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Brand New : How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell Hardcover – March, 2001
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Koehn is a perceptive historian and biographer as well as an astute analyst of brand creation, entrepreneurship, and organization-building. She explains how the entrepreneurs in her book were able to understand the economic and social change of their times and anticipate and respond to demand-side shifts. This understanding, she argues convincingly, enabled these entrepreneurs to bring to market products that consumers needed and wanted and to create meaningful, lasting connections with consumers through their brands. Koehn also focuses on the importance of these entrepreneurs as organization builders who understood that their success depended on developing organizational capabilities that supported their products and brands. Her book is very well-researched throughout, and uses primary archival documents extensively in the historical chapters on Josiah Wedgwood, H. J. Heinz, and Marshall Field. Koehn also brings her entrepreneurs and the stories of how each built his or her company and brand to life with her talent as a biographer and historian.Read more ›
This book is very well written, with excellent observations and pointers for success. Although the majority of the book is case studies, these are not the usual 'filler' material that have become so common in business books. I highly recommend the studies of Wedgewood, Heinz and Marshall Field, and how they took advantage of new trends such as railroads and communications. These are not so far from the revolution that the Internet has placed many corporations in. The historical perspective is excellent, and for once this is not written by a big 5 consultant with something to prove, or a service to flog.
Koehn is a professor at no less than the Harvard Business School. She is also an excellent writer, and she understands that the essence of getting good information across is stories. Brand New is a book of stories about branding. It is anything but boring.
Koehn divides the book into two giant sections, The Past and The Present.
In The Past, she includes the stories of Josiah Wedgwood, H. J. Heinz and Marshall Field. All the stories are told in detail enriched by facts, insights, and quotes. All of them contain lessons for today's businessperson. Most of the lessons are about branding, but there's a lot more.
Read this book and you will find out all about how Josiah Wedgwood changed the common practice by impressing his own name in the unfired clay of his works. That's impressive. But you will also learn how his partnership with Thomas Bentley took Wedgwood's strengths and his insight about branding and turned them into a highly profitable business.
You'll learn about why H. J. Heinz packed his product in glass jars and how he kept control of his distribution. You'll hear about the 1902 giant opening at Marshall Field's and you'll learn about Field's varying relationships with his partners.
In the section on The Present, you will get the story of Estee Lauder and how she changed not only her name and image but also the face of cosmetic marketing through magnetism and incredible persistence.Read more ›
It is this holistic approach to the subject of each profile that makes the stories so compelling. Using her command of history, Ms. Koehn outlines the period view of each of the products (pickles to perfume) and vividly draws the reader into the strategy of each of these entrepreneurs' approach to the market and building their brand. It is the power of these stories that gives the brand message such import. All of these people had a great number of competitors in their market niche but their focussed approach to the brand associated with their goods or services is what set them apart.
Ms. Koehn uses some excellent demographic and financial information (indexed to today's dollars) that provide the backdrop for the scale of the success each of these entrepreneurs' achieved. This provides just enough quantitative information to provide texture without clouding the real story in statistics.
As an executive in the software business today, I found a great deal of comfort in the fact that the challenges I face in today's competitive marketplace are not new. In fact, with great courage and resolve, they have been solved again and again in differing but similar ways over centuries.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Did you know that in 1859 Americans consumed about eight pounds of coffee per year, per capita? Or that by 1939 it was fourteen pounds? Read morePublished on April 5, 2003 by Hugh Claffey
Koehn has produced a weighty and informative look at the way successful entrepreneurs have used brands to achieve a number of goals. Read morePublished on February 13, 2003 by frumiousb
As she completed her research and then began to write this book, Nancy Koehn made several important decisions. Read morePublished on November 25, 2002 by Robert Morris
professor koehn presents the subject of branding in a fascinating historical perspective; a interesting, insightful and sometimes surprising read. Read morePublished on November 24, 2001 by Bruce Gilardi
Nancy Koehn's Brand New inspires the entrepreneur in us all. Her book gives readers a greater appreciation for the risk and rewards of entrepreneurship, and an admiration for... Read morePublished on June 29, 2001 by Julie A Petry
Nancy Koehn's Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumer's Trust from Wedgewook to Dell is a book for the summer reading lists of anyone about to begin business school, their... Read morePublished on June 15, 2001 by Sarah Thorp
Koehn did an amazing job in conveying to the reader the challenges facing entrepreneurs in creating brands. Read morePublished on June 13, 2001 by Debbie Rao
Stories are the way that we all learn best. Professor Koehn has provided six meticulously detailed ones about brand development by 18th and 19th century entrepreneurs (Josiah... Read morePublished on June 2, 2001 by Donald Mitchell
I found this book hard to grade, but easy to read. Stories are the best way for people to learn, and this book has six interesting ones (about Josiah Wedgwood, H.J. Read morePublished on May 25, 2001 by Donald Mitchell