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7 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Irreverant, December 7, 2010
Liked this book very much. The irreverence and polemic were refreshing. Holt and Cameron practice what they preach, and don't pull punches. The ideas and thinking are solid. The cases are excellent. After reading I recommended to friends at ad agencies, many of whom no doubt face H & C's `brand bureaucracy'.

Style-wise, `Cultural Strategy' found a nice niche between scholarship and practice. I liked this approach. But if you prefer 1-2-3 books on brand and strategy, don't buy the book. You're going to get Max Weber and terms like `mimetic isomorphism' just as much you get stories on brands like Nike, Levi's, Vitamin Water and Fat Tire. I liked the combination, others might not.

As someone in strategy, I do have some beef with Holt and Cameron's stance against utility, or what they refer to as `mousetrap' thinking. They take the constructivist line of thinking too far, and it diminishes their argument. They need a foil, but of all their polemics this one feels more rhetorical than substantive. Ideally, value creation and cultural innovation work together. If subjectivity were all that mattered we wouldn't be in this recession. H & C have written particular kinds of cases-- products fighting it out in mature markets with homogeneous offerings. In these situations i think they're argument holds up better. In emerging markets where the there is still a great deal of diversity in offerings, i'm not as sure. The one outlier here is the freelancer's union case, which was quite good.

But on all other accounts, this book furthered my thinking. Even if you don't agree with the authors, they'll engage you. I'd read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for academics, entrepreneurs, and F500 managers, July 28, 2011
By 
William Ko (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This outstanding work underscores the importance of incorporating culture into marketing initiatives to drive sales growth and market share. Citing Weber's theory of bureaucratization in Economics and Society, Holt argues convincingly that leading firms have sacrificed marketing innovation for ineffective brand management based on standardization, superfluous scientific methodology, and dehumanization of the consumer products/services and the markets that they ultimately serve. Controversially, but supported with strong empircal examples, Holt asserts that the epistemic proclivities of establishing marketing as a 'faux science' has resulted in stagnant 'mousetrap' strategies that result in minimal gains in growth.

Supported by case-studies of both successful and unsuccessful marketing initiatives, Cultural Strategy is essential reading for academics, entrepreneurs and F500 management seeking iconoclastic reconceptualizations of the consumer goods landscape.

I suspect, however, that the prevailing path dependencies and perceptions of 'brand strategy' among leading firms in industry today will inhibit Holt's central thesis from attaining wide-scale practice. But perhaps as a greater number of agile entrepreneurs leverage 'cultural strategy' to win a greater share of blue ocean opportunities, the aforementioned market-leading firms will be compelled to take notice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Perspective, June 19, 2011
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I'm currently a marketing MBA and I found this book through a professor of mine. It takes a unique view of branding and is open about the fact that they provide benefits that are intangible. The biggest win for me on this book is the research done to write it. There are great case studies from well known brands and the authors take historical advertisements, cultural movements, and competitor actions into account to show the opportunities exploited by using cultural branding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its a deep interesting and not and easy approach to brand development, December 12, 2014
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This review is from: Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands (Kindle Edition)
Its a deep interesting and not and easy approach to brand development . The examples are excellent and clearly show good and bad marketing decisions and its explanations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Always a favorite of ad agency Gravity (www, November 22, 2014
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I read it then re-read section every year or so. Always a favorite of ad agency Gravity (www.mediagravity.com).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, November 4, 2014
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This review is from: Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands (Kindle Edition)
The Content is very good but was written to sell consultancy.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent marketing study, September 26, 2011
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This book is an eye opener on the true cultural effects of good marketing campaigns. The book effectively and engagingly touches on the most important topics and features of a true cultural strategy. I would recommend this book for anyone in the marketing field.
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