Privacy Policy

We have updated our Privacy Notice for this website. Please click here to review.

Basic Instinct: The Human Truth About Retailing in a Digital World

Jon Steel
The Store Conference
Sydney, March 8th, 2012

Jon Steel There was a time, not too long ago, when phones were attached to walls by curly wires, and had rotary dials. We didn’t have home computers. The internet did not exist. Apple was something that grew on trees. The word ‘Amazon’ suggested a Brazilian river or a large and scary woman. And social networking was what we did in bars on Saturday nights.

I’m talking twenty-five years ago. Half of my life. (The good half, one might suggest.)

The theme of this conference, like that of many conferences I have attended over the years, is how things have changed. How they are changing faster than ever, and how we, as retailers and marketers, must in turn change everything we do in order to keep up. Different speakers today have talked about new perspectives, new approaches in the face of fragmentation of media, and of society itself. In this new world how can we generate mass demand? How can we redefine the path to purchase? How can we reinvent value? How can we better apply mobile technologies to achieve our objectives? How can we increase people’s appetite for socializing with brands, and if and when we do so, how can we control it? Can we control it?

These are all important questions to which, over the course of the day, we have heard some pretty interesting answers.

But I wonder whether there might be another important question, which we should all be asking. Which we should be asking before we rush to embrace change, to dive headlong into the implementation of the new and improved. And that is,

in the midst of all this change, has anything stayed the same? And how should we, as retailers and marketers, react to that?

In attempting to answer this question, I’ll talk a little about retailing and retail marketing, but many of my examples will be drawn from elsewhere. Their relevance will hopefully be clear; I use them because what they all have in common, and what they have in common with all the good examples discussed so far today, is that they involve the exchange of money for goods or services, and they are examples of human interaction.

I’d like to start by going back a little further than the twenty-five year period of change that I mentioned earlier. Almost two thousand years further back, in fact, to the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which, one fateful day in August, AD 79, were buried by ash from an erupting Mount Vesuvius. The ash destroyed life in those towns, but ironically it also preserved it for two millennia for us to see.

And one of the things we can see in the excavated towns today is graffiti, which was, as you know, an early Latin form of blogging.

“What a lot of tricks you use to deceive, innkeeper,” wrote one unsatisfied customer, on the external wall of the establishment rather than on “You sell water but drink unmixed wine.”

In the vestibule of another Pompeiian inn, we find written, “The finance officer of the emperor Nero says this food is poison.”

And, outside an inn attached to Herculaneum’s baths, two reviews. The first reads, “Two friends were here. They had bad service in every way from a guy named Epaphroditus. They threw him out and then spent 105 and a half sestersii most agreeably on whores.” Another wrote of the same establishment: “Apellus, the chamberlain with Dexter, slave of Caesar, ate here most agreeably… and had a screw at the same time.” And I had always assumed that the Happy Hour was invented in Florida.

Across Pompeii one finds graffiti about bakers, wine merchants, fishmongers, brothels; about retailers of all kinds. Some is entirely self-serving, some is written to entertain, some to inform; some of it is positive, more of it is negative. Much of it, you probably wouldn’t want on your company website.

And that’s the point. Two thousand years ago, as today, people who have had a great experience may want to talk about it. People who have had an okay experience may not be bothered to share it with others. But those who have had a bad experience often want to shout it from the rooftops.

There’s much to be gained by promoting social interaction with your brand, but there’s also much to lose. Brand guardians of all kinds should be careful what they wish for. For while the basic instinct of wanting to complain and to get some kind of retribution for a bad experience might not have changed, we now of course have more than walls and jars of paint with which to make our point. The interaction is harder to control, the audience potentially much larger, and the ramifications enormous. (Although I suppose at the time in Pompeii, the effect of someone painting a large sign outside your restaurant proclaiming that the food is ‘poison’ cannot be underestimated.)

Just about every week we hear about someone’s social networking strategy backfiring. Recently Bayern Munich Football Club told its fans that if they came to its Facebook site they would be the first to learn of a major new signing for the club. The fans came, they liked, they joined… to discover that the so-called ‘new signing’ was an app that made their face appear instead of that of a player wearing the Bayern uniform. They were the new signing! How interactive. How involving! Fans, and the football media who had criticized the club for two years about the lack of new players, went crazy, and not in a positive way. A few days later, the signing of a teenage wunderkind from Switzerland was announced, quite possibly as a hastily arranged 18 million euro piece of damage control.

Successful human relationships are built primarily on trust. Social networking is no different.

The real issue we should be thinking about here is not how to deal with situations like that – although that is important – but rather how to prevent them from happening in the first place. What is a good experience, what is a bad experience, and how do you ensure that in both the retail environment and in interaction with marketing communications, the end result is a satisfied customer?

A few years ago I found myself in the unenviable position of living in the south west of the UK, about a three hour drive from Heathrow airport, and commuting weekly to New York City. I’d fly to New York on a Monday, work through Thursday evening, then return home to sleep, do my laundry, and be grumpy enough for my family to wish that I had stayed in New York.

Every Monday, around lunchtime, I would check into a W hotel in Manhattan, and the woman who had checked me out the previous Thursday would look right through me, recite out loud a statement that had something to do with welcoming me to the hotel and, having taken my credit card details, would direct me to the elevators. Which, not surprisingly, were exactly where they had been three days before.

