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Chasing Cool: Standing Out in Today's Cluttered Marketplace Hardcover – May 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Johnny Heller does a professionally 'cool' job." ---AudioFile
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Noah Kerner began his music career as a DJ at the age of four-teen spinning in nightclubs across the country, performing as stage DJ for artists like Jennifer Lopez, and appearing on shows such as Today and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is now cofounder and CEO of the marketing agency Noise (noisemarketing.com), which has been featured on 60 Minutes as the company "to go to if you want to influence the choices of that fickle, unpredictable 20-something demographic." Kerner was recently highlighted in Billboard magazine's "Top 30 Under 30" most influential business executives. He is a graduate of Cornell University.

Gene Pressman was co-CEO, creative director, and head of merchandising and marketing for Barneys New York for more than twenty-seven years, where he brought high-end brands like Armani, Versace, Prada, and Manolo Blahnik to the United States. Under Pressman's leadership, Barneys New York emerged as the defining force in retailing for upscale men's and women's ready-to-wear, accessories, and home furnishings. Pressman has been featured in such publications as The New York Times and Vogue and has appeared on the cover of New York magazine. He is a graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1st Atria Books Hardcover Ed edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743497090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743497091
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Parthasarathy on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good beginners book on advertising, marketing and how to chase what's "cool". To illustrate the right way of doing it, the authors take up multiple case studies of winning and failing branding campaigns ranging from Grey Goose vodka to Tommy Hilfiger. There are mantras along the way for the reader on what to do and what not to do.
The case studies are not very deep which, depending on the kind of reader you are, works well or sucks. I am just getting into the domain and loved the skimming look on various strategies that have worked over the years. Obviously successful strategies have been copied over the years and are specific to the product it was used for. But some of them also teach valuable lessons on how to uniquely differentiate one's product from a crowd.
Recommended read.
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Format: Hardcover
In a "Cluttered Marketplace" like marketing books, "Chasing Cool" does not stand out. In an effort to isolate the intangible "cool," (which they admit is impossible) the authors cite interviews with artists and business people (mostly from the music and fashion industries) that they believe to be influential as well as relying on their own experiences. Instead of teaching laypeople and marketers what to do, they mostly tip us on what not to do. This would be great if this wasn't the tactic of countless other books. Vague advice like be the first to do something new (or be second, or just be the best), be authentic, take risks etc. is not groundbreaking -- for anyone who has read anything about marketing, or has followed a few top marketing blogs for at least a week, it's downright stale.

While the personal experiences developing the Barney's brand, and being a respected DJ are the high points of the book, they are also rather isolated viewpoints. The interviews vary the experiences, but not by much. Companies who don't make designer products probably wouldn't benefit. Ditto for companies that don't cater to hipsters; most of the examples (Apple, Grey Goose, Starbucks, Quiksilver, nightclubs, hotels) fit a certain type. This is not a problem unless your work is completely different, then you are left with irrelevant examples and meaningless statements like "In the final analysis, cool is really about achieving relevance--to a particular group, small or large" (226). Gee whiz, what insight!

Moving away from the content, the book is written in a straightforward manner that makes it easy to scan and a quick read. The design also aids in this with clear headings and readable text.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With authenticity as its battle cry, "Chasing Cool" was a textbook that didn't feel like a textbook. Kerner's narrative took me back to feeling anything is possible when one dreams. Go big: make sure to read this first.
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Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book because of the title, but I have to say that I finished it one sitting. I was left feeling motivated to dig deeper into myself for creative ideas rather than looking outwards. That's a powerful message to hear.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've ever wondered how major media corporations come up with their effective tactics to promote the next wave of what's cool, this is the book for you. Written by industry insiders Gene Pressman (CEO of Barney's department stores) and Noah Kerner, this book tracks the development of many advertising campaigns that have been responsible for the popularity of many now-household items. The book also gives an in-depth look at "cool hunting"- how companies attempt to track down what's cool and what's not. "Chasing Cool" provides counterpoints to many common strategies of cool hunting, thus presenting a new perspective on how both marketers and users should interact with the reputation and image of many world-famous products such as the iPod, Grey Goose vodka, etc. Far from being mass-marketed advertising propaganda, "Chasing Cool" shares the anecdotes and experiences of two seasoned marketing veterans and invites the reader to take a no-holds-barred journey through the fascinating, contradictory, and ever-changing world of cool hunting.
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Format: Paperback
This book has poignant insight from many inspiring luminaries. One suggestion for the authors, if they are considering a follow up (which I'd buy), is on the title. It's ambiguous. It'd be clearer if it read, "Standing out, or not, in today's cluttered marketplace." Regardless, some great take aways on what not to do in business which are just as instructive and useful as the how-to's. My favorite biz read of the year.
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Format: Paperback
Never before has a book brought together Tom Ford, DJ Premiere and Richard Meier. Bits of the narrative felt somewhat gratuitous but with a better editor this book could have been outstanding. I still gave it a five star rating because I found it so useful. I hope there is a sequel in the works.
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Format: Paperback
Having suffered through too many board room meetings listening to disconnected executives search for the magic elixir of cool, I love the point of this book. It is an outcome not a strategy. This must-read provides the inspiration you need to go out and build something great.
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