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Radical Marketing: From Harvard to Harley, Lessons from Ten That Broke the Rules and Made It Big Paperback – February 16, 2000
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
However, after reading the first three, you pretty much have a grasp of what the lessons are. Continuing on is only an exercise in reading the same story over and over, with different CEO names inserted and different products peddled.
You know how it goes... Company at the brink of bankruptcy, young leader-type without a business degree, creative solutions born out of financial constraints... Ta da! A great company emerges from the ashes.
It's just that this book doesn't make you think enough. It's a great story, but it's just too easy - not enough struggle, not enough of reality. I just can't believe that everything is so peachy at all these organizations. I want the truth - I can believe that radical marketing techniques work, but I can't believe they work absolutely. I mean, IAMS just sold out to P&G, but the book makes it sound like Clay Mathile (the former CEO) would never leave IAMS because he's so married to the brand.
It's a good airplane book, but it's a bit of a fairy tale.
On the up-side the authors did package up some useful information for me and I got insights into how companies in widely varying markets can put the same radical ideas to use with the possibility of good success.
The book's wisdom though, is many times at odds with the situation of readers like me. For instance, the book admonishes readers not to fall into the traditional marketing trap which says just throw enough money at it and people will buy it. Of course, I'm not P&G or Quaker Oats (see the Snapple debacle recounted in the "Applying the Lessons" chapter) so I can't fall into that trap since I don't have that kind of money. And neither do, I suspect, most readers.
The 10 case studies could have easily been pared down since many of the companies profiled use the same tactics. After about the fourth case study I was really struggling to continue on, thinking it would just be more of the same with a different name. Basically, it was.
My advice to the authors for their sequel is to apply some of the radical advice they give and keep it to 100 pages. Less, many times, is more. And when you're forced to work with less your focus gets lots sharper.
Like many popular business books, Radical Marketing has a strong core concept that could have been expressed fully in 30 pages or so, but was extended to book length by endless examples and anecdotes.
Citing organizations such as Snap-on Tools, Harvard Biz School, Boston Beer Company, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and the NBA, the authors build a solid case for anew breed of marketers with more intuition and vision than marketing education. The case studies are insightful and always entertaining. In fact, the chapter on Harley Davison's recovery from near bankruptcy in 1985 to $1.8 billion revenue and record profits in 1997 might just be worth the price of the book. Similarly, Jerry Garcia fans will love the well argued discussion of the Grateful Dead as radical marketers.
The books main weakness is its lack of concrete `next steps' for the aspiring radical marketer. It also has little to offer (outside of the case studies) for the already radical. If you read just one marketing book a year - skip this one. But, if you enjoy well-researched and entertaining case studies, `Radical Marketing' is definitely worth a look.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anyone who reads this book can take something from it. Whether who are a manager or a general reader. Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 by Clay Clark
Radical marketers depend on visceral market insights, passion, focus, and personal involvement. These marketers are more creative because they have fewer resources, and they focus... Read morePublished on May 6, 2009 by Dan Wallace
For a book that is supposed to be about radical marketing, I am not sure why this one had such a conservative world view -- or why the "experts" quoted were from the traditionally... Read morePublished on December 18, 2008 by Lois Lain
It is always said that Marketing always consumes huge amount of money. It is because most of the marketer used the traditional marketing strategies, such as advertising, which... Read morePublished on March 25, 2002 by On Ki, Lau
Actually, it is quite interesting and attractive that author use ten successful companies as an example to promote radical marketing. Read morePublished on October 27, 2001 by To Hoi Yan
Actually, it is quite interesting and attractive that author use ten successful companies as an example to promote radical marketing. Read morePublished on October 20, 2001 by To Hoi Yan
This book really helped us to position our agency (The Ad Store Amsterdam) against other agencies. Since we not only read this book but also used it (we even positioned ourselves... Read morePublished on February 8, 2001 by a.l. van der weide
I've just finished this book and as I read the other reviews, I'm not surprised that the reviews most people found helpful were the negative ones. Read morePublished on September 28, 2000 by s. nicholas