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on November 18, 2011
Typically, I'm reluctant to offer reviews because I'm an author and I don't think it my place to be a critic as well. However, in this case, I've offered a video that endorses John Morgan and his book, Brand Against the Machine. Thank you for watching the video and considering John's book. - Michael Port
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on November 12, 2011
When you look at your industry, do you have a competitor who you KNOW isn't as good as you are but they manage to get more clients and have more success? If so, you need to read this book. It will help you understand why your competitor with the inferior product or service is beating you out and it will equip you with the tools you need to knock them off the top spot.

Too many people think that "branding" means choosing colors and fonts for your logo and 3-fold flyers. In this excellent book, John Morgan sets the reader straight and tackles the development of a true brand - that emotional connection that your customers have with you, your product and/or your service.

Morgan writes in a fun, non-pretentious style similar to Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37 Signals. He uses 61 short, punchy chapters that cut to the point and don't bog you down with useless fluff. He tells you what you need to know and then moves on to the next point.

Because the book is filled with branding principles and not theory, the advice can easily be implemented by larger companies, small businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, or people looking to build a personal brand. All you have to possess is the ability to adapt the principles for your particular company or situation. It does tend to focus a bit more on entrepreneurs, small business owners, and personal brands.

I won't list all 61 chapters out, but I do want to give you a sense of what topics are covered in this book:

* The difference between marketing and branding
* The impact of pricing on your brand
* The humanization of brands
* The difference between attention, visibility and trust and why you need all three to be successful
* How to effectively use celebrity in your branding and marketing
* How to develop credibility even if you're just starting out
* How to set yourself up as the authority in your industry
* How to measure your brand's impact and influence
* The 20/60/20 Rule
* The 10:100 Method
* How to develop conversations instead of campaigns
* How to use social media to extend the influence of your brand
* How to make fun of your mother-in-law (the jokes about his mother-in-law are worth the price alone)
* And a ton more...

One thing to note about this book is that it is NOT a social media book. While John discusses the impact of social media on your brand and the dissemination of your message, don't think that this is just another in a long string of books about Twitter and Facebook - it's not (thankfully). This book goes far deeper than that and gets to the core of your business, your message (in any medium), your identity, and how your customers or clients are relating to you.

If you're looking for a fun, practical book on growing your brand, standing out from your competition and creating a lasting connection with your customers, I highly recommend this book. However, if you hate change, like to be boring, enjoy being ignored, and don't want to grow your business, don't buy this book.
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on January 14, 2013
I only do these reviews on books that make a dramatic impact in the way I think and work. This book has definitely done both. Watch the short video (especially the last couple minutes) to see how. This book more than deserves my favorable review and the author has earned my full endorsement.
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on November 16, 2011
Brand Against The Machine is a wake-up call for business owners with its ruthless challenging of assumptions about branding and marketing.

John Morgan shines the light on this truth: The future of branding is marketing WITH people not AT them.

"To brand against the machine is to create a reputation as a leading authority who provides value to people rather than being another `me too' business that blasts marketing messages at those who do not want them."

You'll spend your time with John digesting bite sized, actionable strategies to grow your business and connect more deeply with those you serve.
Reality check: John says 99 percent of the strategies you can implement to build your brand...are free. You - anyone with a message - can use this book to catapult their business or organization to a higher level of service and profits.

Along the way, expect some laughs. John is a gifted humorist as an author and speaker who allows you to share the laughter and feel better in the process ("Owning this book will instantly make you 27 percent more awesome. You want to be more awesome, don't you?").

On a personal note, I was surprised by John's gracious acknowledgement of the role I played through my Make an Imapact LIVE event: "While on a late-night flight home from speaking at your event, the idea for this book was born. I will never forget that."

Here's the reality: I helped provide an environment that brought out John's unique brilliance. He did the work.

See the parallel? I'll connect the dots...John Morgan is providing you with a branding environment in which you can flourish.
It's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

As John writes... "Usus libri, non lectio prudentes facit."
The use, not the reading, of a book makes men wise.

