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Speak Human: Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal Paperback – October 31, 2009


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Speak Human: Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal + The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication (Voices That Matter)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: smashLAB Inc (October 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981348203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981348209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a wonderful book, full of important insights not only about design and marketing but about the ways in which people interact with the objects, communities and environments they share. Marketing is its thematic, but not in the traditional sense as Karjaluoto searches for new strategies to better understand the relationships among people's needs and the world they live in." --Dr. Ron Burnett, President, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

"Eric is a wonderful storyteller. I've been a fan of his blog for several years so I naturally was eager for his new book. Wow! In Speak Human, Eric shows you how to engage with your marketplace in the ways that will resonate. Forget hype, tell stories the way Eric does and your communications will come alive." --David Meerman Scott, Bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR

"Here on the threshold of the new marketplace era the shift is complete: The customer is now in total control of the relationship. The good news is Eric Karjaluoto's book, Speak Human, is a blue print for building a successful 21st century strategy for connecting with customers on their terms. Goodonya, Eric." --Jim Blasingame, Leading small business expert and host of The Small Business Advocate Show

"Speak Human is a really, really good book. It is a must read for anyone looking to make a big difference with a big dream, a big idea and a small budget. Whether revealing classified secrets of social media, the impact of nerdy storytelling or the power of being polite, Eric Karjaluoto engages our curiosity and delivers insight and artistry with aplomb." --Debbie Millman, President, Design: Sterling Brands and AIGA President

"Loaded with examples, both good and bad, that demonstrate how small companies can effectively compete with the big guys. Interesting, well-written and compelling." --Laura Ries, Leading branding consultant and best-selling author: War in the Boardroom

About the Author

Eric Karjaluoto is a founding partner of the digital agency smashLAB. He has directed projects for groups including CN, Tourism Vancouver, and Canadian Heritage. He is a strong advocate of strategy and pragmatism in design. In 2007 he spearheaded Design Can Change, an effort to unite designers and address climate change. The team at smashLAB has also launched the online community MakeFive and a crowdsourced design and marketing site called undrln. TIME, the Lotus Awards, and ICOGRADA have recognized his work; meanwhile, the agency has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and Studio 4. Eric writes about design, brands, and experience at ideasonideas.com and has spoken at events for the AIGA, SEGD, and GDC. Eric studied at the Emily Carr Institute and lives in Vancouver with his lovely wife and two delightful little boys. (He still talks to his mom and dad almost every day.)

More About the Author

Eric Karjaluoto is Creative Director and a founding partner of the creative agency smashLAB. Since 2000, he has helped a broad range of clients, including CN, The Vancouver Aquarium, The Nature Conservancy, Canadian Heritage, ThoughtFarmer, lululemon athletica, Crescent Spur, WWF Canada, BC Film + Media, Tourism Vancouver, and the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment with their strategic, design, and communication challenges. This work has been recognized by The Adrian Awards, TIME, Communication Arts, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, The Lotus Awards, Applied Arts, Graphis, Icograda, and others. In 2007, he spearheaded Design Can Change to unite designers and address climate change. Eric writes about design at www.ideasonideas.com and www.erickarjaluoto.com and has spoken at events for AIGA, SEGD, and GDC. He is the author of Speak Human (smashLAB, 2009). His second book, The Design Method (New Riders, 2013), was released in August 2013. Eric lives in Vancouver with his lovely wife and two delightful boys.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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His writing style is clear and structured.
Benjamin Kampmann
I highly recommend this book to every marketer,small business person, or the person simply interested in bringing business back to the personal level.
Steven Chambers
This is also the advice provided by Eric Karjaluoto in Speak Human, among other great insights.
John R. Sedivy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Loren Woirhaye VINE VOICE on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's going to be hard to do this book justice in a review. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, which was some chearleading about social media.

Instead, the book is a frequently philosophical tract on the inherent challenges of how the little guy goes about marketing anything well in today's super-noisy marketplace.

