Tag: Book Reviews
Malcolm Gladwell has an uncanny talent. Like a detective, he weaves compelling yarns, spinning together sources of information from psychologists, food testers, doctors, animal trainers, criminologists, and other experts to challenge common notions.
With journalistic brilliance honed by his years in the New Yorker, Gladwell proffered radical answers to challenge age-old notions in his latest bestselling volume What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures. A compilation of 19 essays on a wide range of topics – espionage, war, hair colour, kitchen appliances, homelessness and more – the volume blended pop psychology, sociology, management and current affairs in a highly readable prose.
“You are not a faceless cog in the machinery of capitalism…” In fact, according to Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin, you are an “artist who can give good gifts”. Best of all, you don’t need a canvas, a stage, nor a musical instrument to create art.
Beginning with such a delightful premise, Linchpin tackles the age-old issue of career motivation. What’s interesting is that Godin doesn’t just promote entrepreneurialism but rather, a form of intrapreneurialism – one where you as a worker in any circumstance or situation can “make magic”.
Taylor Clark doesn’t like Starbucks. However, he does patronise its outlets. Apparently he is not alone, as there are many who publicly profess their distaste for Starbucks’ “almost burnt” brew while still swarming towards their outlet.
That in a nutshell is the premise behind the book “Starbucked” authored by Clark, a Portland-based journalist who appears to have more than a little caffeinated chip on his shoulder while appearing to be balanced in his authorship. Unlike the more glowing titles featuring the world’s most famous purveyor of coffee as experience, Clark squarely places both the pros and the cons of the cafe behemoth in his book.
What is the best way to make conversational marketing work?
Courtesy of Christopher Pattberg
Considered one of the most multi-cultural country in the world, the United States of America has one of the world’s most culturally and ethnically diverse population. Presently, it has some 305 million people out of whom 68% are non-Hispanic whites, 15% are Hispanics, 12% are blacks and 5% Asian American.
While white Americans currently dominate the American marketplace, some of the country’s most profitable segments actually hail from the other segments. Projections by the Census Bureau show that by 2050 when the US population grows to about 439 million, non-Hispanic Caucasians will only make up 46% of the country’s population. By then, the population of Hispanics (the fastest growing group) will swell to 30%, with blacks growing to 15% and Asian Americans swelling to 9%.
Courtesy of The Straits Times
Hello Kitty strikes again!
This time around, the opening of the Hello Kitty Cafe at Changi Airport generated huge and serpentine queues. According to a story in The Straits Times, this is the world’s first 24 hour Hello Kitty Cafe, offering a modest 84 seats in total.
In the world of business, there are few winners and many losers. The merciless marketplace leaves little room for companies trying to be all things to all men, spreading their resources too thinly across many areas. Those who make it focus their energies and resources on focusing their energies on one of the three key value disciplines – operational excellence, product leadership or customer intimacy – and look at ways to continually improve superior value.
According to The Discipline of Market Leaders, the true formula for enduring strategic success is to be either operationally excellent, exceptional in leading the market in product development, or to have one’s entire business closely integrated with one’s customer’s processes. Authored by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, the slim volume proposes that market leaders choose their customers carefully and find the best ways to meet their needs in a highly differentiated and focused manner while ensuring that quality standards are not compromised.
American Girl dolls casting their branded charms (Courtesy of Lauren-xo)
“Lights, cameras, action!” Put on your “costumes”, don your best “branded” behaviour, and perform in the stage of life’s biggest commercial brands.
That seems to be the key message of Maurya Wickstrom’s volume Performing Consumers which described the multiple ways in which big brands endear themselves to their customers through performance and theatre. Peppered liberally with theories of performativity and theatricality, the book illustrated how the creation of brandscapes in the retail environment induces deep emotional connections between man and merchandise.