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How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know [Hardcover]

Byron Sharp
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 22.50
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Book Description

11 Mar 2010
This book provides evidence-based answers to the key questions asked by marketers every day. Tackling issues such as how brands grow, how advertising really works, what price promotions really do and how loyalty programs really affect loyalty, How Brands Grow presents decades of research in a style that is written for marketing professionals to grow their brands. It is the first book to present these laws in context and to explore their meaning and application.
The most distinctive element to this book is that the laws presented are tried and tested; they have been found to hold over varied conditions, time and countries. This is contra to most marketing texts and indeed, much information provides evidence that much modern marketing theory is far from soundly based.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (11 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195573560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195573565
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Professor of Maketing Science
Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia.

Byron was born in New Zealand and did his undergraduate marketing degree at Auckland University. He worked in Australia for several years before becoming marketing manager of the University of South Australia's consulting and technology transfer company. That's how he fell into academia completing a Masters by Research and then PhD in marketing.

He is the founding director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute where a team of 50+ marketing scientists work on discovering law-like patterns in buyer behaviour and brand performance.

Product Description

Review

"More than anything else, however, I'm just plain envious. It's a book I wish I had the intelligence to write... Reading Sharp's critique of the cult of differentiation made me smile. And I laughed out loud at his characterisation of supposedly committed consumers as "uncaring cognitive misers"."--Marketing Week

"...marketers need to move beyond the psycho-babble and read this book... or be left hopelessly behind."--Joseph Tripodi, The Coca-Cola Company

"Until every marketer applies these learnings, there will be a competitive advantage for those who do."--Mitch Barnes,The Nielsen Company

"A scientific journey that reveals and explains with great rigour the Laws of Growth."--Bruce McColl, Mars Incorporated

"This book puts marketing's myth-makers, of which there are many, in their proper place."--Thomas Bayne, MountainView Learning

"A truly thought-provoking book."--Timothy Keiningham, IPSOS Loyalty

"The evidence in this book should make any marketer think hard about how they manage their brands."--Kevin Brennan, General Manager, Snacks and Marketing Director, Kellogg UK

"This book should be required reading on any marketing course."--Colin McDonald, the 'father' of Single-Source analysis and author of Tracking Advertising & Monitoring Brands

"There is competitive advantage here for those who understand and follow this book's lessons."--Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.

About the Author

Professor Byron Sharp is the Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia. The Institute's fundamental research is used and financially supported by many of the world's leading corporations including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Kellogg's, British Airways, Procter & Gamble, Nielsen, TNS, Turner Broadcasting, Network Ten, Simplot, Mars and many others. Dr Sharp has published over 100 academic papers and is on the editorial board of five journals. He recently co-hosted a conference at the Wharton Business School on laws of advertising and, with Professor Jerry Wind, is editing a special issue of the Journal of Advertising Research on the topic.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inconvenient truth for marketers 7 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover
It's refreshing to read a marketing book that puts theory aside and looks at the evidence-based learnings from some of the most successful campaigns.

The results can make for uncomfortable reading (especially if you currently manage the marketing plan) but the book is based on clear, objective and compelling research, expertly presented in way that makes it both a great read and immediately actionable. Overall, an original, impressive and insightful book that does exactly what it says on the cover - reveals how brands really grow.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every marketer needs this book! 21 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover
The most unfortunate thing about this book is that most people who most need to read it probably won't! It is unfortunate that the marketing profession is largely founded on what appear to be exciting ideas that are underpinned by little empirical evidence. Prof Sharp provides a challenge to everything we think we know about marketing, and provides a wealth of empirical evidence to back up what he says. If you think you know something about marketing, then you really need to read this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than sliced bread...really! 10 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover
This book tells it how it is, but it might not make comfortable reading if you work in marketing...there are rules, they are not what you think, they are based on facts it's hard to argue with, and now they are all in one place. Read it before your competitors!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Very complex view on marketing and brand management challenging many traditional myths, challenging a bit traditional Kotler's point of view. Applies rather scientific approach and support view with a lot of evidence. Suitable rather for experienced marketing managers and professionals. Should be obligatory reading for CEOs, CFOs and generally board members, as at very well explains the role of advertising and promotion and what can and cannot be expected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for marketing 26 Oct 2011
By Robert
Format:Hardcover
Byron Sharp has written an essential summary of research on how brands grow. In doing so, he dispels popular marketing myths, using facts and evidence. The writing is clear and easy to understand, the structure of the book is logical. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-opening! 24 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
My first copy was leant to me by a marketing friend who said, 'Read this, you're going to be amazed. Our company has changed it's whole marketing strategy based on this book, and it's working.' A little sceptical, I took the book and started reading.

