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Can't Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results Hardcover – March 7, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a fabulous book that describes a revolutionary new vision for marketing, the Relationship Era, based on purpose, authenticity, trust and care. Written in an easy-to-read style and full of interesting stories, this book is both inspiring and fun. I give it my highest recommendation.”
—John Mackey, founder and co-CEO, Whole Foods
 
“This book is funny, a bit profane and utterly profound. At Patagonia, we cherish our relationships, but these guys have located and explained dimensions of the Relationship Era that opened my eyes—and mind. What an enjoyable and enlighten­ing journey.”
—Casey Sheahan, CEO, Patagonia
 
Can’t Buy Me Like speaks clearly to the challenges every CEO and CMO is con­fronting. It identifies the collapse of mass marketing as we have known it and provides example after example of how successful companies build trust in the ‘new world.’”
—Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and co-CEO, Panera Bread
 
“The digital and social revolution has challenged even the most sophisticated mar­keters among us. But thankfully Garfield and Levy have given us a much needed blueprint for thriving in this new relationship era of marketing. This is the book I don’t want my competitors to read.”
—Eric Ryan, cofounder, Method, and author of The Method Method
 
“At last! Garfield and Levy have delivered a manifesto on what really matters to brands today: honest relationships. They do so by focusing not on our shiny social technologies but on the fundamentally changed relationship between business and customer in a world that looks less like a megaphone and much more like a network. Read this book; then challenge your business to live by it!”
—David Rogers, author of The Network Is Your Customer
 
Can’t Buy Me Like compellingly captures one of the biggest trends of our time. If there is a gap between a business’s image and its reality, it will soon be found out and the business will be punished for it. Using their in-depth industry knowledge in this beautifully written and immensely readable book, Garfield and Levy describe in detail how to succeed in the new world.”
—David Jones, global chief executive officer, HAVAS, and author of Who Cares WIns
 
“Garfield and Levy show how smart, conscious marketers can leverage today’s extraordinary technologies to build authentic relationships with customers based on trust, authenticity and shared purpose. This book will usher in a new renais­sance in which the marketing function can finally fulfill its own largely unrealized higher purpose.”
—Raj Sisodia, coauthor of Conscious Capitalism and Firms of Endearment, marketing professor, Bentley University
 
“At Zappos, relationships have always been a top priority. Can’t Buy Me Like explores why this is so important for all companies. Garfield and Levy smartly describe how to build relationships with customers, vendors and employees to create an extraordinary business.”
—Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO, Zappos.com, Inc.

About the Author

Bob Garfield is the cohost of NPR's 'On The Media' and a columnist for MediaPost. Previously at Advertising Age, he has been a prominent commen­tator on and analyst of advertising and marketing for thirty years. His previous books include The Chaos Scenario. He lives outside Washington, D.C. Doug Levy is the founder and CEO of MEplusYOU, a leading strategic and creative agency that believes authentic relationships fuel astonishing brands. This is his first book. He lives in Dallas.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (March 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591845777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845775
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the Kindle version of this excellent book and it's got more yellow digital "highlight" marks than my beaten-up college copy of Plato's Republic -- and for good reason. "Can't Buy Me Like" is a great and timely read, loaded with insight and sometimes uncomfortable truths -- all wrapped in Garfield's vintage unapologetic, "hold no prisoners" writing style. He and Doug Levy echo many themes I hit hard in my book "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000," especially around what truly makes brands credible in today's environment, especially the "trust" factor. Yes, as they write, trust "is an asset, not a commodity. It cannot be purchased. It must be earned." While some of the case examples felt a bit tired (arguably over-used...we all need to chill a bit on the Zappos examples), and the book's momentum slowed down a bit in the second half, I think this is the right book at the right time for marketers and beyond. We're all obsessing with likes, and friends, and followers, and what we sometimes mistakenly assume to be "easy love." No, we actually have to work hard to get the likes, and expectations continue to skyrocket to new levels, especially around the brand's role as help desk and service provider. (Not easy to do...operationally.) Anyway, highest recommendation. Big enthusiastic "like"... and no one came close to buying it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He does a great job explaining how traditional marketing tactics don't work (which isn't new - think Seth godin). He also explains how fake marketing can seek into social media. And he gives a few good examples of companies doing It the right way. But overall, I thought it was a bit long for the topics discussed. I also felt it was more of an update about the status quo than a real self-help business book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone trained in consumer goods marketing, which I've practiced over 40 years, I now realize how antiquated my thinking is. This book really helped me begin the painful transition of not always selling something but finding a way to build a trusting relationship with today's potential consumer. It hurts.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can't Buy Me Like is an eye opening look at the current state of Marketing. I'm like a teenage girl reading one of those vampire novels, I can't put it down....it's that good. This book is exactly what I've been looking for, this hits the nail on the head. Either get on board with what they have to say, or get your pails and buckets ready....cause the ship will sink!
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Format: Hardcover
"Can't Buy Me Like" is a new, very worthwhile book from Bob Garfield, well known ad critic and co-host of NPR's On The Media, and Doug Levy, founder and CEO of creative and strategic agency MEplusYOU. This is the book every CEO should read, every marketer should ponder and every social media professional will want to distribute. It is not another exploration of social media but of the way the consumer and brand world is changing, what this means to brands and how "marketers can and must define their brands not by the ads, press releases, slogans, coupons, sponsorships and even product offerings but by their core purpose." (Disclosure: I had the opportunity to review the book prior to publishing and share feedback--mostly praise--with the authors.)

This is the sort of book that can help open eyes, alter thinking and spark change. It thoroughly makes the case that the necessary evolution is not merely one of tactics or even strategy, but something even deeper and more fundamental. Garfield and Levy are bold enough to state from the start that their "immodest goal is to be not merely financially, but something approaching spiritually, transformative." But make no mistake, this is not some fluffy sermon on the importance of caring and tweets; the book's brilliance is in how it ties the need for core mission and new ways of marketing to financial outcomes.

The book begins with a damning study of why the practices that succeeded in the Consumer Era are wilting as we enter the Relationship Era. Levy and Garfield probe "the limits of advertising," which does not sustain brands but works only for as long as marketers feed the ad budget beast.
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Format: Hardcover
In "The Chaos Scenario," his previous book on marketing and advertising, Bob Garfield demonstrated how the Internet and social media had essentially destroyed traditional advertising. In his latest book, "Can't Buy Me Like," Garfield and co-author Doug Levy demonstrate how corporations can promote their products in the face of these monumental changes. Twitter and YouTube, Garfield and Levy tell us, have ushered in the Relationship Era, in which companies can succeed only by earning the trust of consumers and being genuinely interested in their welfare.

Nowadays, the hard sell is the quickest way to oblivion, Garfield and Levy tell us. When the misdeeds and missteps of every corporation are wired around the globe in a millisecond, the corporations have no choice except to avoid misdeeds and missteps. "In the Relationahip Era, brands can no longer project the image of their choosing," Garfield and Levy say. "(T)he public has decided that it cares not only about goods and services but about the values and conduct of the providers. Trust...now frequently trumps even quality and price."

Garfield and Levy give us instructive examples of companies that have understood the paradigm shift--and, more amusingly, those that haven't. They tell us how McDonald's sent out tweets soliciting customers' stories about their happy memories of McDonald's, and got in return tweets about finding dirty Band-Aids at the bottom of the takeout bag. They also tell us how KFC, having established a Twitter account, used it to bombard its fans with hard-sell ad pitches. "It's like being invited to another couple's house for dinner only to realize, over dessert, that you've been suckered into an Amway solicitation," Garfield and Levy say.
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