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Brand Against the Machine: How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition Hardcover – November 22, 2011
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"John Morgan has something here. I'm a big fan of how he words things, and there's value in keeping a notepad handy. I changed something based on Morgan's work. You will too!"-- Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works; author of Trust Agents
"Brand Against The Machine is the new definition for brands. As John writes so cogently, you don't brand at people, you brand with people. How do you do that? Read on." -- Mitch Joel, President, Twist Image; author of Six Pixels of Separation
"...this book will provide you with some terrific wisdom and information. Utilize the contents of this book and accelerate your positioning in the marketplace and the money in your bank account." -- Bob Burg, coauthor of The Go-Giver and author of Endless Referrals
"John Morgan's book is the ultimate branding wake-up call for any business. Your brand is about to take a double shot espresso . . . with a few sticks of TNT to stir it up." -- Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
"John is a rebellious leader of a new form of branding. He doesn't pull any punches and delivers straight-forward advice you can't afford to ignore." - Barry Moltz, Author of Bounce!
From the Inside Flap
The machine blasts messages at the world and it does not care who you are or what you have to say or whether its message is relevant to you at all. The machine is a moron. You, however, are not. Which is why your brand needs to rage against the traditional forces of advertising. You must engage your audience and win their business by giving more and selling less. Yours must be a Brand Against the Machine.
Brand Against the Machine offers proven and actionable steps for companies and entrepreneurs to increase their visibility and credibility, and create an indispensable brand that consumers can relate to, creating lifelong customers. Discover the aspirational currency that makes your brand one that people want to be or want to be friends with. Learn how to be real with your audience and make strategic associations to establish credibility. Brand Against the Machine will help you stand out, get noticed, and be remembered.
Brand Against the Machine offers a blueprint for your brand framework, with step-by-step guidance, including:
Know who your target audience is and what they want
Define your position as the go-to authority in your industry
Determine your audience's problem and create a solution for them
Produce valuable content that attracts your audience and engages them
Promote yourself without pestering people
Over-deliver on your promise
The machine is a rusted piece of junk in the marketplace. Ditch traditional corporate branding and marketing, and exchange it for something memorable. Your customers will thank you for it.
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Top customer reviews
Too many people think that "branding" means choosing colors and fonts for your logo and 3-fold flyers. In this excellent book, John Morgan sets the reader straight and tackles the development of a true brand - that emotional connection that your customers have with you, your product and/or your service.
Morgan writes in a fun, non-pretentious style similar to Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37 Signals. He uses 61 short, punchy chapters that cut to the point and don't bog you down with useless fluff. He tells you what you need to know and then moves on to the next point.
Because the book is filled with branding principles and not theory, the advice can easily be implemented by larger companies, small businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, or people looking to build a personal brand. All you have to possess is the ability to adapt the principles for your particular company or situation. It does tend to focus a bit more on entrepreneurs, small business owners, and personal brands.
I won't list all 61 chapters out, but I do want to give you a sense of what topics are covered in this book:
* The difference between marketing and branding
* The impact of pricing on your brand
* The humanization of brands
* The difference between attention, visibility and trust and why you need all three to be successful
* How to effectively use celebrity in your branding and marketing
* How to develop credibility even if you're just starting out
* How to set yourself up as the authority in your industry
* How to measure your brand's impact and influence
* The 20/60/20 Rule
* The 10:100 Method
* How to develop conversations instead of campaigns
* How to use social media to extend the influence of your brand
* How to make fun of your mother-in-law (the jokes about his mother-in-law are worth the price alone)
* And a ton more...
One thing to note about this book is that it is NOT a social media book. While John discusses the impact of social media on your brand and the dissemination of your message, don't think that this is just another in a long string of books about Twitter and Facebook - it's not (thankfully). This book goes far deeper than that and gets to the core of your business, your message (in any medium), your identity, and how your customers or clients are relating to you.
If you're looking for a fun, practical book on growing your brand, standing out from your competition and creating a lasting connection with your customers, I highly recommend this book. However, if you hate change, like to be boring, enjoy being ignored, and don't want to grow your business, don't buy this book.
If you're new to branding and marketing in general then you'll find this book lays a good broad foundation.
However, the problem I had with this book is it wasn't very structured. The beginning few chapters admittedly contained some good value. But as the book progressed it quickly turned into a number of vaguely outlined tactics lacking any real substance.
Once again, if you're new to marketing in general then the brief treatment of each tactic might be just the intro that you'd be able to quickly digest.
Personally I would've preferred to have seen this book stay 'on point' and focus solely on branding solid principles, and then go into real depth... instead of trying to cover too much territory by crossing over into tactical marketing execution.
Finally, I wanted to see if Mr. Morgan would put his money where his mouth was and respond back to some of my questions. Lo and behold he did! It's always nice to see an author stick to his gun and practice what he preaches.