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Communities Dominate Brands Hardcover – March 31, 2005
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The book is loaded with insightful examples and revealing case studies. The brand names and companies are all household names but the reader will be surprised how many unrelated industries are now involved with communities, from Adidas to Red Bull. Many times you have to put the book down to fully grasp the extent of their meaning.
There are chapters on blogging, on virtual worlds/videogaming and on cellphone based Generation-C. These are used as the three primary areas where digital communities already exist. The book then shows how just about every industry from TV and the internet to locksmiths and aerospace are feeling the impacts of communities.
The early part of the book discusses familiar themes of disruptive technologies, convergence and fragmentation. These are amplified with alarming facts, stats and examples. The second half of the book takes the reader deep into the near future, showing what changes are already happening to society. The book makes a compelling case as it so broadly provides examples from countries such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, England, Finland, Holland etc, in addition to USA and Canada.
The book concludes with the earth-shattering impacts to all of business, that brand dominance is now being superceded by community power. But where most books might end at introducing a revolutionary new problem or issue, this book goes on with another chapter to explain how that problem can be solved.
A remarkable book, thoroughly captivating, immensely insightful. I recommend it to anyone in business or technology.
The detailed bibliography, recommended websites, and recommended blogsites compiled in the back of the book are, alone, worth the purchasing price and deflect the "datedness" that so often plagues the books that define current trends in New Media shortly after their publication date.
I would approach this book as a primer for Marketing/Branding in the new millennium and the resources compiled in the back as a guide to where to go to stay up to date on the current developments in this dynamic landscape.
Another distinguishing factor from what is normally published on blogs is that Ahonen and Moore give historical detail as well as show how the different actions by online and cell-phone leveraged communities are affecting each other and changing the way a generation is engaging with products and brands. I also enjoyed the international perspective that these authors were able to bring to the subject; they give examples of what is going on in other countries, not normally covered in the American-centric blogosphere.
The book includes insightful and immediately usable theories. I particularly liked the Four C's the Alpha Users, Engagement Marketing and Generation-C. To top it off, the book includes 13 revealing case studies. I suggest you read Oh My News Korea, Twins Hong Kong and Habbo Hotel Finland to really see the future impacting traditional businesses. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, am now rereading it, and recommend it to anyone in business.
What is the value of a blog? who is the writer? why have they felt compelled to write?
Well in this case it's because you will find nothing that has a better finger on the pulse of newly emerging connected communities - communities that have the power to ruin your brand or promote your competitors.