We went through this bizarre ritual for months on end. Until, to my great relief, one week I had some meetings scheduled in London. I made a reservation at a hotel called the Athenaeum on Piccadilly, where I had stayed a few times the previous year, but hadn’t visited for several months. And as my taxi drew up outside, the doorman opened the car door and said, “Welcome back, Mr. Steel. We haven’t seen you in a while. How’s the family?”

I’ve subsequently stayed a lot at the Athenaeum. John, the doorman, always greets me by name, before Tony the bellman welcomes me like a long lost brother. Everyone – from the receptionist to the manager – knows who I am – and do their best to make me feel welcome. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and when I checked in, the manager came out and told me that the first night of my stay would be the 150th that I had spent in the hotel.

150 nights is almost six months of my life; that’s kind of scary. There are a lot of hotel choices in London, many just as convenient for my office, at around the same price, some with better restaurants or views, some with more heavenly beds and others with trendier bars. But I choose this one. I choose it because I like it. Because I feel comfortable when I’m there. Because it feels less like being away from home than some of the other choices.

Steven Spielberg was once asked to explain why he thought the movies he directed and produced had won so many awards and had so much box office success. He said, “I make movies for the masses, but I talk with them one at a time.” It’s a great explanation, true in the way that he tells big stories through a very narrow lens, in the way that he invites his audience to participate in the movie, to think about how they would react if they were in the protagonist’s position. Could I have done what Oskar Schindler did? Could I have jumped off one of those landing craft on D Day and run across the beach? What would I do if I found ET in my garden shed?

Beyond being a great explanation of his craft, it’s also a wonderful definition of how good marketers and retailers operate at their best. They may provide a product or service for the masses, they may communicate in mass media, but they allow for a personal, individual relationship with their brand.

I recently asked a British candidate for WPP’s graduate recruitment program whether there were any brands he particularly admired and, if so, why?

He thought for a moment, and then said that he feared his answer may not be what I was looking for. He was sure, he said, that most of his rivals would talk about Apple, or Nike. But if I didn’t mind him talking about it, he said, he had a particularly close relationship with a grocery store on his street in Nottingham. The store was run by a gentleman named Patel who, like the doorman at the Athenaeum, would always greet him with a hearty, ‘Hello Mr. Wilson.’ Favourite purchases would be kept to one side for him, and if they were not available he would be given – yes, given – something else to try instead. Unstocked items could be requested, and if purchases exceeded the volume and weight that could be reasonably carried, or if the weather was particularly inclement – not uncommon in Nottingham - Mr. Patel had been known to dispatch one of his staff or leave the store himself to drive a customer home.

Everything in that store cost more than it would have in Tesco or Sainsbury, but even on a student budget that wasn’t the point.

“I have often thought,” the candidate said, “wouldn’t it be great if Mr. Patel could run British Airways?”

Or Qantas, or American or United Airlines, or indeed pretty much any airline.

I was on a flight in the USA a few years ago, and happened to look at the safety card. It said, If you are seated in an exit row, and you are unable to read this card, please call a member of the cabin crew.

It’s a great example of lack of common sense, but also lack of empathy. (Empathy, broadly speaking, being the ability to understand people and what they think, feel and need.)

It’s an extreme example – if you’re blind or illiterate, you obviously won’t be able to read the instruction that tells you what to do if you can’t read it – but nonetheless it seems to me representative of an inability of most players in the airline industry to fully understand what its customers want.

Earlier Nicolas mentioned loyalty programs that don’t offer any real reward…

I used to fly a lot with British Airways. In fact, in a fairly short time I flew more than a million miles with the airline. To mark this great occasion, BA invited me to a lunch at the House of Lords in London, along with ten or so other sad bastards who happened at the time, like me, to be among BA’s top 50 fliers. BA wanted to know what we thought of the airline and its frequent flier program. In fact we didn’t think much of it at all, largely because every time we wanted to use our frequent flier miles to take our families away (and thereby say sorry for being away so much) we were unable to do so: because of blackout dates or the fact that the kind of routes we wanted to use, to Australia or South Africa, were all booked up within about a minute of the passing of the 311 day advance deadline. Because we had unpredictable schedules and couldn’t book that far in advance, we could never use the miles. The system didn’t work for those the airline considered to be its most valuable customers, yet at the time BA couldn’t do anything about that. Computer says, ‘No.’ Maybe they have changed it now, but I wouldn’t know because I no longer fly with British Airways. Nicolas also shared a slide that showed how different most CEOs believe their companies to be (80%), versus the view of consumers (8%). It’s a basic gap in understanding; a lack of perspective.

It seems to me that Airlines do much of what they do based on the premise that people love flying, which on the whole they do not. When Richard Branson launched Virgin Atlantic, he shaped his offering on the idea that long-haul flying was boring and uncomfortable. The only experience he had of the airline business before launching Virgin Atlantic was as a passenger – a bored, uncomfortable passenger – and he wanted to change that. ‘I’m not in the airline business,’ he said. ‘I’m in the entertainment business.’ Thus it was Branson who brought us a choice of movies, TV shows, music and games on our own personal screens. He brought ice cream and massage to the skies. He removed the hassle and uncertainty of driving to the airport for business travellers, by providing a car. He did away with an entire section of the plane by simply renaming his business class section ‘Upper Class.’ He did all this because he understood his customers.

Let’s be clear: As Angela Morris said earlier, no one was asking for rides to the airport or clamouring for ice cream at 30,000 feet. No focus groups were saying, we think we should be able to play video games while flying between London and New York. But as Akio Morita, the founder of Sony once said, “We don’t ask consumers what they want. They don’t know. Instead we apply our brain power to what they need, and will want, and make sure we’re there, ready.”

