Customer Reviews: The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon October 28, 2011
It is fairly unusual for me to take a week to read a book, but the new book by Brian Solis is one of those books you need to take nice and slow to get all the nuances in it. I think personally that this is Brian Solis at his best, this is him at his peak performance, and as his skill as a writer. The book is that good, with very good stories and homilies to help sink home what he is saying. In many ways social media has transformed us all into highly connected people, with quality online relationships, and new ways of getting information into the hands of consumers.

I like the way that people are broken out into various types, from passive people who consume but take no action, to spammers, observers, trolls, and the perpetually whiny that live with us every day. The internet is a macrocosm of who we are as a society. If anything we are building the very first universal global society with its own culture, standards and morality. Everyone is invited in, people, companies, government, military, and the occasional passerby. Brian captures that in all its detail, with guide posts and road maps to how these work, and how these fail. The birth of the first global society tied together in all its functions and all its glory is going to be an interesting birth, and we are fortunate enough to be here at this time, helping, hindering, and changing to accommodate the growth and formation of that society.

There are so many things that stand out about this book from my own personal observation of the classroom and my students, to the interactions I see at large gatherings of people that this book was easy enough to bring home and make comparisons to my own real and online life. Brian hits all the major things I have seen on the D-list on the internet, and in my own interactions with both online and in person realities.

This is why this book rocks, this is why I get this, I see this every day in the school room and in my own life. Go into any Starbucks, most are connected in one way or another to the internet. Go into my classroom and you will see students fact checking me, using the internet for support, and engaging with their friends when the other students are catching up to the quicker students. He hits this one on the head, rather than haves and have not's, we are in the era of are you connected. While the book will not transform my life and make me a multi-zillionaire, what it does do is validate my own experience on line and in person. What he sees I have seen, what he has experience I have experienced, we all live here in one way or another, and the most impoverished person is the one without connections, contacts, or a visible online life.

While he really does not go into the downsides of a public life, that is also just fine. We are just starting out, and observations matter at this point. Welcome to the global society, we are all here in one way or another, what we do with it matters. How companies intersect with the new global society matters, how people intersect with companies, authority, schools, and others matters. Brian captures that beautifully, making this the most important book you should read this year if you are interested in how the world of online and offline are intermixed, and valuable to those who chose to live life that way.

Rating this 5 of 5 stars, as a must read for anyone who is interested in what changes we have to make to accommodate and be successful in the world's first global culture.
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on November 6, 2011
Having just begun my Masters in Integrated Marketing at New York University, I decided to purchase this book to complement my existing coursework in the program. Businesses are constantly evolving, and the ones that are long lived are those that are sensitive to their environment, as they managed to react in a timely fashion and respond to the conditions of society around them. How do companies respond to social media, the mobile web and new media all around us in this digital era? How do C Level Executives incorporate social media into their organization?

This is what Brian Solis does best throughout his book. He breaks down the most complex concepts to the simplest ideas for you to understand. Brian takes you through a journey on how the internet in the digital age has changed the culture of consumerism and the way information is processed and exchanged. As Brian says in one of his chapters, "Brands Are No Longer Created, They're Co-Created". The entire world is now on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogs etc. and it's about time companies understand the significant change of behavior and use these findings to their advantage. In this book, Brian helps us to understand the behavior patterns that are emerging from the new generation of consumers and where the social and mobile web is headed.

This book took me some time to read and digest due to its rich and detailed content. However the real life stories and current business examples (Zappos, Virgin America, Starbucks. etc) makes the time spent on the book even more worth while as they are relevant and forward thinking. Brian does a good job by providing useful charts and info graphs throughout the book, but what I personally feel he does best is by providing a summary at the end of each chapter in bullet points and this reinforces the concepts covered in each chapter. The use of color in the book also helped captivate my attention while reading.

Overall this book has exceeded my expectations and has given me a boost to succeed in my graduate program and career ahead. It covers the areas in sales and marketing to customer service and product development to leadership and culture. It is a must read for those interested in how businesses are changing and the future of customer engagement. I would highly recommend this book not only to marketers but also to entrepreneurs and managers in other industries. Senior to junior executives that want to get a jump start against the competition will also find this useful.
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on October 10, 2011
This book is forward-thinking and full of helpful charts, infographs, and bullet points. Brian is at his best when he takes complex theories and breaks them down in a way that any executive or client can understand. The book touches on all of the current trends but also looks to the future of social commerce and what it means to own, operate, and market a business in the social consumer society. I highly recommend this book to any marketer looking to guide clients towards the future or for any executives looking to get a jump start on the competition.
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on November 19, 2011
There is a problem with the electronic version of the book on iPhones if you use the black background and white text. On many pages the first sentence was cut off making it difficult to join the dots or know the pearls of wisdom being offered. It was very frustrating. The publishers did mention they are looking into it.


