- Hardcover: 302 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (May 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071545212
- ISBN-13: 978-0071545211
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki Hardcover – May 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
“Personality Not Included breaks down the old barriers between marketing, advertising, and PR and shows you how to nail the single objective of it all: creating powerful conversations with your customers and getting them to choose you over the rest.”
-Timothy Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek
“Just being pretty isn't enough anymore, today a brand also needs a strong personality to survive. In Personality Not Included, Rohit gives you the techniques and tools to help your brand go from wallflower to social butterfly.”
-Laura Ries, bestselling author of 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, cofounder of Ries & Ries
“If there is one book I recommend every client and every agency person read right now, it's Personality Not Included. Every chapter gives you new ways to navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape with clarity, nimbleness, and pragmatism.”
-Carla Hendra, Chairman, Ogilvy New York, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy North America
“There are two types of small business owners-ones that know they are in the business of marketing and those that don't. For either, Personality Not Included is an eye-opening look at what really matters when it comes to delighting your customers.”
-John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing
About the Author
Rohit Bhargava is SVP of Digital Strategy and a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, one of the world's largest marketing and communications agencies. He authors the award-winning Influential Marketing blog (rohitbhargava.typepad.com), is a sought after marketing speaker, and has been featured in media worldwide including The Wall Street Journal, Marketing China, and BrandWeek. Read about Rohit's latest updates and appearances at www.aboutrohit.com.
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Personality Not Included illustrates some of the key objectives for companies looking to participate in the market conversation. At Idiom Strategies, a conversation marketing agency, we outline the five key objectives as:
1) Listen to current customers, prospects, industry experts and other influencers in the market space and internalize what you hear to improve your business.
2) Speak to the overall market conversation with quality, supportive and helpful content that people want to respond to, inquire about and pass on to others.
3) Care about what is being said about your products, your company, your competitors and your industry, but even more important, care about helping your customers and prospects fulfill their wants and needs.
4) Share your experiences--positive and negative--and your insights as you grow your company and evolve your product lines.
5) Build relationships with market conversation Influencers, Participants and Listeners based on the mutual interest of the consumer problems that need to be solved with product innovation.
Personality Not Included has a very clear message that it immediately identifies at the beginning of the book aimed at anyone interested in marketing, whether it be as part of a large corporation or as the sole owner of a small business. The message is that "In short, personality matters." (Bhargava 3) Bhargava has found that personality is vital to the success of brands in today's modern marketing environment, and the days in which consumers buy into large, faceless corporations are over. He claims that "Uniqueness plus authenticity plus talkability equal personality" (Bargava 186) and that brands that follow this model (known as the UAT filter) will be more effective in reaching consumers. Bhargava theorizes that once a brand has developed a personality, it can effective utilize some of the latest marketing strategies such as embracing "accidental spokespeople", generating word of mouth, and capitalizing on "personality moments".
The chapters of Personality Not Included focus on each of these points individually, providing insight into how each is important to developing a brand's personality. For example, Chapter 2 is all about the rise of the "Accidental Spokesperson" and how they are a crucial factor in how consumers perceive your brand. This format where Bhargava separates each topic into an individual chapter allows for him to examine each topic extensively. You will not only find out what an "accidental spokesperson" is in chapter two, but you will also learn where they come from, what they mean to your business, and how they can be used to your advantage.
Bhargava also uses many relevant examples of companies who have found success in the topics covered in the book. The key word here is relevant; all of the examples that Bhargava uses in Personality Not Included are of companies that many readers have probably heard of and feature events usually from the early 2000s. This makes for a much better reading experience because the reader can relate the story to a company that they most likely have had an interaction with. In Chapter One, Bhargava takes a look at "The Plight of Starbucks" (Bhargava 31) and how it is working to maintain its identity as the company continues to grow. Using a company like Starbucks lends an additional credibility to his claims because the reader is able to apply a face to the corporation.
The most noticeable element of this book that sets it apart from all the rest of the books in this genre is the writing style Bhargava chooses to use. In fact, Personality Not Included is written unlike any other book that I have ever read. Bhargava has written Personality Not Included as if he were having a conversation with the reader, which is equally as captivating as it is refreshing. By providing a human voice to the content, Bhargava is able to pique the reader's interest. For example, a footnote on page 44 reads "From a "Tweet" in Hugh's Twitter microblogging stream on 11/18/07 (Should this be called a "twuote?")." This type of injection of personality into the even the smallest aspects of the book can be found throughout the entirety of Personality Not Included. When a book reads like a conversation, it is easy to give it your undivided attention. Furthermore, the fact that it is written in this way actually lends additional credibility to Bhargava's message of the importance of personality. Whether you notice it or not, Bhargava is using his own personality to market his new ideas to you, the reader.