Branson and Morita, and later Steve Jobs, were hugely successful because they understood how their brands existed, not in the narrow confines of a category, but rather in the broader context of people’s lives. They made the connections between their products and deeper underlying human needs, and broader cultural needs. Branson built a better airline by understanding that people get bored easily. Morita, with the launch of the Walkman, changed the relationship between young people and music, making it portable for the first time. And with the iPod, and maybe more significantly with iTunes, Steve Jobs later changed it again, allowing people to organize their entire music library, carry it with them, and in changing the purchase model, transformed the music industry itself in the process. These inventions, were not just technological accidents – they were based on real insight about the way people feel about music, interact with music, organize music, share music.

It may be heresy to say this, and it may mark me as a Luddite, but what I have to say is no more relevant in a digital world than it was in the analog world. For when it comes to retailers and marketers bringing their A- game, it makes no difference. The tools may vary, but the purpose, the ideal, remains the same: To find a way to fit our product, our service, our store, our brand, into the lives of those we serve, not the other way around.

When Barack Obama ran for President in the United States, he talked in his campaign about Hope, and he talked about Change. He wasn’t very specific about either, the advantage of which at the time was that Americans were able to personalize his message, to interpret it in the context of what they were hoping for, what they would like to see change.

‘Yes we can,’ was his rallying cry. It was a stolen rallying cry, as any of you who have ever watched Bob the Builder with your children will know, but nonetheless the majority of those who voted for him felt not just that he had won, but that they had won. They’d done it together. It was a first person plural election victory. Obama used their experiences, their frustrations, their hopes and their fears to give his message its power. He didn’t set his message in the context of his own political aspirations; he set it instead in the context of their lives.

People tend to like others who ask questions, who listen to the answers, and behave accordingly. They like other people who ‘get’ them. They like other people who are interested in them. They always did. And they always will.

As the great Bill Bernbach once said, “It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop, and it will take millions more for them to even vary. The real motivations stem from the unchanging instincts and emotions of people, and from nature’s indomitable programming in their genes. It is unchanging man that is the proper study of the communicator.” And, I might add, of the marketer and retailer too.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the Apple Store and how great it is. There are many theories about why it is so successful. My own is this: while obviously the products, service, and design of the store are all great, they alone don’t explain its popularity. That, I believe, stems from the decision to allow customers to use every computer, laptop and iPad in the store to check their email. It ensures that the store is always full, and we all love a place that’s popular. It’s also solving a problem: it’s hard for many people to keep up with their email when they are away from their homes and offices. (And, let’s face it, we all get a little twitchy if we’re away from it for too long.) It solves that problem in a way that gives them a personal experience of the brand. It’s their relationships, their messages on that screen. And it’s entirely counter-intuitive. For years, stores had been telling people not to touch. (“You break, you buy.”) Apple went the other way because they knew that once someone touched, they wouldn’t want to let go.

I’d like to finish this afternoon by making seven suggestions for how, in this time of rapid change, we might all as marketers and retailers deal with both the change – the things that really are different – and what we might call the unchange – the things that haven’t, and won’t change, because they have to do with the fundamentals of human nature.

First, you have to know what problem you are trying to solve

It’s often not what it appears to be, and a great deal of marketing time, effort and money is spent creating the right solutions to the wrong problems. Apple could have set up its stores to maximise sales, but they would have been wasting their time had they not first figured out a way to get people into the stores, and engaged with their products. Morita and Sony launched the Walkman based on a problem people didn’t know they had, which was that they couldn’t take their music with them, without creating a nuisance.

The real problem becomes much easier to identify if you follow my second piece of advice, which is to always look at the situation and the problem in the context of life, not the category. That’s the way of the Athenaeum hotel, and of Mr. Patel’s grocery store, of Richard Branson, Akio Morita and Steve Jobs. And of many of our earlier panellists.

I recently saw a tip jar in a coffee bar in Perth that had a label above it saying, creatively and unexpectedly, ‘Tips.’ A jar full of coins, what else could it have been? Yet within a week, in two neighbouring coffee bars I saw other signs above tip jars that show an understanding of this broader life context. One, in a café owned by two fanatical surfers, said, “Mexico 2012.” Another, in an affluent, airy suburb, said above its coin jar, “Good tippers make great lovers.”

My third suggestion is to try and resist the accountability mindset that afflicts so many companies today, and leads to too many decisions being made on the basis of measurability. Just because something can’t be measured doesn’t mean that it’s bad. And just because it can be measured doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do.

I recently heard a senior British police officer defending the reduced numbers of officers on the streets in the UK, on the basis that in the days when there were more officers on the street, there were fewer arrests. Against an objective of making more arrests, the statistics proved that his officers today were doing a very fine job. What he didn’t seem to understand was that with more officers on the street in the past, there were fewer arrests because they acted as a deterrent to crime. Which is the better objective? I’d say less crime, but it’s harder to measure crimes that might have been committed than it is to measure arrests. Thus efficiency overwhelms effectiveness, and that’s a very steep and slippery slope.

Number four: don’t just do things because you’ll look old-fashioned if you don’t. Because too often, these days, if it’s digital, if it furthers the cause of social networking, and if it allows us to “start a movement,” we recommend it.

Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can. And today I fear that many marketers are following the same logic.

