By Randy Gunter
Read any good books lately? I used to read all of the time, these days I tend to listen to book on CDs and podcasts more than I actually read the books. Of course Dan Paulson and the pit crew have their books, but I thought I would suggest a few of my favorite business/marketing books for your reading pleasure…
Good to Great by James Collins
Jim Collins analyzes companies that have taken their companies from good (average results) to great (exceeding profits of their competitors) and sustained it over fifteen years (long enough to show it wasn’t a fluke.) He compares the selected companies with similarly sized competitors in each industry and analyzed the differences. The findings, the traits or “DNA” that were identified in all the “great” companies, were then conveyed as a potential road map for success.
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan
An award-winning copywriter and creative veteran from on of the most prestigious ad agencies in the world, Luke Sullivan analyzes the advertising industry and brings his thoughts to what makes good ads. (Or maybe more importantly, what people do to make their ads really bad.) Not just creative, its strategic. A must read for anyone wanting to get into the advertising industry or if their business uses advertising.
Selling The Dream by Guy Kawasaki
I can easily recommend anything that Guy Kawasaki has written. This is one of his earlier books where he talks about “evangelism”, convincing others to believe in you and what you are doing, not just trying to sell them a product or service.
Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide To Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith
Another favorite author: if Harry Beckwith wrote it, I can recommend it. Selling the Invisible is a collection of quick marketing ideas, each chapter is just a few pages long, making it a great book to be able to pick up and read and then put back down. In fact, he subsequently talks (I think in a later book) about how the small physical size and writing style helped make this book easy for travelers taking on planes, part of how to became a best seller. But its not just gimmick of style or size, lots of great ideas for marketers are in his book (and other books.)
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Pulling out all of my favorite authors in this list…this is an author that I am constantly referring to. Purple Cow is probably Seth Godin’s most famous book. A collection of ideas that builds on the idea of a having a purple cow–the idea that separates you from the ordinary. If you spot a purple cow along the side of the road, that would be quite remarkable. What can you do as a business that can make you remarkable?
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead
Yes, I was fascinated with this book. Its takes a psychological look at triggers, the stimuli that people react to, and then draws how marketers can use those triggers to engage their audience. This is a well-written book that takes complex ideas and simplifies them. If you are a marketer, you will definitely find items that you can use in your strategic marketing concepts.
Idea Revolution: Guidelines and Prompts for Brainstorming Alone, in Groups or with Clients by Clare Warmke
Designers in Handcuffs: How to Create Great Graphics When Time, Materials and Money are Tight by Pat Matson Knapp
Had to include these two books simply because if you look into them you’ll see that I’m a contributing author. These are both collections of ideas for designers and marketing people to use to help them create strategic materials for their companies.