Eat Your Greens: Fact-Based Thinking to Improve Your Brand’s Health

Eat Your Greens: Fact-Based Thinking to Improve Your Brand’s Health

Edited by Wiemer Snijders

This book is a compilation of 42 chapters written by 37 practitioners and scholars of branding, advertising, and marketing. “The brief to all of the contributors was simple: tell us how you apply or find inspiration from marketing science in a short, easy-to-digest paper… I did not ask them to write about a particular topic; this was intended as a bag of nutritious ‘mixed greens.’” There is no chapter on spinach or basil, but somehow cauliflower scored a cameo role in chapter 26. Continue reading “Eat Your Greens: Fact-Based Thinking to Improve Your Brand’s Health”

Effectiveness in Context: A Manual for Brand Building

Effectiveness in Context: A Manual for Brand Building

by Les Binet and Peter Field

Binet and Field have analyzed 18 years of data (1998-2016) from the London-based Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s IPA Databank, “the confidential data submitted alongside entries to the biennial IPA Effectiveness Awards competition.” This book presents their findings on what works best—in general and in various contexts.

Topics include market penetration, brand-building vs. sales activation, emotional vs. rational consideration, share of voice, pricing, and innovation.  Continue reading “Effectiveness in Context: A Manual for Brand Building”

How Brands Grow

How Brands Grow

by Byron Sharp

This excellent, clearly-written book is based on empirical research covering market share, brand equity, price promotions, and advertising. It includes some counter-intuitive conclusions regarding customer retention, loyalty programs, segmentation, and competitor differentiation. Byron Sharp is the director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia. Continue reading “How Brands Grow”

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

by Rory Sutherland

In Alchemy—published simultaneously in the U.K. with a punchier subtitle: The Surprising Power of Ideas that Don’t Make Sense—Sutherland writes with a humorous style filled with wisdom about consumer behavior, innovation, branding, hiring, the weakness of market research, and more. Continue reading “Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life”

The Rouser Manifesto 2019

The Rouser Manifesto 2019

Rather than featuring a book in this post, I have selected a paper written by the team at the Swedish marketing firm Rouser.  The Rouser Manifesto takes a big-picture perspective on marketing effectiveness, calling out the problematic trend of focusing solely on short-term return on marketing investment (ROMI) while eroding brand equity.

Continue reading “The Rouser Manifesto 2019”

Restaurant & Bar Marketing

Restaurant & Bar Marketing: The No Bullshit Guide to Improving Guest Counts

by Erik Shellenberger

Erik Shellenberger cuts through the hype and tells you what really works—and what doesn’t—to bring more customers into restaurants and bars. Before getting into the tactics, he presents his ocean versus fishbowl concept.

The fishbowl includes people who follow you on social media, who subscribe to your email list, etc. “The ocean—NOT the fishbowl—is where you improve guest counts… People who have no idea you exist. People who are looking to branch out and try new places to eat and drink in their home city… The tourist economy is almost exclusively an ocean environment. It includes the person using Google or online reviews to find a business like yours.”

Continue reading “Restaurant & Bar Marketing”

Story Mythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories

Story Mythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories

by Shane Meeker

“People are inspired and moved by stories…Story is about human emotions… Stories de-commodify your brand/product.” The premise of this book is that the same principles used by Hollywood filmmakers can be used to develop powerful brand stories. The author is the company historian and corporate storyteller at Procter & Gamble.

“What are your most powerful company stories, and how are you using them to inspire your people? How do you explain your purpose through different stories? What stories best demonstrate your company beliefs? How are you documenting and protecting the stories that matter? … How can you use a story to demonstrate a company’s culture?”

Continue reading “Story Mythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories”

BadMen: How Advertising Went From a Minor Inconvenience to a Major Menace

BadMen: How Advertising Went From a Minor Inconvenience to a Major Menace

by Bob Hoffman

In this concise, informative, hilariously irreverent, and brutally honest book, former advertising agency CEO Bob Hoffman explains why ad tech is bad for advertisers, publishers, and consumers. He also calls on advertisers to stop enabling this menace.

“Surveillance marketing is powered largely by advertisers through the tracking of our movements on the web. This is called ‘ad tech.’”

Continue reading “BadMen: How Advertising Went From a Minor Inconvenience to a Major Menace”

101 Things I Learned in Advertising School

101 Things I Learned in Advertising School

by Tracy Arrington with Matthew Frederick

“To some, advertising has no soul, no center… It’s the art of lying.” Advertising executive Tracy Arrington writes, “I would argue the opposite. Advertising is the art of telling the truth. An ad campaign succeeds when it brings forward an embedded truth—about the product or service, our needs or idiosyncrasies as consumers, our daily foibles, or the fixations and biases of our culture. An ad campaign resonates when it shows us, at some level, who we are.”

Here’s a sampling of the expertise shared by the author.  Continue reading “101 Things I Learned in Advertising School”

Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me

Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me: How to use storytelling to connect with the hearts and wallets of a hungry audience

by Greg Koorhan

Greg Koorhan’s main message is to “stop sounding like everyone else and tell your own, unique story.”

“A study by the Emory Institute in Atlanta… found that just thinking about an action triggers the same emotional and sensory area of the brain that performing the action does… So by telling a story associated with you or your business, you can trigger the emotions that make your customer feel, even for a brief moment, as if they’ve experienced the same benefit… Assuming it’s a good experience, don’t you think they’ll want more?”

“When looking at data, the language areas of the brain light up, but not the emotional and sensory areas. These areas are triggered only by stories. This means that your story can engage your audience in ways data can’t… When data and stories are used together, audiences are moved both emotionally and intellectually.”

“Your Story IS Your Brand… Your brand is actually tied closely to your values. And by nurturing your values, you develop a theme. And out of your theme grows your story… Start with your values, then your theme, character archetype and emotional tone. Once you’ve got the elements of your story in place, your entire marketing and advertising platform can grow out of it.”

Continue reading “Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me”