Although the book is filled with great new ideas on how to build your brand and Bhargava uses his own voice to explain to you why these ideas are so great, the most impressive aspect of Personality Not Included is simply in the organization of the book itself. I said before that the end of the book is technically the middle. That is because Personality Not Included is split into two parts, the first focusing on the theory Bhargava has developed and the second providing guides and tools on how to implement his theory and create a personality for your brand. This is ingenious because it makes Personality Not Included something that no other book in the genre is; it is useful. Most other books develop a theory and then spend far too much time telling you over and over again in many different ways how it is that the theory is correct. This tends to drag on, which turns many people who are normally interested in the topic off to that particular book. With Personality Not Included Bhargava decided not to harp on why he was right, but rather how these ideas could help the reader to succeed. Bhargava states, "The ultimate goal of this book is to be useful... Part Two is meant to off you everything you will need to apply the ideas presented earlier to your business." (Bhargava 185) Numerous step-by-step guides on how to bring each aspect of his theory to life can be found in Part Two of the book. Part Two also features bulleted charts explaining the types of various back-stories, breakdowns of the elements of personality, as well as explainations on how and why these things are important. There is even a link to a downloadable version of the elements of personality available on that same page! Bhargava takes great care to ensure that Personality Not Included is not only well thought out, but also that it could be applied to the reader's real life, accomplishing his ultimate goal of this book being useful.
Personality Not Included should be the new standard for examining marketing in the modern era. Thought provoking, engaging, and useful, this book is a far cry from the typical book establishing a marketing theory. Bhargava's observations are astute, and he provides relevant examples to bolster all of his claims. His voice throughout Personality Not Included is conversational and captures the reader's attention before the reader even knows what hit him. And Bhargava's breakdown of each aspect of his theory into simple, intuitive steps makes it more useful than any other book of its type. The assistance with application that these steps provide will have me referencing Personality Not Included for years to come.
So if you have even the slightest interest in marketing or if you want to learn how to grow a small business, I highly recommend Personality Not Included. It is as entertaining as it is educational, and implementation of its ideas can begin immediately with the guides provided in the book itself. While personality may not be included in business, Bhargava provides you with the vision and the tools to build a personality for your business yourself.
Personality began with talking a lot about what Apple has done, which turned me off. I am not saying I do not like Apple (I have 2 computers, phone, and iPod), I don't like when people praise Apple as a god. Yes they have model that worked and definitely differentiated them from the competition, but they are not the only one's to have done this. Getting deeper into the book Bhargava did much less talk about Apple.
I enjoyed how well he described what a "faceless" company is, or one without personality. We all know them. It is a company that you are left on the phone waiting for hours only to be transferred to another person. It is companies with policies and regulations for everything they do and never act outside of them because it is just what they have always done. He points out how being faceless used to work but that is not the case any longer. Personality is key.
I like how Bhargava pointed out how likeability matters. "Statistics time and time again prove that people don't sue doctors they like, regardless of how bad they screwed up." This was a great quote for how accurate it really is. Most people have a few brands that they really love and are passionate about. They might have one bad experience but because of how much they love them, it doesn't affect their attitude towards the brand. Personality is the only means to getting that likeability.
In chapter 1 there is a section titled `the real secret of personality" it explains how there is activity put towards attracting new customers and much less done towards focusing on existing customers while it should be the opposite. I agree with this point however I don't like how he is claiming to know this great marketing philosophy when every business is aware of it already. This point is completely false in that nobody is spending more on getting new customers when everyone is taught in marketing 101 that it is cheaper to retain customers.
Throughout PNI there are many points that I do agree with and find important. Chapter 2 is all about spokespersons for a brand. There are many people out there, especially online that are passionate about your brand, use them to your advantage instead of trying to always control the message yourself. Chapter 3 explains how you get to personality. The UAT Filter model shows how first there is uniqueness followed by authenticity and lastly talkable. Following this filter leads to personality. Chapter 4 addresses mainly the authenticity part. Having a backstory to your company is key. I liked this point because it has a clear message to a business owner and isn't as ambiguous as other instructions- you need to have a backstory about your business.
Chapter 5 talks about the biggest obstacle to personality in big organizations are fear, fear of losing a job or fear of losing authority. Businesses afraid to lose some control and become more transparent are the ones that are instilling this fear in employees. Change is also a big issue.
What I loved about PNI is that it sets a very good base for establishing personality. It gives you requirements and challenges to beat to get a personality as well as many reasons why personality is so important today. What I did not like about the book were the claims to be revolutionary information when some of it was very well known already. Some information can also be seen as common sense and he is just actually documenting it. Overall I would recommend to others who are establishing a brand or doing a complete overhaul of an old one to understand and have good foundations to what their brand's personality will be. I would claim the audience for Personality Not Included to be younger and new marketing professionals, as some of the ones out in the field already wont find too much new information here.