Apart from that - this book is a must read for every business big and small. I am scared for big businesses out there who are stuck in rigid ways of operating and thinking. They're in for a surprise. But I am just as scared for my little business who has to follow the recommendations to ensure long term sustainability. There is so much that has to happen and it is extremely overwhelming for a 2 man business less than 3 years old. That being said, least we are forewarned and can start designing our customer experiences around their needs.

The book is information overload - I mirror the sentiments above, it's a long read - but an important one. And we can't say we weren't warned now. I do think it offers golden opportunities for software developers out there to build the tools we need to manage social business in future. If you have one, please by all means tell me about it.

Comprehensive research, well written, mostly practical, helpful real world examples, often scary.

I made copious notes throughout the book and believe I will buy the hard copy due to the reading issues I had, and because the book needs to become an operating manual we need to refer to often.

Read this book if you own a business.
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on January 10, 2012
This is the epitome of a very current marketing academic book that is eminently practical. This does not make it an easy read because Brian is concise and direct in his analysis and expects the reader to do some work as well. The book is full of aha moments, and my Kindle highlights are legion. This is the book for you if you are a current practicing marketer and or academic. I especially appreciated that Brian was able to skillfully weave the entire marketing skill set into all aspects of the company. If you want to learn and earn in this space, you will need to read this book. Full disclosure- I bought this book and it is on all my Kindles.
Check out his terrific blog [...]
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on September 8, 2012
Brian provides tremendous insights into many aspects of business and social media, and how the world has changed with the advent of a new social connection with each other and with brands. These insights have provided a great platform for a program that we run in San Quentin prison called The Last Mile. The program focuses on how the world has changed from a technology and communication perspective since the men were incarcerated, and teaches them business fundamentals that they use to develop a business plan of their own. Once they build the plan, they present their ideas during a demo day inside San Quentin, and each plan must include a technology component. The program has been a resounding success, and we attribute some of the success to "The End of Business as Unusual", providing the men with a fundamental understanding of social, communication and the new paradigm of business interaction. The program will been offered in other correctional facilities soon, and Brian's insights will become mantras for more men who aspire to become successful, contributing members of society in the future. Thanks Brian.
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on December 13, 2011
(Reprinted from Social Media Today, December 12, 2011)

Reading Brian Solis's new book, The End of Business As Usual, is so stimulating and all-encompassing that it constantly challenges your ability to focus, but bravely marching ahead I decided to concentrate on whether he proves the point, also raised by Maggie Fox and Brian in the Social Media Today interview, that we are truly facing the end of "business as usual." Another great futurist and author, Seth Godin, whom I interviewed in 2008, offered the notion then that digital and social are actually a return to the way business had been conducted in an age of greater customer intimacy, say the nineteenth century, before mass production and broadcast marketing. In his example, he talked about how in the old days you could go to a hat-maker and have a conversation about what you wanted and when. While Brian acknowledges that social brings us the ability to create that same level of collaboration and intimacy, it also brings us a completely new group of customers, the Millennials, for whom the internet has truly changed their attention span, their ability to connect off-line, and most importantly for Solis, their customer expectations and experiences.

His book plainly states: "In order to succeed in the business of the future, we have to become the very people we are trying to reach." That would require a certain amount of mutation for Boomers like me. But reaching them is not just about putting your ad on a Facebook page:

"What we're doing today is just marketing to people using social channels... You don't know that that's what people want; you're just doing it.... Some people are going to want to communicate via email... some through mobile platforms or social networks. But each one requires dedicated strategies that contribute to a holistic experience."

All well and good, but marketers today need to make tough calls and also require focus to best leverage their resources. His writing on Millennials is so strong, you might be tempted to ask yourself: Should you just bag the Boomers and focus limited resources on this present and future generation?

Another implied direction is to pretty much put all your marketing focus on Facebook. Although arguably this would not be the "take-away" of the business-to-business marketer, it surely is for everyone else involved in what we now refer to as "f-commerce." Here's the trenchant observation from the book:

"The digirati are not going to your website, and attempting to lure them to do so is becoming a pointless game of `catch me if you can.' This is a game businesses cannot win, and trying to do force this contingent of influential consumers is nothing short of trying to change the behavior of the market."