A couple of years ago in Australia and beyond, everyone seemed to be talking about the “Best Job in the World” campaign for Tourism Queensland. Against certain (measurable) objectives it was a great success, with massive PR coverage, 34,000 applications for the job, and numerous top-shelf creative awards to its name. But I have yet to see any evidence that it positively influenced the numbers of tourists visiting Queensland, which is the client’s entire reason for being.

The unfortunate postscript to “The Best Job in the World” is that the winner of the competition to be caretaker on Hamilton Island, Ben Southall, was stung by a potentially lethal Irukandji jellyfish during his last week on the job. Fortunately Ben survived, but the world’s media – the same magazines and newspapers whose reporting of the initial competition formed the basis of the entries for effectiveness awards - gleefully reported his symptoms of fever, headache, lower back pain, chest tightness and high blood pressure, and noted that other tourists had died from similar stings in the not-too-distant past. All very good, I’m sure, for Queensland tourism. The lesson here, as my old friend Ivan Pollard – now with the Coca Cola Company in Atlanta – recently wrote in an industry publication, “We are quick to sell the fantastic possibility rather than research the rational suitability of our ideas.” I think we are not quick enough to apply common sense.

Just because we can do things in this brave new world, it doesn’t mean that we should.

Now, having identified the right problem, understood it in a life context, figured out a solution that is right and not just measurable, and ensured that it might actually work against your business objectives, my fifth suggestion is to keep things as simple as possible.

For in this world there are two types of people: simplifiers and complicators. Make sure you surround yourselves with the former, and remember that there is no such thing as a complicated, game changing idea. When Watson and Crick finally hit upon the double helix structure of DNA, they worried that it might be too simple. And I’m sure Einstein worried a lot about e=mc2 being a little light on numbers and letters. But simple works where complicated does not. Always.

Six, as I’ve said many times today, and it’s worth repeating, keep it personal. The Japanese writer Saki once wrote, “when baiting a mousetrap with cheese, be sure to leave room for the mouse.” Allow room in your message, allow room in your planning, for your customers to inject a little of themselves; to join up the dots and complete the communication.

And finally, seven, never forget you’re talking to people. They are not demographics, they are not ‘consumers,’ they are not numbers. They are human, just like us. The key to your success as retailers and marketers is much less likely to be found in your retailing and marketing experience than it is to lie in their human experience.

The human truth about retailing or e-tailing in a digital world is that the rules that have always guided human relationships and communication still apply. And as much as we might be attracted by the new, bright, and shiny methods of engagement, we ignore these old rules at our peril.

Thank you very much.

Tools Print page E-mail page Reading Room Get Acrobat Reader

About the Author
JON STEEL is an accidental advertising professional, a co–creator of the famous "got milk?®" ad campaign, and the bestselling author of Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning, from Wiley. He currently combines his role as global planning head for WPP with running the WPP Fellowship and being chief strategy officer for George Patterson Y&R. Among other awards, Steel has received eleven gold Effies from the American Marketing Association for Advertising Effectiveness, a David Ogilvy Gold Award, and a Blue Peter badge for a letter he wrote, at age ten, to the UK′s most popular and enduring children′s television program.

   Go >

The Business of Persuasion
In this illuminating and engaging business memoir, Burson traces his career from studying at Ole Miss to serving in World War II, reporting on the Nuremburg trials, and joining with Bill Marsteller. Together, he and Marsteller made history in a new venture that would grow to be one of the biggest public relations companies in the world, with over 60 offices on six continents.
(Click for details)

Predicting the Turn
Predicting The Turn is your rule book for the new game of high-stakes business. The Fortune 500 was first published in 1955, and since that time, 89 percent of the list has completely turned over. When the S&P 500 was launched in 1958, the average company remained in the index for roughly 61 years.
(Click for details)

The Glass Wall
Bold, practical strategies that will shatter the glass wall in the workplace, and boost any woman's career.
(Click for details)

Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World
What does it mean to be young and Muslim today? There is a segment of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims that is more influential than any other, and will shape not just the future of Muslims, but also the world around them: meet 'Generation M'.
(Click for details)

The New Sports Organisation
“The New Sports Organisation” is a unique sports management book that creates a link between management theory and the practical day-to-day operations of a sports organisation.
(Click for details)

In Connectography, Parag Khanna guides us through the emerging global network civilization in which mega-cities compete over connectivity and borders are increasingly irrelevant.
(Click for details)

The Never-Ending Digital Journey
Imagine a generation of consumers who have never known life without computers, the Internet, or app-filled smart phones. That generation is coming up fast, and its expectations for software will be higher than ever before. How can you prepare? The Never-Ending Digital Journey contains cutting-edge thinking about how to wed engineering and design to create digital experiences that will thrill a new generation.
(Click for details)

Adaptive Marketing
'Adapt or die' is truly the new norm in 21st century marketing: embrace the big data and use it to your company's benefit or else suffer the consequences. In today's Internet Age, one can drown in the overwhelming amount of data available. How do you determine what is useful and what isn't? How do you use data to target the most relevant audience? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial and will position your company to build on its relationship with consumers while improving its brand.
(Click for details)

Limitless: Leadership that Endures
In his second book, Ajaz Ahmed, CEO of AKQA, explores what can be learnt from the lives and careers of ground-breaking business leaders.
(Click for details)

