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Relevance: Making Stuff That Matters Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 18, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Manners, a branding consultant and editor, takes the reader through the various aspects of building a successful brand, using the title of his book as a one word manifesto; all of his ideas loop back to it sooner or later. Branding is no longer a numbers game, according to the experts that he quotes, but about making your sure your customer is happy; not just with the service, or the product, but in their lives. How can this be achieved? The author's answer: through relevant insights, innovation, investment and design. Combine these with careful attention to value and experience, and you'll get growth. What distinguishes this book is the author's scope: he's clearly well connected and has plenty of quotes from branding and marketing experts across several industries to prove it. British range manufacturer Aga and niche coffee retailer Intelligentsia are just two of the "relevant" brands that Manners explores, and this range of knowledge adds authority to an otherwise thin argument, which at times seems like the same old ideas, rehashed and rebranded.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In the hyped-up culture of the digital age, the buzz about a new product can rapidly vault it into must-have status, and at the same time, once-dominant brands can become irrelevant overnight. Branding expert Manners says that the rules of marketing that may have worked in the past no longer apply and that brands can no longer survive based on targeting demographics and traditional advertising. One of the solutions that has worked for companies such as Dell is to allow customers a forum to vent their frustrations and to respond with changes that satisfy their most pressing concerns. Through examples and interviews, Manners profiles dozens of companies, from Kleenex to Apple, that have rediscovered their relevance through insight, innovation, investment, and other revealing techniques. Manners, who has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years, is the editor and publisher of Hub magazine and the editor of Cool News of the Day, a Web forum for marketing insights. --David Siegfried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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As an avid Cool News fan I had a feeling the tenor of the book would have the same crispness and punch. Tim Manners did not disappoint.
As a writer and marketing consultant, the actually proved beneficial since I used it to recommend a nontraditional, consumer relevant marketing strategy to a new client. Lastly, thought it was great that Tim acknowledged his Dad for teaching him to cook, sew and iron. I look forward more Relevance. Keep up the great work.
The book warns you against getting caught up in ideas that seem cool but actually take you out of the sweet spot of your business. For example, in the first chapter on demographics, he shows you how companies get into trying to craft products for certain niches in their demographics and either waste a really good product that could have been used broadly, create a product the niche doesn't want, or one that can't earn any money because the niche is so small and the share of the product in that space is even smaller, or that the nice doesn't even exist. It is an illusion created by your database.
Each chapter begins with a series of micro-case studies on the topic, has a series of paragraph or two insights from well placed business people on that topic and a series of boldface bullet points that make the author's point about that chapter.
The ten chapters are on:
Demographics - Marketing, Not Apartheid
Aspirations - The Happiness Factor
Advertising - Accountable to Whom?
Insights - Controlling the Conversation
Innovation - Suit Yourself
Investment - Spare Not Expense
Design - Yellow is Number One
Experience - What Would Warhol Do?
Value - The Value of Value
Growth - Zen-Master Profits
And a Coda on What's the Point?
He also provides a page of "Secrets of Relevant Brands". You could actually begin the book with this section of the book.
Easy to read, breezy in style (it's marketing, after all), with some useful points.
Review by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
Today it seems any one can cut, clip, and compile anything into a self published book clutter and then self blog (or is it flog?) their ego - that's not this book and it's not Manners. Manners masters branding. He nails how business can work - and in rare cases - does. I've been in business 20 years and picked up at least 5 ideas I'm already using. It's a quick read too - perfect for a business trip. Just check out the cover and you know it's worth a look. After you enjoy reading Relevance, email Manners and maybe he will share his "strawberries story" with you. He sent it to me. It will lift your spirits.
Here's why this book is so valuable to me. The book outlines example after example of winning marketing strategies and tactics across a range of industries that serve as case studies for easy application to your own company/brand. Every marketer gets stuck, lamenting (usually quietly) that they need to do something different and better to become more valuable to their customers. Regrettably, most change the packaging, advertising, agency or try the flavor of the week because they are not aware of success models to follow. Tim's deep reservoir of RELEVANT examples and insight about consumer-rewarding marketing practices gives the needed models to follow to better serve your current and potential audience and consumers. If your marketing team is "stuck", share examples in this book with them and simply ask ... what would our business strategy look like if we followed the successful example of company/brand x?
By the way, Tim will be publishing bonus chapters to this book and you can read them by subscribing to his newsletter "Cool News of the Day". Yes, I am a devoted fan because Tim "keeps it relevant".
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