Half a day later, I emerged, dazed and astounded. She was right, I was amazed. It was a revelation to someone who's been in marketing for over 20 years. It will challenge your accepted marketing thinking and fill your head with a vision of a Brave New World. I'm off to start building mine now, before every marketer has read this and the advantages it gives me will be the norm once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical. Uncomfortable. Essential. 21 Sep 2010
By JC
Format:Hardcover
Read 'How Brands Grow'. Then, for every bit of Marketing lore and received wisdom you THINK you know, ask yourself what data that belief is - or isn't - based on. This will be an uncomfortable process, I guarantee.
If you're only just starting out in Marketing, you're lucky: you have a Bible to digest, learn and refer to.
If (like me) you have come up through the ranks of MarComms, with all its taken-for-granteds and that's-the-way-it's-dones, "How Brands Grow" rips down the flimsy edifices we've leaned on for years, and replaces them with solidly-founded constructions, rooted immutably in fact.
The book's title is disingenuously neutral. It could have been called "Everything You Know About Marketing Is Wrong", and still not have done justice to the radical way it demolishes existing Marketing theory and practice. Which it then replaces with simple new principles which any Marketer anywhere could adopt and use tomorrow.
Please don't assume that because it is such a departure from current thinking, it can't possibly be THAT much better. You may think, "Surely a middle ground is most likely to be right? ...something that draws on the best of what we already know, and adds newer, sharper thinking to it?" Big mistake. This is a take-it-or-leave-it offer - you're either with us or against us (I apologise for quoting Bush). You can't read "How Brands Grow" and do nothing: either you clamp your hands over your eyes and ears like terrified monkeys, or you put up your hands, surrender, and gird your loins for the arguments you're going to have every working day.
Read "How Brands Grow". If you decide my review is wrong, that's fine. I KNOW I will be out there making brands grow. You keep doing what you're doing - you may get lucky.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sharp read 2 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover
Writing a review of a book which you know you are going to like before you have read it presents a few problems. Firstly it is harder to find substantive as opposed to trivial faults such as "50% ( 200 divided by 100)" on p 31, or figures 4.1 and 4.1 mis-labelled). Nobody apart from a few of us sticklers will notice or care, and anyway they will get corrected in the second edition!

Secondly there is a danger of being over effusive and becoming one of the small number of `passionate committed consumers' who matter but do not significantly affect the overall performance of the brand (see chapter 7) - Kotler may be wrong but he is a much bigger brand the Sharp!

Sharp's target market for this book is clearly marketing managers which violates some of the most important law-like relationships revealed in "How Brands Grow" - it should of course reach a much wider group of consumers which (at least) include marketing pedagogues in further and higher education institutions (and their charges!) and academic and practitioner marketing researchers.

The book will be a challenge to those who are unfamiliar with the core concepts, and there are many who will find the ideas so dissonant with their own behaviours as marketers or teachers that they will not read it all. Hopefully they will return and re-read and re-evaluate and then reform their views of marketplace realities.

The structure and approach are good and the feeling of repetition at times can also be seen as a way of reinforcing the awareness created. The use of data to exemplify the rules matters greatly and it would have been great to see an extensive example from one of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute supporting companies woven throughout the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Sharp builds evidence based arguments that make you reconsider your assumptions - this is real food for the mind - so long as you recognise that some of the law like... Read more
Published 5 months ago by C Worley
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best marketing books on the market and a stable read
I was recommended this by a snr colleague and found to be invaluable, as an experienced marketer it makes you reconsider what you helped to be true and provides data to back up the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Paul Trueman
2.0 out of 5 stars How big brands grow bigger would be a more accurate name
This book is one huge pile of generalizations.

Disclaimer: it may be a good read if you're managing an account for a large multinational company who sell products to the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Margarita G
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what you need to know
It seems sensible, doesn't it, that if you want to grow, you need more customers - new customers. This is the essence of the book, but it over-turns the wisdom that you should... Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. J. de Bulat
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly 5 Stars
This is a very good book, and the central idea is profound. Why not 5 stars? Well it lambasts other marketing books for failing to commit to scientific rigour, and works hard to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Richard Pascoe
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
An interesting new approach to Marketing based on real market data of world brands playong in today's global market. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Clomax
5.0 out of 5 stars Problem for Marketing consultants
This book makes the job of the marketer, sales person and brand owner much easier. It challenges and comprehensively defeats much of the snake oil sold by the marketing services... Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Henry Coates
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you are an FMCG brand manager
I'm still a bit unsure about some of the conclusions in this book, but it definitely got me thinking about the assumptions marketers take for granted. Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2012 by mARTketers.com
4.0 out of 5 stars How Brands Grow
Companies waste time and money on ineffective marketing strategies. Marketing research professor Byron Sharp suggests that, instead, they should act according to research that... Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing under the spotlight
I love this book.

It's the first book on marketing I've read - and I've read many, many books on marketing - where I was presented with hard, solid data for the claims... Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by Andrew Lloyd Gordon
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