India Reloaded
Brands and businesses from across the globe have tried to leverage the India opportunity, based upon simplistic and widely-held assumptions. This book takes a critical look at these myths and contradictions from an inside perspective, presenting a fresh and nuanced perspective on the opportunities that the Indian market offers.
(Click for details)

Does it Work?
In the age of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, it doesn’t matter how many views or followers or clicks you get. All that matters is: Does it Work?
(Click for details)

Twitter Is Not A Strategy
In a cultural climate saturated by technology, marketing professionals have focused their energies on creating newer and more digital methods of advertising their brands, with the fear that if they don't embrace "Big Data," they will fade into obscurity.
(Click for details)

The Essential CIO
Amazon and Google have changed the way we do business forever with the cloud. We must change our company's ideas, perceptions and behaviours to survive. That change starts with technology change, and the foundational reinvention of information technology taking place today being driven by cloud computing, mobile devices, social media and data analytics. We need to reinvent ourselves in order to survive as businesses and as CIOs. Our future is at stake.
(Click for details)

The Thoughts of Chairmen Now
The Thoughts of Chairmen Now is essential reading for anyone planning to enter China or currently doing business there. It's also beneficial for Chinese executives, analysts, journalists, academics and anyone else interested in the unfiltered thinking of Chinese business leaders.
(Click for details)

Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets
Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets is an invaluable repository of knowledge that brings clarity to key issues and trends for practitioners, academics and students of luxury brands.
(Click for details)

The Lighter Side of China
In 'The Lighter Side of China,' published by ACA Publishing, Scott Kronick delights the reader with comic tales and lessons learnt from living and working in China and North Asia over the past two decades.
(Click for details)

The 10 Principles of Open Business: Building Success in Today's Open Economy
The revolutionary power of the internet has accelerated the demand for a totally new kind of business. Stakeholders now demand more open, connected and meaningful relationships with organizations, and the world's leading brands are taking note.
(Click for details)

The Personal Experience Effect
If there is a person who can teach you how to define and create your personal brand, that person is master marketer Jim Joseph. The bestselling author of The Experience Effect has now turned his attention to building that most precious of all brands -- you.
(Click for details)

Brands and Rousers
In this timely and important book, Luis Gallardo argues that executives and managers not only have to think holistically (in terms of strategy, structure and operations), but also act personally (to become rousers) if they are to succeed in these ever-changing times.
(Click for details)

The Advertising On-Ramp
“The Advertising On-Ramp: Getting Your First Advertising Job” (Paramount Books) is the first book to take the suddenly-out-of-school through the hiring process at big advertising agencies.
(Click for details)

A Master Class in Brand Planning: The Timeless Works of Stephen King
In 1988, on Stephen King's retirement JWT published 'The King Papers' a small collection of Stephen King's published writings spanning 1967-1985. They remain timelessly potentially valuable but are an almost unexploited gold mine.
(Click for details)

Tell the Truth
In "Tell the Truth", Jonathan Baskin and Sue Unerman look at the content and context of marketing communications. They provide the research of hundreds of companies and in-depth case studies on more than 50 global brands to show us that truthful brands deliver sales, profits, and sustainable relationships. Truth truly yields true competitive advantage.
(Click for details)

The Athena Doctrine: How Women Will Rule the Future
From acclaimed social theorist, consumer expert, and bestselling author, John Gerzema, and award–winning author, Michael 'Antonio, The Athena Doctrine shows how feminine traits are ascending - and bringing success to people and organizations around the world. By nurturing, listening, collaborating and sharing, women and men are solving problems, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm.
(Click for details)

Lifestyle Brands: A Guide to Aspirational Marketing
Antonio Marazza, General Manager of Landor Milan, and Stefania Saviolo, Professor at Bocconi University, investigate the reasons why some brands are adopted by people not for what they do, or what they stand for, but for the inspiration they provide.
(Click for details)

#THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet is part of the THiNKaha series whose slim, easy-to-read-and-absorb books contain 140 thought-provoking and actionable quotes (tweets/ahas). Authors Dr. Liz Alexander and Craig Badings, who have more than 50 years of consulting experience between them, have devised a series of questions that will provoke you to consider all the elements necessary to execute a successful organizational thought leadership campaign. The authors have done the preliminary thinking for you so that your organization can better leverage your value in your industry.
(Click for details)

The Luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses
Added Value, the global brand development and marketing insight consultancy, has contributed a chapter to the world’s first authoritative book to be published about the luxury market in India. The Luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses, co-edited by Glyn Atwal and Soumya Jain, and published by Palgrave Macmillan, is a window into the highly complex Indian luxury market.
(Click for details)

Turbo Chinese
What can a man from the land of software and street squalor; yogic nirvana and dreamy Bollywood tell over half a million working expats in China, about learning the language? That learning Chinese (and doing it fast!), has less to do with memory and more to do with technique; that Chinese comes alive when learning is organic and inspired by life experiences rather than restricted to templates as books make us believe.
(Click for details)

Raw: Pervasive Creativity in Asia
A sumptuously illustrated look at grassroots creativity in Asia, the conditions that drive it, and what it means to build a business using the power of ideas. There is nothing on the market that is comparable. This is not a dry text business or psychology book. The basis of a creative economy is the recognition that ideas are democratic and come from everyone, followed by the conversion of ideas into financial profitability. This book explains how this is happening in Asia and what, strategically, the West can learn from it.
(Click for details)

