The Thank You Economy
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148 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2011
Business books are always looking for that great, new angle. Gary Vaynerchuk's The Thank You Economy is no exception. His keen insight: the Internet economy - especially social media - makes saying Thank You more important than ever. Amazing customer service is his war cry for businesses everywhere, and Vaynerchuk warns us all to adapt (rapidly) to the tsunami of social media that is changing business today.

Duh.

Since I teach Social Media Marketing (Google Jason McDonald to find me), I always look forward to these books, because every once in a while there is an amazing gem, such as Seth Godin's, Unleashing the Ideavirus - a book that knocks me off my socks, makes me pause, and is the the first time I every thought a thought: that an idea could be a virus, how cool is that?

The Thank You Economy disappoints. Especially in the details, it disappoints.

In The Thank You Economy We are teased, threatened, cajoled, implored, reminded, asked, coddled, hassled, tipped off, and otherwise pounded with the message that social media marketing IS a revolution and we (as businesspeople) had better get prepared. But beyond that? Not enough details! Not enough meat! Not enough concrete do's and don't's.

For instance, the idea that customer service is critical in today's Internet age is hugely important. Some customers - we might call them CUSTOMERS FROM HELL - can make life miserable (and they have) for major brands like KFC, Taco Bell, United Airlines, and others. Should you (or can you), provide amazing customer service to your own customer from hell? What happens when one customer from hell alerts the other customers from hell that those who kvetch the loudest will get amazing perks?

* Vaynerchuk doesn't really explain this, sadly.

So he raises the point that we should have amazing customer service, but doesn't help us in the thickets or weeds. Which customers? All of them? That's not realistic. Some of them? Which ones? When, where, and why?

The Social Media Revolution is certainly coming, but it isn't feasible to do everything for everyone at no cost. That's the starting point for a good book, but in the case of the Thank You Economy, it's really the ending point. Give great customer service. Be amazing. Treat every customer like they were No. 1. Lots of platitudes here, little details. Sigh.

Yelp vs. Zagat

Yelp! Oh my God do I love Yelp. No more terrible BBQ in Texas! No more terrible B&B's in Half Moon Bay! Yelp and stranger marketing have changed - forever - how we shop. Yelp's genius was allowing everyone to post reviews, easily, and to encourage Yelpers to Yelp and businesses to get Yelped.

In the best part of the book, Vaynerchuk has an amazing compare / contrast of Yelp (Free) vs. Zagat (paid), pgs. 38-41. Rip out this part of the book! Paste this part of the book above your desk. It's the amazing, power of FREE vs. PAID, and the hypercharging that FREE gets on the Internet.

This one case study is worth the book, not for its originality but for its CLARITY. Vaynerchuk's touches on other examples (Barnes and Nobles / Borders / Amazon) but drops them. Oh, my goodness, the devil is in those details, and had the book had strong case studies, the Thank You Economy would have been an amazing read.

The customer from hell is another huge social media phenomenon. We get the example (pg. 22) of Giorgio Galante, who took AT&T to task, got tangled with their lawyers, and had an amazing social media ride of it. But not enough. These two anecdotes are incredibly intriguing, but instead we have pages (and pages and pages and pages and pages) of platitudes...

Corporate America is rewarded for hookups and one-night stands, and that's how much respect most corporations show toward their customers. Don't hate the player; hate the game. (pg. 210).

Oh my God. This could be pasted on a "Successtory" poster and put on top of the urinal in my bathroom. That's how amazingly insightful that is. Sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh... I want the details! I want concepts! Death to Successtories!
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
I really wanted to like this book. I have a great deal of admiration for Gary's creativity in using social media to scale his wine business. And I liked Gary's perspective in the early part of this book: that social media is resetting the balance of power between customers and corporations and forcing (savvy) businesses to return to a priority on making happy, well-satisfied customers.

Unfortunately, if you already believe social media is important to business, you'll learn precious little else from this book. Gary is incredibly repetitive (he really needs the help of a good editor). Even worse, he never gets into specifics of how to use social media to build one's business. The book stays at the platitude level about the importance of social media and truly caring about one's customers. Even the handful of chapters devoted to profiling some companies whose social media efforts Gary applauds, are limited to a few pages each and stay quite superficial. Gary clearly knows much more than he chose to share in this book. That's disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2014
Don't like the way the author told his own story, made me feel his company is the whole "thank you economy" and everything he had done to his employees & customers should become the standard industry model.

Though, the examples in the book are still good to read: Zappos, Joie de Vivre Hotels, nice to know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
repetitive and vacuous. I was looking for something more profound--disappointed that it didnt really move the dial. I've heard Gary speak before so i was excited to dive in--only to get the same ole same ole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
The guy is just too full of himself. Does not build trust - the true cornerstone of Thank you economy!
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on March 21, 2015
Needlessly wordy I found this book repeats the same couple of core concepts several times over in different ways. It reads more like a series of blog posts that have been mashed together rather than a coherent structure of words that flow naturally.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2013
Gary Vaynerchuk's first book, Crush It, changed my life. It really was that profound a book for me. I loved it so much I bought it for my employees as a Christmas gift one year. I quoted from it in meetings and ultimately made a major life change in part because of the motivation I received from that book.

So, I waited with GREAT anticipation for this book. I preordered it and devoured it when it came out. And, I was sorely disappointed. This was not the Gary of Crush It. This was a much more corporate, toned-down, ghost-writer type Gary. There was nothing uniquely motivational, inspirational, or educational in this book. If Crush It was a home run then The Thank You Economy was a foul ball.

I'm still a huge fan of Gary but if you loved Crush It don't waste your time on this book. Instead go re-read Crush It. And, if you've never read Crush It... please don't read one more review... just search on here for that book and overnight it to yourself.

I'm looking forward to Gary's next book. I hope he'll devote himself to it. I'm hoping he really does have more to give to readers than just one book. He's too good to be a one hit wonder.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
Maybe the content of the book is worth my time, but wow, the audio sure isn't. I started listening to this guy who slurs, drops the ends of words, speaks too quickly, dips and rolls his pitch; it's work to listen to him. I went back to see who the reader was, wondering, how did this guy get hired??

Oh. It's the author.

Gary, they don't call them "professional readers" for nothin. Next time, hand off this task to someone else - it'll free up more time for writing.
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14 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2011
I should say, I like the author - @garyvee - and respect him, but this book is a virtual wasted effort. If you have read his book Crush It, a superior effort told in less than half the pages, then you definitely do not need to read this. It's intended for business owners, but its one, very simple, message is...use social media. Okay, fine. But this book can truly be summarized in a few short pages. There are some examples, and I believe and agree with him, when he speaks of businesses need to get on the social media bandwagon and care about the customer. But in truth, there is little "how-to" in this book and much more "preach to you". It's unfortunate, as I don't see many getting much out of this very easy, brisk read. Too bad.
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