One of things I always appreciate is a writer who tackles the Great Apple Exception. Brian does this frequently and is able, further, in his chapter on The Last Mile, to make Apple fit his mostly-social way of doing business in their continued, if rigidly brand-controlled, attention to the human experience. Although Brian does not make this point, it could be argued that that is why Facebook has been so successful, in that it virtually mimicked from the outset the most human of needs. Taking this further, although some brands seem to require internet-based collaboration to remain close to humanity, and Brian might argue, find success that way, the real innovators have gone deeper into the pre-Web 2.0 days to find inspiration, to a land and time when the human was defined by the arts and literature, and was most decidedly not real-time. (Mark Zuckerberg, did you study Milton at Harvard?)

Brian (I use his first name because he is a friend of our community and of mine) is the Tom Friedman of the social media set. He is global in his research and views, and is able to extrapolate from interesting personal experiences, such as a dinner without Internet connection in Portugal, a vision of the connected future. My only criticism is that there is so much here, and it is so dense, that you need to schedule several sessions with yourself to complete the book. And to answer the question, is this really the end of business-as-usual? Except for the Millennial mutation, which is admittedly a major exception, and perhaps the proof of his title and concept, I think it is really more plus ça change, plus ça même-chose.

But definitely put it on your gift list for your upper management; they'll be impressed by its breadth, its detail, and hopefully, willing to bring about in the New Year an end to your own "business-as-usual."
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on November 5, 2011
Brian has been a thought leader in the social space for a long time distinguished by his research and uncanny ability to forecast the implications of social emerging technology. His fifth book continues to set the bar for thinking in this space backed by solid research, data and all the rigor that business demands. While the insights and case studies are many, the most powerful revelation is the new role of the consumer in the commercial marketplace and how companies take advantage of new drivers to succeed at scale and in real time. This book is a must read for those interested in how business is changing and the future of customer engagement. Invest the time and buy it today.
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on June 5, 2012
While some may think that the title for my review is a bit "hypey"...I am ok with that. As someone who is immersed daily in the world of digital and social media multi-million dollar campaigns and promotions, I know the pressures and expectations that digital executives face from all levels of the organization.

Leading edge brands and entrepreneurs that are past the infancy stages of creating a presence on the various social and mobile platforms realize that they now must manage and prove the key performance indicators (KPI's)surrounding social. I don't mean that the metrics in the New Digital Economy must adhere or conform to traditional media metrics, but there is now increased pressure to intelligently showcase how various social engagment metrics are relevant and justified.

In Brian Solis' new book; The End of Business As Usual, the reader will gain a true understanding and insight into how the various digital platforms are evolving and the specific tactics any business owner or executive needs to engage and inspire their community.

The high level strategic points, as well as the graphs and charts truly articulate the mountain of data Brian is trying to educate the reader on. My copy of this book is marked up with quotes, underlines, call-outs and dog-eared pages that I use weekly in my staff meetings as well as communications to senior management.

Web 2.0 is constantly changing and evolving and it can be extremely frustrating to try and keep up or figure out who to listen to. This is my second book on digital and social media that I have purchased by Brian Solis...I continue to be impressed with his content, strategy, and vision. I can also see how his experience and interaction with some of the leading edge companies and individuals in this space have impacted his insights. Rather than rest upon his laurels, he seems to continue being a student of all things digital.

I am very particular when it comes to who I read, study or learn from in the New Media my experience, most all of the "experts" and "guru's" are full of crap or are spewing the same things they were presenting years ago. It is refreshing to read, study and learn from Brian Solis. I continue to find his works actionable and valuable to my professional success.

I stated in an earlier review of the first book I bought from Brian (Engage), that I believe the strategies and insight I learned from him, was one of the core reasons I obtained my current position heading up digital marketing for a multi-billion dollar company.

With his newest book, The End of Business As Usual, I am confident that I will be able to KEEP my position and further grow as a digital executive!

5 Stars All The Way
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on June 6, 2012
The End of Business as Usual isn't a typical social media strategy and tactics book. It doesn't tell you how to get more Facebook likes, or when to tweet for the most retweets. Rather, it's a big-picture overview of the rise of the connected consumer. The first half of the book looks at how the balance of power has changed, and how brands are co-created rather than pushed out to consumers. The second half is more prescriptive, with advice on how business can organize for the changing landscape.

The real message in the book isn't for social media specialists, community managers, and the like, though those front-line participants can benefit from reading it. Rather, those executives and owners who are responsible for the strategy and structure of their business need to understand the contents of this book. Strategies that have been successful in the past may be largely ineffective when the firm's customer base is engaged with both the firm and each other.

This isn't light reading - it's a fairly dense 320pp, so you won't consume it on a short plane flight. The End of Business is worth the effort, though.
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