Sexy Little Numbers
In this book – the first of its kind – Dimitri Maex, Managing Director of global advertising agency OgilvyOne New York and the engine behind the agency’s global analytics practice, reveals how to turn your data - those sexy little numbers that can mean more profit for your business – into actionable strategies that drive real growth and revenues. And he can show you how to do it at virtually no cost.
(Click for details)

Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action
With Likeonomics as a guide, readers will get unconventional advice on how to stand out in a good way, avoid the hype and strategic traps of social media, and appeal to customers in a way that secures your company as a trusted and believable resource.
(Click for details)

Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital
Written as a fascinating and enjoyable conversation between the authors - Stefan Olander, Vice President of Digital Sport from Nike and Ajaz Ahmed founder and Chairman AKQA - Velocity´s up-to-date examples illustrate key lessons, together with insights, ideas and inspiration that individuals and businesses should adopt to thrive.
(Click for details)

The Art of Shopping: How We Shop and Why We Buy
This book is the result of 20 years of pioneering research (from filming shoppers in-store to brain scanning) into how people around the world really shop. It explores what we actually do rather than what we think we do, how we really choose and make decisions to buy, and what really works for brands trying to persuade us to buy.
(Click for details)

Walmart: Key Insights and Practical Lessons from the World's Largest Retailer
offers a comprehensive insight into how the retailer emerged from its humble roots in rural Arkansas to become a global retailing phenomenon.
(Click for details)

I'd Rather Be in Charge
Charlotte Beers is proof that women can achieve power, pride, and joy at work--despite the odds. In the highly competitive and often cutthroat world of advertising, Charlotte became the first female ever to head two giant, multinational advertisingagencies.
(Click for details)

Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies
In this, the next big idea book, Stengel deftly blends timeless truths about human behaviour and values into an action framework, to show us how by embracing what he describes as 'brand ideals', the world's best businesses can achieve incredible growth and drastically improve their performance.
(Click for details)

All Business is Local: Why Place Matters More than Ever
Marketing experts John Quelch and Katherine Jocz offer a new way to think about place in every strategic decision-from how to leverage consumer associations with locations to where to position products on the shelf. They explore case studies such as Nike and The Apple Store, which use place in creative ways.
(Click for details)

The Wiki Man
This book acts as an introduction to Rory Sutherland's key thoughts and ideas, and gives an insight into his unique character and personality-attempting to encapsulate the essence of Rory. The book takes you on a winding journey through blog posts interweaved with snippets of interviews, tweets and reference material to give a rich and engaging introduction to Rory's mind.
(Click for details)

Marketing to the New Majority: Strategies for a Diverse World
David Burgos and Ola Mobolade look at the changed marketplace revealed in the new 2010 Census data, and show marketers how to develop integrated campaigns that effectively reach these culturally diverse consumer populations.
(Click for details)

How to Use Politicians to Get What You Want
This book is an informal how-to guide for consumers, pressure groups, residents groups, etc to demonstrate how and when to use your national and local politicians to assert your rights as both a consumer and a citizen.
(Click for details)

The Branded Mind
Explores what we know about the structure of the brain, explains how the different parts of the brain interact, and then demonstrates how this relates to current marketing theories on consumer behaviour.
(Click for details)

Consumer India: Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet
In Consumer India, Dheeraj Sinha weaves the narrative of a changing India through examples of Bollywood, our cultural conditioning, today’s role models, our behavior as consumers, and the role of brands and marketing amidst all this.
(Click for details)

Marketing Excellence 2
The first volume of Marketing Excellence was published in 2006, and this second edition contains 34 new case studies, selected from the last four years of The Marketing Society Awards for Excellence. These case studies are the best of the best and although they encompass examples of different marketing techniques in action, all are consistent in one thing: all showcase great strategic thinking, great creativity and perfect execution.
(Click for details)

Spend Shift
In this book, consumer expert John Gerzema and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Michael D'Antonio point to a revolution in consumer values that will remake the consumer marketplace and revitalize the economy.
(Click for details)

Custom Surveys Within Your Budget
This book acts as a comprehensive guide to cost effectively managing a survey and covers everything from the evaluation of a research program to the actual output and analytics of the research.
(Click for details)

The Big Book of Marketing
The most comprehensive book of its kind, The Big Book of Marketing is the definitive resource for marketing your business in the twenty-first century. Each chapter covers a fundamental aspect of the marketing process, broken down and analyzed by the greatest minds in marketing today.
(Click for details)

Go Logo! 12 Keys to Designing Successful Global Brands
Go Logo! provides both creatives and brand custodians a diagnostic anaylsis of, and a guideline to, the 12 prerequisties for establishing a brand’s emotional benchmarks.
(Click for details)

A-Z Dictionary of Change 2010
Bates 141's "A-Z Dictionary of Change 2010" is an annual handbook containing words and concepts that are changing the way people live, work, play and learn.
(Click for details)

The Future of Marketing
The Future of Marketing is a collection of commentaries from 50 CEOs of some of the world's most successful businesses - who were asked to answer one simple question: 'What role do you see marketing playing in the future success of your company?'
(Click for details)

Shopper Marketing: How to increase purchase decisions at the point of sale
Shopper Marketing explores the subject of shopper marketing, which takes places in the store, aiming to turn shoppers into buyers, at the point of purchase. The goal of shopper marketing is to influence purchase decisions when the shopper is close to the product in the store. Shopper marketing is a relatively new area of marketing, but the financial investments being made in the area are increasing each year.
(Click for details)