What surprised me early on was how adroit Karjaluoto is with language. You can get a taste of it on his blog, but the book is structured in generally longer chapters where he really gets going. Even as a blogger Karjaluoto is given to long-winded screeds, but in this book he really lets loose.

Karjaluoto deconstructs our expectations from page one. Throughout the book he's challenging why we expect blah-blah tactic or approach to work to build our businesses. Fundamentally he's asking why we expect a method of marketing or presenting our businesses to succeed and if the way we are marketing is actually aligned with what we are about. This is an important question and it has been asked before but Karjaluoto gets real specific.

I don't know if the author's full intent was to have a book to present to prospective clients, but this is one helluva calling card. If a prospect doesn't read the book and agree with most of it, that client would be a poor match for Karjaluoto's services (and mine as well I'll add).

The honesty here is brutal and discouraging to those people looking for quick fixes and easy ways to make money on the 'net. Marketing well has costs and usually requires significant analysis of problems and prioritizing before the creative work even starts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven Chambers on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm giving Speak Human: Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal five stars because it is a business book every marketer and business owner should read. It's an appeal to getting back to business on the human level where people are treated not only as individuals, but as someone the people running the business truly care about. The book is also a celebration of small business. Being a small business is an advantage in today's impersonal and busy world so, rather than rue the fact that your business is small you should celebrate because you have distinct advantages in the marketplace. Small businesses are more flexible, can focus better on a target niche and get much, much closer to the customer.

Let's sum up the key message of the book - Deal with people on a human level.

The title of the book confused me at first. What exactly was the book about? What did "Speak Human" mean? Was this a book on body language or some esoteric communication method? No, this is a solid book about business and marketing that advocates connecting and communicating with people on a human level. Connecting with people, dealing with them like they matter and using new technologies, like social media to stay connected is what this book will teach you. The whole point of the book is that you need to build and manage your business' relationship with your customers and clients. As the author states on Pg. 147 - "People like to feel special."

Kurjaluoto is clearly a cheerleader for the small business person and beats the drum throughout the book that it is small business that has the advantage when it comes treating people like they matter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Alexander on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The marketing section of the bookstore (online or bricks & mortar) is a usually a painful section to navigate, full of rehashed messages and hire-us pitches. Eric Karjaluoto's, Speak Human is none of that. It is personal, yet practical. Honest but bereft of piousness. Funny and rewarding. There are only a handful of marketing books I would dare recommend to anyone. Speak Human is at the top my list. Really superb.

--Ian
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By Radius on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title says it all; if you are interested in how to run your company and how to market it well, you must read this book. It's well written and will inspire you to get your marketing off the ground.
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By Jason A. Tselentis on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Karjaluoto writes in a way that makes it easy to understand why the consumer landscape has been declining in quality over the years. What's more, he takes both sides with ease: that of the consumer, and that of the businessperson who understands how to make things right. During a time when magazines like Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company taut the value of design and the importance of the creative class, Karjaluoto digs deep and lets us know why those attributes are only one part of the equation.
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Format: Paperback
My employer gave me Speak Human to read - I must admit, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic at the idea of reading yet another marketing and branding book. It was however my favourite read of 2011, by a good mile. It's honest, entertaining, easy to read and really, really engaging.

Speak Human doesn't offer new gizmos, techniques or gadgets for snagging an audience but rather reminds that mutual respect, care, thoughtfulness and direct communication are just as valuable in business as they are in our private lives. Speak Human didn't necessarily tell me anything mind-blowingly new, it's value lies in that it is an excellent, and required reminder, to well, communicate in a language (action, words, visual messages etc.) that everyone can relate to, 'human'.

To top it all off, the Speak Human folk seriously practice what they preach! It's astonishing and commendable. I'm a fan.

If you buy one book this year, especially if you're a small business (but big guy's, you'll most certainly benefit too), buy this one.
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