Reviewing something is always tough because you have to appear authoritative enough to be qualified to pass judgments, and it is a double duty when you don't understand the books you are reviewing. The two books I received in mail last week are just that. On the one hand, there's a lot I don't understand about the two books, including their purpose. On the other hand, it's like, who am I to argue with Tom Peters who called the Lovemarks Effect "just bloody brilliant"? Or, like, one of the Punk Marketing guys used to run CP+B, so he must know what he's talking about. So, I'll shut up after a few quick bullet-pointed impressions:
Punk Marketing: Get Off Your Ass and Join the Revolution:
- Welcome to another buzzword. In case you are wondering, punk marketing "is a defined approach to doing things differently based upon a clear set of principles for how marketers [...] can use the shift in power to the consumer to their advantage."
- In the authors' own words, "There is no single idea in this book on which all else hinges." The authors claim it's a feature; I see this lack of focus as a bug.
- It's informal and chatty, which makes it accessible to a wider audience but perhaps too verbose for a specialist who is looking for something new to learn.
- It often interrupts itself with footnotes that amount to little more than a "Hey, ma, look at me!" hand wave.
- The examples it cites are very fresh (the book is due in February). Some of them are not blogosphere's common knowledge.
The back cover says the book is a guide for "marketing zealots seeking to overthrow the remains of marketing as we know it." Zealots aside, I can see how this book can be useful in an advertising or marketing class as a secondary reading. It's about $18 on Amazon.
The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution. Top reasons why you should buy it:
- It will look nice on your coffee table or next to the first Lovermarks book.
- It's more of the same (that is, if you liked "the same").
- Lots of interviews with important marketing people -- makes for a good conversation starter should you bump into one of them.
- One of them is John Fleming, CMO of Wal-Mart -- who would've thought Wal-Mart is a lovemark.
- This quote from the CEO of Victorinox, "There's nothing more intimate than exploring the various blades and functions on a Swiss Army knife."
- You should be able to expense it if you work in Saatchi.
- The concepts are easy to convert into good-looking PowerPoint decks.
Here's a bonus for those who've made it that far into the post: Showmanship in Business from 1939. The last time I looked, there were two left on Amazon, but there should be a few more over at Abe Books. It talks about passion, mystery, emotions, guerrilla stunts -- all that lovermarky and punky stuff minus the filler. How's this for a 70-year-old piece of pre-Cluetrain ad wisdom: "Showmanship [is] an accurate appreciation of the other man's interest [and] the presentation of one's own proposition in a skillfully colored adaptation to, or portrayal of, the other fellow's sense of values."