judy Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy delivery
The book arrived much sooner than I had expected, in perfect condition. I have not had a chance to read it yet but have only heard good things about this book!
Published 23 months ago by Cheri P.
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't get this book. Really.
I don't know, as I read, yeah the business cases are amazing, what they are doing is creative, having impact, but I never could relate it to my work, to what I do every day. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Joe Oviedo
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put this book down!
I ordered the paperback and loved it. It was delivered earlier than anticipated. Thank you for the great price. Now, I have the book on Kindle too.
Published on April 1, 2013 by B. Washburn
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is on fire!
I loved Brains On Fire. It was inspiring, nontraditional, and lovely. Personally, I love studying brains! People are so INTERESTING! This book is a blast! Read more
Published on February 10, 2013 by Marissa Bledea
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