I recently finished reading Beyond the Brand by John Winsor, who also blogs at BrandShift. I read a lot of business books and most of them I don't even bother to blog about. It seems that 90% of them are fluff or something I've heard before so I just take the 10% that's interesting and then move on. But I really liked this book. One of my favorite quotes comes from Chapter 6, when John writes
People do not lead simple lives. Likewise, their relationships with brands and prodcuts are dynamic, not static.
Exactly. That is what this book is about. Marketing can no longer be about a simple target demographic and a few focus groups. Now, you really have to listen. Beyond the Brand stresses a bottom up development approach that focuses on listening to key voices. John does a great job of laying out key steps and showing why they work.
But what I like best about this book are the case studies. Many books of this kind either don't have case studies or have some that the author was never involved in, but just read about. Not in this book. John and his company have really done this stuff – with lots of companies. It is practical and it works. So if you are in a business that markets primarily to consumers, be sure to check out a copy. You will learn a lot.