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Best New Thinking Winner 2010

Bookshop – Books With Websites

 

Brand Child, Martin Lindstrom and Patricia Seybold February 2003 Kogan Page
I gave this book a stinker of a review which you can read in the brand or research section of the bookshop here. But there's also a website called Dualbook.com which you can visit once you've bought the book and an ID no that goes with it and you can then read all kinds of extra articles
 
 
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How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Gelb 1998 Harper Collins
This is basically a Creativity how to book based on the ultimate Renaissance man. So its a lot more than right brain thinking and playing Mozart in the background. There is a lot of inspiration here and it doesn't make the mistake of categorizing our Leonardo as an artist or a scientist - it's not at all clear that he would have understood the difference - painting in order to understand how things were put together and inventing things as a creative act. I rather enjoyed it.
 
 
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Smart Mobs, Howard Rheingold 2003 Perseus Publishing
Howard Rheingold is one of the digerati - a regular contributor to Wired magazine - he once wrote a cracking book called Virtual Communities about the internet. Rheingold has great credentials which is why he can breeze into Sony's research labls in Tokyo, into MIT and Redmond. But this is more than SFmeets sciene reportage. He has thought quite carefully about the dynamic which transformed the internet from a defence cum academic network into a ubiquitous information source run by terrorists and the unwashed public among others: co-operation. People give stuff away for free - that's how the internet works. And if mobile comms takes off - ie data as well as voice it will be because people start to produce content and interact with each other. Telephone companies who think they are going to run this show just see it as a way of charging people for usage. One of the illuminating metaphors he uses is the difference between the railways and the road system. Telecoms and mobile telecoms has been set up as a railway. Its best hope is to evolve into a road system - no one tells you when to get in your car and drive and you don't pay by the mile. That's why the internet took off and why telecoms needed to be deregulated. This isn't any more practical than Beyond Mobile (see next) but it does show the kinds of technology in R&D and it shows how early adopters (Japan and Scandinavia) are taking to mobile comms. Rheingold has an axe to grind - he worries about the corporates and how they squash free speech and take the legislators with them. What I like about the book apart from its readability is that it does a great job of identifying the social issues connected with mobile communications. How do you have a system for finding where you and your friends are without the state keeping an eye on all of you? How do we develop reflection and creativity if our culture moves to being 'always on'. I was recommended this book independently by 2 people. Make that a third. There's also a website called http://www.smartmobs.com
 
 
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Customers.com, Patricia B. Seybold 1998 Random House
Customers.com is one of the longest promotional leaflets you will ever read. It's also one of the best. Whenever I pick up a brief for a CRM job this is the book I take off the shelf for a refresher. It is a complete overview of how to use the internet to rebuild a business around your customers. Copiously researched, heavily bullet pointed this is as comprehensive and accessible as you could wish for. Keep an eye on the publication date. There are a couple of different versions out there. Our Patricia's in the habit of changing the case studies and keeping the rest of the content the same and sending it off to the publishers again. If you work in CRM you'll already be plagiarising this book. If you're a client you can always hire her or go on one of her stateside seminars. For everyone there is a bonus - the customers.com website where you can download white papers and all kinds of goodies like customer dashboards and the like. Very good value.
 
 
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Funky Business, Jonas Ridderstrale Kjell Nordstrom 2000 Prentice Hall
Hmm this was a fun read. Written by a couple of mad Swedish academics with a penchant for baldness and funny round glasses. It's about reinventing your business. The knowledge and creativity of your people is all that you have to differentiate your company from the competition so here's how to do it. There's nothing here you wouldn't find it one of the many reinvention manuals that flooded the market at the height of dot com mania. But these gentlemen don't take themselves too seriously and provide lots of quotable material. The first book in ages I wondered if I should be annotating with a magic marker. Favourite quote - "All modern companies compete on knoweldge but knowledge is perisheable. We must treat it like milk - we have to date it." So how long in the tooth is most of the branding theory that is touted on a daily basis? Highly recommended.Check out their website as well http://www.funkybusiness.com
 
 
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Brand Storm, Will Murray 2000 FT Prentice Hall
A glossy interactive read about how brands need to engage with super consumers in a new age. I am still getting used to books which you're not supposed to read in a linear fashion and this book has a website attached for even more interaction. Fine fine fine. And it's not written by Will Murray it is written by a whole team of people (called Team Murray) who I'm sure deserve the credit. There's a group of dancers who get much photographed. Ooh this is such a grumpy review and I'm haven't even finished the book yet! I just worry that beneath all the gloss and interaction lie the basic assertions that the internet is quite important, that consumers are becoming more demanding and that brands need work even harder to engage with their customers. Which isn't rocket science but is certainly art directed to suggest that it is offering a lot lot more. Go on and have a look for yourself: http://www.brandstorm.co.uk
 
 
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Unleashing the Ideavirus, Seth Godin2000 Do you Zoom Coy
Picks up where Malcolm Gladwell finished with the Tipping Point and is a lot more practical than Gladwell in what you actually do to harness the power of word of mouth. It is also unique in that not only can you download hardcopy from http://www.ideavirus.com/ perfect for sampling or even not paying a penny if you can handle the guilt but those of you with a Palm Pilot can download a copy that runs on that - so how funky can you get?!!
 
 
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No Logo, Naomi Klein 2000 Flamingo
The most challenging book I've read in ages. Naomi Klein tracks global brands and they way they are challenging our public spaces, the choices we make and the working conditions of those who make the stuff the brand slap their logos on. At first I thought that she could be written off as a trendy lefty. But she's a working journalist so advertising pays for her salary so she's not naive. This is a look under the bed to expose some of the less glamorous side of building global brands. And if you work in the branding/communications business and have any integrity, you ought to be thinking about these things. Try www.nologo.org for a community who are working through these ideas-
 
 
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The Cluetrain Manifesto, Rick Levine Christopher Locke et al 2000 Perseus
I can save you money. Go to www.Cluetrain.com. It is wonderful. The book is OK but a bit of a ramble - it has been written by committee. But the website is the best bit. Markets are smarter than companies. Unless companies empower their employees to talk on their behalf wired consumers will route around them. Terrific. On second thoughts I don't regret buying the book. The site is free but worth the cover price. They deserve it
 
 
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Whatif! How to start a creative revolution at work, Dave Allan Matt Kingdon Kris Murrin Das Rudkin 1999 Capstone
Get more creativity into your office. Buy the book or download the whole thing from here. Yes really! http://www.whatif.co.uk/opinion/book.shtml/
 
 
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The Popcorn Report, Faith Popcorn 1992 HarperCollins
A bit dated now but the concepts are as borrowable as ever. Clicking is better and needs listing here soon. She's written Eve-olution since about women.I've just read it. Click here to visit her rather exuberant website. Help her write her next book?! http://www.faithpopcorn.com
 
 
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Story, Robert McKee 1998 Methuen
I started this book last summer (and I'm back on it and I'm going to finish it). Because I would like to explore the notion that brands can better be explored as narratives than as personalities (c.f. John Grant in New Marketing Manifesto in the Brands section on brands as editors) And McKee is an authority on screenplay writing. So I look forward to handing a rough draft of a screenplay to the creative team and pitching the idea.... McKee has a website at http://www. mcckeestory.com
 
 
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