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Think Two Products Ahead: Secrets the Big Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know and How to Use Them for Bigger Profits Hardcover – January 29, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Branding is something you probably only think of in terms of household names and huge conglomerates. But branding isn't just for the big boys; smart branding is smart business for almost any company, no matter its size. In Think Two Products Ahead, ad agency insider Ben Mack reveals all the branding secrets the pros keep to themselves so you can put branding to work in your business, large or small.

First, Mack destroys the myth that branding is your logo or your color palette. Then, he demonstrates how great branding works, so you won't waste your money on marketing that gets you nowhere. You'll learn a practical, commonsense approach to marketing that empowers you to develop your own brand with the same techniques and technologies the big players use—but without breaking the bank. In fact, the less you spend on marketing the more important these tools are to your success.

You'll discover tools to give you a competitive advantage as you strengthen the relationship between your customer and your products or services. Every encounter with your customer will deepen this bond, leading to even greater future sales. Great branding isn't just about the product you're selling now, but about maintaining the sales momentum into the product you'll be selling tomorrow. Think Two Products Ahead shows you how to align your business plan with your marketing plan, so you can keep customers indefinitely.

Using real examples from some of the most legendary (or disastrous) branding campaigns in history, Mack gives you an insider's perspective—and inside advice—on which tactics will float your brand and which will sink it. He sorts the bad advice from the good, letting you avoid those missteps that get good companies in bad trouble.

Branding isn't magic. Not since Jay Levinson's original Guerrilla Marketing book has an insider really spilled the beans and taught you how to use the professional grade tools that are so simple they work automatically. Think Two Products Ahead reveals inside secrets that make branding work for marketing budgets of any size—so you can grow your business faster and stronger than you imagined. When it comes to your brand, this insider's guide proves that if you aren't thinking two products ahead, you're hardly thinking at all.

From the Back Cover

"Mack will teach you how to turn every first sale into residual streams of income with products and services that literally compel a second, third, and fourth purchase. If you have a millionaire mind, you've just chosen to buy this book."
—T. Harv Eker, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

"Creating loyalty beyond reason and moving from irreplaceable to irresistible is job #1 for all marketers today. Mack's book will help you get there."
—Kevin Roberts, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide

"I call Mack whenever I have a question about branding and he makes everything clear and even easy and obvious. Think Two Products Ahead is like talking with Mack because every chapter gives you newfound clarity and you see how easy and profitable branding really should be."
—David Doyle, Vice President, Program Development, Discovery Channel's Animal Planet

"For a guy like me who used to absolutely, positively hate branding, this book is a revelation. Finally, a clear-cut confessional from someone who has actually worked in the deep carpets with the guys and guyettes in the designer suits. But Mack generously goes beyond the Wizard of Oz exposé (that takes down the scam Madison Avenue and its provincial cousins have been running on businesses for years) and tells you what's good about branding, and how you can cash in on it for your business. I mean exactly, step by step. If you are in business and you have anything to do with marketing, you need this book."
—David Garfinkel, author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (January 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470055766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470055762
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,556,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Osso on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've never tried to sell anything then this book is a must read. In a nut shell, the message is to think beyond and deeper than your product or your ego. The point that is continuously made is that your product is more than it may seem. What it is, what it does, its benefits, how its packaged, how you sell it, the words you use to sell it, its color etc etc, all play a part in how successful your marketing effort will be. In short think deep and multi layered.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Think two products ahead is a powerful book, it will completely change your view of what branding is, how it works and whether or not you should do it.

You probably fall into one of five categories:

1. Branding is a waste of money

2. My company is too small to worry about branding

3. Branding is difficult and requires specialized attention from ad agencies

4. You are a direct marketer who lives by the idea that branding should NEVER be done in conjuction with direct marketing.

5. You have a feeling that you should be directing your brand but are not quite sure how.

And, if you've had any of those thoughts you need to read this book. Mack reveals the truth about big ad agencies and their "proprietary" branding strategies (and he should know, he worked on some of the biggest brands in the world, Cingular, Yomega Yo-Yos, and dozens more).

The book makes a very powerful point, your brand is not your logo or your colors or your tag lines, Ben calls those brand accessories. Your brand is actually something very palpable in the mind of your customers, it is the associations and attachments that they have with the experience you provide them, it is real in the way that they interpret it . . . and they'll interpret it however they want if you don't take control. Branding isn't about trying to get millions of people to remember your name or recognize your logo by the effective matching of pantone colors in an ad, it is getting people to have an experience that they'll remember, that they'll talk about through a conversation and words you'll control. Brands are influential and persuasive to the extent that you can control the experience of the person interacting with you and your company.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is interesting enough. Nothing new. The main reason for the low rating is the terrible website that is mentioned throughout the book as offering additional resources.

To look at the web site, you have to give your email address, then they send you a link to a video that you could have gotten on You Tube without needing to give personal information.

Next, you have to give your Amazon receipt information - did that too, and it takes me to yet another page requiring my email and name. I signed up - and this time it takes me to a page saying there has been multiple sign ups from my computer - go figure - and that I might be an automated robot, so please fill in the code number from the image. Did that, and it takes me to a payment page - my "FREE" gift is now on special - only $47... What a bargain. Obviously this "marketing genius" misread his dictionary about the meaning of "free".

This book and website are a waste of time. There are much better books covering the same topic. Don't waste your money on this one.
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Format: Hardcover
It's relatively easy to get someone to make a single purchase from you. But how do you instill that long-term loyalty and love that causes people to refuse to buy from anyone else? Ben Mack talks about that and many other branding issues in the book Think Two Products Ahead: Secrets the Big Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know and How to Use Them for Bigger Profits. It's an unconventional book that doesn't mince words...


Pool Hall Wisdom; Brand Misinformation versus Back-End Thinking; The Common Thread and Thinking Two Products Ahead; Branding? Be Good to Your Gander; Branding Processes Are Strikingly Similar; What's a Brand Essence?; Legendary Branding; Extracting a Brand Essence; The Kama Sutra of Marketing - Five Basic Positions; Framing to the Right Target Audience; Structured Creativity - Framing Tools; Creativity on Demand - Why Ad Agencies Can't Brainstorm; Feed Their Passions; Plan to Have Many Conversations; Everything Communicates; Storytelling - Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle; Branding and Thinking Two Products Ahead; Myth, Magic, and Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way; AKS; Jeff Lloyd's Secret to Commercial Residential Real Estate Sales; How to Turn Every First Sale into a Residual Stream of Income; Direct Response Branding; Acknowledgements; Index

Mack states that successful branding comes when you start thinking two products ahead of the current sale. In other words, you need to be thinking about the overall story and impression that your company and product leaves with a customer. This collection of legends and perceptions defines your brand, not the cute logo or corporate colors you stick on your products. What that means is that you *have* a brand whether you think you do or not.
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