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Rengen: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer - and What It Means to Your Business Hardcover – June 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Platinum Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (June 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598691341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598691344
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Martin (Chicgo. IL) is president of LitLamp Communications Group and one of the nation's formost authorities on the rising marketplace created by the convergence of art, entertainment, education, and business. Her clients include Discovery Channel, BankNorth, Unisys, MCI, Sun Microsystems, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the New York Philharmonic. In 1994, she partnered with the Microsoft Corporation to build the blueprint for what is now the Gates Library Foundation.

More About the Author

Patricia Martin is president of LitLamp Communications Group and one of the nation's foremost authorities on the rising marketplace created by the convergence of art, entertainment, education, and business. Her clients include Discovery Channel, BankNorth, Unisys, MCI, Sun Microsystems, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the New York Philharmonic. In 1994, she partnered with the Microsoft Corporation to build the blueprint for what is now the Gates Library Foundation. Martin has been featured for innovative work in marketing in the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Reporter, Harvard Business Review, and BrandWeek magazine. Seth Godin named her a Purple Cow-an expert who helps clients be exceptional. She lives in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

I like to read books that help me understand radical change.
YosemiteSyd
Patricia Martin makes a very strong case for the creativity, energy and resilience of today's youth.
Peggy Barber
Worse, she never describes how she chose which conditions qualified as catalytic.
R. Adler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Adler on January 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Would that it were true, but I'm afraid I'm in nearly total agreement with JimR's negative review from December 29, 2007. The book never makes its primary point that we're on the cusp of another renaissance, primarily because it fails to convincingly establish the clear precursors of such an historical shift.

Like most marketeers, Ms. Martin over-claims, subtitling her second chapter "How a Renaissance Begins," and asserting there are five "immutable" preconditions to renaissance. However, on page 3 in her first chapter ("Preconditions for a Rebirth") the author explicitly acknowledges deep limitations to her approach, saying:
"I wanted to plot the process that leads up to a transformation as profound as a renaissance. *But* the differences between two civilizations separated by eight centuries are so great, that I focused on the catalytic conditions that share certain similarities, *instead*." [Asterisks are mine.]

Ms. Martin never says what methodological differences exist between "plotting the process" and "focusing on the catalytic conditions" that produced a renaissance, but she clearly implies the former was too difficult and the latter simpler. Worse, she never describes how she chose which conditions qualified as catalytic. This level of social analysis may suffice in boardrooms when reliable, comprehensive date is scarce, and organizations must move quickly, but it is insufficient for predicting significant historical trends. In addition, the author claims a pattern based on a sample of one, never citing any renaissance besides that of Western Europe in the 14th century. She compounds this profound mistake by conflating pre-Renaissance and Imperial Rome.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. B. White on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
RenGen is required reading for anyone who wants or needs to understand the up-and-coming generation. Martin presents an entirely different, and well-founded, depiction of this group. Written in an accessible style, RenGen has meaning for just about everyone. Whether you employ or manage this generation, parent them, sell to them, prospect for their donations and time, desire their votes, or socialize with them, you need to read RenGen. It will change the way you think and increase your understanding of those around you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John R. Stark on July 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For too long I've felt absolutely hopeless about our country's future. Our government leaders are against anything progressive, suppressing science, the arts, social movements, and the reality of global warming. But if I'm to believe Patricia Martin in her Ren Gen book, and I do, I feel hopeful again about America. Bubbling underneath all of this resistance, she says, is a collective creativity that is about to erupt into a new renaissance, and within my own lifetime. Martin not only identifies the conditions that have come together to produce an age of enlightenment, but through careful research explores them, even meeting with the business leaders, artists, scientists, civic planners, and others, who are helping us to evolve in a positive way. We are the renaissance generation, or in her coinage, rengen. Martin's careful to distinguish between a renaissance and a revolution; this coming renaissance, she says, doesn't overthrow past ideas and inventions but builds upon them. Don't call it multi-tasking, call it fusion: Example after example shows how we are drawing upon each other's particular expertise to face our problems, co-mingling our professional fields. This spells excitement, challenge, and hope. In this era of Paris Hilton and Fear Factor, I had come to believe that our society had given up caring about anything intelligent. But Martin cites studies that show more people are reading literature, and going to concerts, lectures, operas, poetry slams, and museums. We are anything but a cultural wasteland, she claims, and has the statistics to back it up. This is the first book or even article I have read to put its head above the smog of despair and see clean air. We're not dead, according to RenGen, but being reborn. And now that I know a creative renaissance is flowering, I'm putting up some scaffolding and painting my ceiling.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JimR on December 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not worth the time to read. The author seems to want to be seen as a futurist giving us a great insight into the current state of the world and the likely near future. However, the case that there is a significant renaissance happening today is never made, in part because the analysis of the precursors of the 1300 - 1600 renaissance period is so weak. If you already know that American's are aware of design and aesthetics today in part due to media and marketing, and that the internet is connecting people in new ways, then there isn't any news here for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Becker on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Patricia Martin has succinctly described the new age of the cultural consumer. The mass-market advertising aimed at "Joe Six-Pack" is largely going to be wasted, much like Joe.

My take-away from this book is that the new mass-market is a mass of micro-markets. People's interests have splintered with the advent of the internet: there is so much more to explore, and they can explore faster. Companies that want to succeed will need to sponsor smaller and more focused cultural events, and reach very targeted web audiences.

Certainly, mega-events like the Super Bowl will still be attractive to advertisers who like to waste money, but the bigger bang is in the mass of micro-markets in smaller venues.
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