Vulnerability Management
Vulnerability management proactively prevents the exploitation of IT security gaps and weaknesses that exist particularly within a larger organization. This book demonstrates how prevention can reduce the potential for exploitation and shows that it takes considerably less time and resources to manage potential weaknesses, than to clean up after a violation.
(Click for details)

Black and Green: Black Insights for the Green Movement
Black and Green is a call to action for the Black community to join the green movement. The book offers insights, ideas, and strategies that demonstrate how Black people can benefit from this movement and also fuel the go-green effort.
(Click for details)

The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers
Marketing guru Bob Gilbreath explains how to inspire customers to truly engage with the marketing message, uncover a spectrum of unmet customer desires, and build a campaign designed to fulfill customers’ needs and move more product than ever.
(Click for details)

Brand Stand: Seven Steps to Thought Leadership
A modern-day bible on thought leadership. It is the first book on the topic which outlines a method, START IP, which provides companies and individuals with a step-by-step process to arrive at a thought leadership position and advises how to take it to market.
(Click for details)

China Beyond
China’s 4th-6th tier towns, which account for 37% of China’s population, have notably different consumer cultures and retail landscapes not only from the major metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou but also from 2nd-3rd tier cities, according to ’China Beyond’, a new study released by Ogilvy China.
(Click for details)

Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing
How today's shoppers really think, behave, and buy: Breakthrough insights for creating high-profit retail experiences.
(Click for details)

Survive, Exploit, Disrupt: Action Guidelines for Marketing in a Recession
The first book in Mindshare's new Strategy Applied publication series deals with recession strategies
(Click for details)

Qualitology: Unlocking the Secrets of Qualitative Research
This book centres on offering classical knowledge and techniques which are still used successfully today, as well as emerging trends and innovative techniques adapted to solve contemporary marketing issues.
(Click for details)

Generation Ageless: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Live Today
An “authoritative and eye-opening” look at the past, present, and future of Baby Boomers.
(Click for details)

Perfect Pitch - The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business
A professional “pitching coach” for one of the world’s largest marketing conglomerates, Jon Steel shares his secrets and explains how you can create presentations and pitches that win hearts, minds, and new business.
(Click for details)

A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design
A Smile in the Mind focuses on the graphics which give the most pleasure - the ideas that prompt a smile. These are the jobs that people remember, the projects that make designers famous.
(Click for details)

Beans and Pearls
Seminal lecture delivered by Martin Sorrell to D&AD in 1996 placing creativity - in its widest sense - at the core of WPP’s offer to clients.
(Click for details)

All Consumers Are Not Created Equal
This book demonstrates how to create a database of high-profit consumers and use it to generate a relationship-building direct marketing program. A previous Atticus winner, it introduces many of the ideas, now widely accepted, about segmenting customers by profitability.
(Click for details)

Public Opinion in a Globalised World
Written by leading political experts across the TNS global network, the book explores the importance of public opinion in informing politics in modern democracies and across our globalised economies. It reveals a rare international perspective on public opinion polling issues that are key to political decision makers.
(Click for details)

Rigorous Magic: Communication Ideas and their Application
In the marketing world, communication ideas are revered for their magical ability to affect how consumers behave towards brands. Despite this, they are poorly understood. How many types are there? What are their characteristics? How should you use them? And what makes a good one? Most marketers simply cannot answer these questions.
(Click for details)

Mobile Marketing Essentials, Strategy & Best Practices
Mobile Marketing Essentials is a book for marketing managers, brand managers and their agencies. It helps you developing campaigns or manage both client and agency engagements.
(Click for details)

Action Planning: How to Follow Up On Survey Results to Implement Improvement Strategies
For anyone who needs clarification on what action planning is and how to maximize its effectiveness, this is the perfect resource.
(Click for details)

The Dictionary of Change
Dictionary compiled by Bates 141 identifying new words and phrases that entered into common parlance during 2008.
(Click for details)

How to Create and Develop Lasting Brand Value in the World Market
In this thorough investigation of brand strength in the accelerated modern business world, Nigel Hollis draws on his experience at Millward Brown to present a simple formula for determining brand strength based on two axes, Presence (or familiarity) and Voltage (or marketing appeal), to illustrate the market value and performance of brands.
(Click for details)

Search Engine Marketing, Inc.
In this book, two world-class experts present today's best practices, step-by-step techniques, and hard-won tips for using search engine marketing to achieve your sales and marketing goals, whatever they are. Mike Moran and Bill Hunt thoroughly cover both the business and technical aspects of contemporary search engine marketing, walking beginners through all the basics while providing reliable, up-to-the-minute insights for experienced professionals.
(Click for details)

Strategic Database Marketing
Strategic Database Marketing details the latest web-focused strategies for unleashing the power in your company's customer database and turning it into a sales-building weapon.
(Click for details)

The Brand Bubble: The Looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It
Your company's stock price depends on the value of your brand. So if consumers aren't valuing it as much as financial markets, the future of your company could be in for big trouble. You could be the victim of a "brand bubble." Customer surveys show that the number of high-performance value-creating brands is diminishing across the board.
(Click for details)

ENTERPRISE 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work
Enterprise 2.0 is one of the first books to explain the impact that social software will have inside the corporate firewall, and ultimately how staff will work together in the future. Niall Cook helps you navigate this emerging landscape and introduces the key concepts that make up 'Enterprise 2.0'.
(Click for details)

