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Reigniting Business? Here's An App For That.
on April 11, 2011
In an age when the unexpected can be reliably expected to occur without notice, it's imperative for companies to be prepared to reinvent at a moment's notice. While "reinvention" may sound like an unnecessarily drastic overhaul for many brands and businesses, it may be more easily viewed as the full spectrum equivalent of hitting the digital `refresh' key, one that companies must be prepared to strike today to keep brands relevant, responsive and competitive.
That's the premise of "The Old Rules of Marketing Are Dead: Six New Rules To Reinvent Your Brand And Reignite Your Business" by Timothy R. Pearson, an insightful and respected leader in global marketing and management consulting.
Every once in a while, a book comes along that dazzles readers with the writer's perspicacity and ingenious observations on current business or consumer behavior. But more often than not, such books don't fully deliver on actionable steps that businesses can take to leverage the value of these pithy insights. This isn't one of those books. "The Old Rules of Marketing Are Dead" is filled with carefully calibrated action steps that can make each of its observations, principles and rules come to life in your company.
It doesn't accomplish this by dancing around the tough questions or more sweeping challenges confronting business today. What's required to achieve brand loyalty in times affected by recession, ongoing economic uncertainty, pervasive ADD, brand choice proliferation and price war conflagration? How can thought leadership invigorate an organization from top to bottom? And just how exactly does a company successfully navigate through cycles of deep recessions, seismic shocks to marketplaces and the continually morphing tastes of oftentimes irascible and increasingly demanding consumers?
There's a carefully constructed roadmap to be found here, one that's convincingly balanced on the need to continually reaffirm a brand's fundamentals and the necessity of responding vigorously to evolving consumer and marketplace dynamics.
Along the way, Pearson redefines some of the traditional tenets taught at every business school and contrasts management and leadership, providing reality-check questions on leadership that may prompt many business leaders to reevaluate their own management style. He examines how companies often hunker down in tough times, sticking to the familiar path rather than reassessing, rethinking and reinventing in response to altered conditions, and the price that's paid for such behavior. He re-elevates the critical role of brand essence, detailing disastrous outcomes that occur when companies act on the mistaken belief that a brand's essence is chained to its brand legacy, demonstrating that the manner in which a brand essence is expressed and brought to life is something that must be continually refreshed, rejuvenated and reinvented to ensure a brand's continued vitality.
There's an ample stream of business parables and checkmate ripostes to naysayers and excuse engines, those who perpetually blame poor performance on the economy, competition or someone else's department. There are fresh-in-our-memory examples of companies that suddenly fall off the rails and flail about even further as business erodes, all because they lost sight of their core, brand essence and brand promise to consumers. There are compelling examples of how the process of reinvention can uncover hidden business opportunities, how brand marketing is inextricably linked to reputation management and how a brand's value proposition is critical to achieving differentiation and preference.
And you'll find plenty of simple, riveting truisms- one being that any product or service today needs a good story, a compelling one to ensure that consumers understand it, what it does, and how it can enhance one's life, all of which leads to perceived value, brand preference and business success.
For those who still consider customer service to be nothing more than a money-pit cost center, Pearson convincingly demonstrates why customer satisfaction and service today define the core of brand experience, and how consumers' brand experiences convert brand perceptions into firm realities, and in doing so, define a brand's fate. He redefines knowledge management as a resource critical to the vitality and competitiveness of a company, something much more than the most brilliant ideas and best practices of a company, but also its accumulated understanding of consumers and customers. He goes on to demonstrate how capturing and more fully leveraging a company's intellectual capital can generate a continuing stream of thought leadership, which demonstrates competency and value creation that can, in turn, lead to differentiation, preference and success.
Indisputably, "The Old Rules of Marketing Are Dead" is an essential resource for marketers today. It's an even more urgently essential one for non-marketing executives (CEOs, CFOs et al), at least those who aim to make marketing a fully accountable discipline within their organizations and those who yearn for a resource that can elevate overall performance, efficiency and ability throughout an organization to successfully navigate through the turbulence and uncertainty that often define modern markets.