If you want to build a business that not only gets noticed, but also gets cared about and allows you to make a bigger impact, then read and apply the wisdom of this book today.

Mollie Marti, JD, PhD
Author of "WALKING WITH JUSTICE: Uncommon Lessons from One of Life's Greatest Mentors"
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on February 23, 2013
Ideally I would like to give this book 3.5 stars.

If you're new to branding and marketing in general then you'll find this book lays a good broad foundation.

However, the problem I had with this book is it wasn't very structured. The beginning few chapters admittedly contained some good value. But as the book progressed it quickly turned into a number of vaguely outlined tactics lacking any real substance.

Once again, if you're new to marketing in general then the brief treatment of each tactic might be just the intro that you'd be able to quickly digest.

Personally I would've preferred to have seen this book stay 'on point' and focus solely on branding solid principles, and then go into real depth... instead of trying to cover too much territory by crossing over into tactical marketing execution.
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on November 18, 2011
John Morgan sucker punched me with this read. Seriously, most books on branding and marketing cover the same re-hashed rules and lessons but this was INCREDIBLE! He went deep into how anyone... and I mean anyone can create a powerful brand. I wish this was around when I got started - would have saved me the torture of horrible mistakes I've made along the way.

He suggests "the brand with the most trust wins" and then he lays out how to build up something that stands out and makes my fans, buyers, followers, tribe or whatever you call it come back for more.

Besides the business knowledge, examples, and stories there's a lot of humor that kept me engaged. Seriously found myself laughing out loud on the plane (got some strange looks) while reading it for the first time, was hard to put down.

This book will be sitting on my desk as a reference for making 2012 an explosive year. If you're in business in our new era there's a few books to keep handy... books like the E-Myth, 4HWW, Rework, and now this are my go-to guides.

Way to hit a home run John.
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on November 20, 2011
Brand Against the Machine is a must read for anyone who is interested in building a brand worth its salt. Sadly, too many of us think of branding as only for the "big guys" when it is probably more important for the average entrepreneur or business. The reason being, as John points out, if no one knows you exist, you have no business.

This book is filled with sound wisdom and strategies, written in a humorous style which helps the medicine go down a lot easier. Medicine, such as, the old methods of branding are over. It's time to get over the crying and just take heed. I also like how Morgan reminds us to be where our audience is, and that may not be "everywhere." My fave is when he says that at times we may have to fire clients, since their energy and demands will ultimately cost us. I have been in this position, and it is so true.

Finally, John Morgan reminds us that WE are a brand, and not just the business, so be careful how you conduct yourself. He shares stories of people who complain about bosses all the time, and how they might not be someone you want to recommend for a job.

Branding Against the Machine gives you the insight and tools to do a better job of getting your name out there, and you would be smart to not only read the book, but to apply it.
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on November 17, 2011
When John Morgan came to me and asked me to read his new book "Brand Against the Machine," I was thrilled. John has been studying and working in branding for more than a decade, and let me tell you, he knows his stuff and poured his heart and soul into this book. "Brand Against the Machine" is a must read for any small or home-based business that wants to effectively communicate through branding.

John shares all of the knowledge he's gained through his years of experience working with large, household-name brands in his trademark funny, irreverent, tell-it-like-it-is style, and gives you the tools you need to successfully brand your business. Be sure to have a pen and notebook handy as you read, because you're sure to want to take notes on the strategies and principles that John provides in this truly remarkable book.

If you want to learn the in's and out's of branding, whether you're an established business or just starting out, then be sure to read this book.
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on September 28, 2013
But the fact that such a crappy book can get such a high review rating (which is the reason I bought it) proves the author does know something about boosting visibility. Just don't expect to learn anything from the book itself.
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on August 16, 2013
I would've given this book 3 stars because it actually has decent content, and by decent I mean blog worthy or Inc. magazine worthy.

But I gave it two because this author is gaming's review system, call it great marketing but this author somehow managed to get 100 people to rate this book with 5 stars.

Don't buy this book if you think it's the equivalent to The 22 Immutable Laws of's not.
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