- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (September 24, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591391458
- ISBN-13: 978-1591391456
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
This eye-opening but muddled volume tells companies to remain true to self or, at least, to appear genuine, arguing that in a world increasingly filled with deliberately and sensationally staged experiences... consumers choose to buy or not buy based on how real they perceive an offering to be. Everything that forms a company's identity—from its name and practices to its product details—affects consumers' perceptions of its authenticity. Juggling philosophical concepts, in-depth case studies and ad slogans, Gilmore and Pine (The Experience Economy) run into trouble with a chapter called Fake, Fake, It's All Fake, which eviscerates the entire idea of authenticity: Despite claims of 'real' and 'authentic' in product packaging, nothing from businesses is really authentic. Everything is artificial, manmade, fake. The argument is unexpected and perhaps brilliant—yet rather confusing, since most of Authenticity argues that businesses should strive to not only appear authentic but to be so. The book's bullet points, charts and matrices add to the tangle, as the authors' early advice (your business offerings must get real) becomes a demand for furrowed-brow soul-searching. Still, the prose is snappy and conversational, and the book is densely packed with insights and provocations, and may inspire some executives to consider how consumers see their company. (Nov.)
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Top customer reviews
Written much like a textbook, "Authenticity" is full of insights and pearls that will take us a long time to unpack. The journey picks up right where EE left off and takes us down the path of understanding how consumers make decisions in the Experience Economy. I've already dog-eared and marked up many pages and am finding that the footnotes themselves are like a book within a book.
The authors aren't afraid to cite other experts in their effort to bring a new language to the discussion on authenticity. In my own attempts to explain this concept to others, I have found truly helpful the concept of "I like that. I'm like that," which they attribute to Virginia Postrel (pp. 93-94 and chapter 5 footnotes 65-66).
Like its predecessor, this new text is one to savor and think about. It's value to those of you engaged in the Experience Economy will only increase over time.
This may be a challenging read, not due to the writing per se, but because of the newness and depth of the subject. Gilmore and Pine's take on authenticity is novel enough that the reader may not have the mental hooks in their management theory framework to immediately hang the new ideas. But this is exactly what I would expect from the definition of a new management discipline.
The book builds the case for authenticity as a dominate consumer sensibility. From there, the construct framing the realness and fakeness of economic offerings forms the foundation for all that follows. Rendering authenticity takes authenticity out of the realm of ambiguity and into the realm of explicit definition. This process addresses the essence of business-organization identity and the underpinnings of the value of its offerings. The author's approach to rendering authenticity is a uniquely substantive approach to 1) exploring and defining your identity, what it is "you will be true to", 2) defining your total offering "to be what it says it is," and 3) the possibility of joining these two together for greater synergy, forming a more powerful authentic offering.
The book culminates with an approach to acting into the future. This approach employs the authenticity framework and the juxtaposition process used to understand and render authenticity, but extends it to explore an unlimited number of dimensions to spur the creation of novel value.
This book is a `must read' for those responsible for strategy and creating unique value in businesses of all types.
linking post-modernism to business strategy.
its only flaw was quoting a dave mathews lyric. ugh. other than that, astounding.
now i know the difference between pseudo and quasi.