China's Creative Imperative
Based on interviews with a wide range of creators - designers, musicians, folk artists, painters, discussions with common people about the role that creativity played in their seemingly mundane lives, and extensive trawling of the popular culture scene in China, China's Creative Imperative provides rich evidence and a provocative point-of-view that businesses should find hard to ignore.
(Click for details)

Personality not included
In his new book, PERSONALITY NOT INCLUDED, marketing expert, award winning blogger and social media guru Rohit Bhargava explains how faceless companies do not work in today's environment. In a world where consumers have more access to information than ever, and more power to share their voice, a brand's identity is no longer controlled through marketing and advertising.
(Click for details)

Customer Churn Reduction and Retention for Telecoms: Models for All Marketers
Industry expert Arthur Middleton Hughes explains what Telecom enterprises can do to continue to exist. Their salvation rests not in their technologies, Hughes explains, but in their marketing strategies.
(Click for details)

A Brand with Power: Fuelling Success in the Energy Market
Deregulation is causing the utilities market to change across much of the globe. In the free market, state-owned monopolies have been replaced by an array of companies selling gas, electricity and water. From dusty monopoly to Danish Energy giant, this book explores how DONG shook off its outdated image and completely transformed itself into an innovative and dynamic company with a strong brand.
(Click for details)

DigiMarketing: The Essential Guide to New Media and Digital Marketing
Developments in media and digital technology have spawned a new era in marketing.
(Click for details)

Greater Good: How Good Marketing Makes for Better Democracy
Marketing has a greater purpose, and marketers, a higher calling, than simply selling more widgets, according to John Quelch and Katherine Jocz. In Greater Good, the authors contend that marketing performs an essential societal function--and does so democratically. They maintain that people would benefit if the realms of politics and marketing were informed by one another's best principles and practices.
(Click for details)

Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions
Getting ROI from the web is everyone's job. Right now someone is clicking on your website, and knowing everything you can about those clicks and the people that make them is a business imperative. That's the first of a set of compelling business lessons distilled from the authors' decade of experience with the world's most powerful online brands.
(Click for details)

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes
Bill Gates, Tony Blair and President Clinton are among those who have listened closely to Mark Penn's analysis. In Microtrends, you'll understand why so many influential leaders have sought Mark Penn's counsel. Mark Penn highlights everything from religion to politics, from leisure pursuits to relationships. Microtrends will take the reader deep into the worlds of polling, targeting, and psychographic analysis, reaching tantalizing conclusions through engaging analysis.
(Click for details)

Get Ahead by Going Abroad: A Woman's Guide to Fast-Track Career Success
A ground-breaking book that highlights a growing trend among successful, globe-trotting women. Working abroad can fast-track your career, broaden your professional capabilities, increase your pay and expand your personal horizons.
(Click for details)

Apples, Insights and Mad Inventors: An Entertaining Analysis of Modern Marketing
A collection of thought-provoking observations on marketing issues from client management and brand management to strategy and product development. Essential reading for any communications professional
(Click for details)

Space Race
What is communications planning? Where is it going? Who will own it? How will it change things? Planner Jim Taylor sets out to define the structure of tomorrow's agencies by interviewing the leading lights of the industry today
(Click for details)

Brands & Gaming
Added Value marketers on how brands and businesses can understand and harness computer gaming, the huge opportunities available and the unique rules of engagement required
(Click for details)

One Billion Customers
Ogilvy Public Relations advisor and former Wall Street Journal China bureau chief McGregor on the lessons from the front line of doing business in China. Includes case studies of successful, and unsuccessful, ventures
(Click for details)

Pick Me
Ogilvy & Mather Toronto co-creative chiefs on how to land a job in advertising and thrive once you're in. Fourteen industry luminaries share their insights.
(Click for details)

The Future of Men
Charts the evolution of the role of men and what it means for business and culture, arguing that the new definition of male will revolutionise how we define and reach the 'new' male market
(Click for details)

Sponsorship’s Holy Grail
Employs Six Sigma quality improvement programme to enable organisations to understand, conduct and monitor sponsorship activities in line with specific business goals
(Click for details)

The Advertised Mind
Draws on information about the working of the human brain to suggest why emotion is so important a factor in remembering an advertisement and pre-disposing consumers to buy brands
(Click for details)

BRAND sense
Employs Millward Brown research to explore the effects of leveraging all five of the senses - touch, taste, smell, sight and sound - when building brands
(Click for details)

The Business of Brands
Outlines how brands are a source of value for businesses in terms of shareholder value through revenue generation and as a management tool - and for consumers, as a source of trust or predictor of quality
(Click for details)

Being Direct
In his own words, how 'the pioneering father of direct marketing' did it. With a groundbreaking final chapter on marketing in the 'post-present' and a new chapter on the impact of the Internet
(Click for details)

More Bull More
A collection of 70 short essays covering the marketing gamut, from advertising and brands to the people they are aimed at
(Click for details)

The 360 Degree Brand in Asia
With case studies on IBM, American Express, Pond's Institute, Nestle, amongst others, the authors set out a framework by which companies can plan their marketing strategy and budgets as they globalise
(Click for details)

Truth, Lies & Advertising
Describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumers and agency creatives. Argues that well-thought-out account planning results in better, more effective marketing and advertising
(Click for details)

Ogilvy On Advertising
The timeless reference on what works to create great brands, effective campaigns that make the cash register ring, and a productive agency environment. David Ogilvy pulls no punches, and his advice is priceless.
(Click for details)

Be the first of your friends to like this page.