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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2002
Uncommon Practice gives the reader access to the thought-processes of some of the most remarkable executives and brand managers today. As such, it is invaluable to anyone who wants to understand why some brands succeed where others fail. The ultimate message is that if you care about your people they will care about your business. Also a fascinating insight into some of the more eccentric policies deployed by many leading companies, and how these policies actually work. At last, a business book which manages to be insightful, informative and entertaining in equal doses. Altogether a terrific read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2002
You don't have to be working in branding or business to enjoy this book. It shows you with simple words how big brands like Virgin and Harley Davidson retain their employees and promote their name (those two being very closely linked). And their approach is somewhat uncommon, from the bentley lending opportunities at Richer Sound to the free Tiffany silver star of Pret A Manger....every CEO or everyone dealing with staff or customers should read this book ... a must have for employees satisfaction and top of the range customer services.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A well designed, funky looking collection of stories about some of the key brands on our high street. I have a problem with the inference that the authors worked with these companies when, in the majority of cases, they are simply acting as "reporters". However it is great for first hand insights from some key names, less great for organised thoughts, reflections and conclusions making it tricky to dip in and detect patterns and conclusions. However it is very accessible and if ever there was such a thing as a coffee table management book - this is it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2007
This book is simple in design - a solidly researched set of 19 case-studies, detailing how companies bring their brand alive into the customer experience.

In particular, the evidence is well supported by interviews with senior players in the firm, offering insight into how execution was achieved, rather than purely from a customer viewpoint.

However, the book has some fundamental flaws:

Inconsistent

In seeking out more unusual case-studies that have not been "done to death" by others, the portfolio brings together huge beasts like Tesco, alongside minnows like Richer Sounds. Not enough information is provided to enable readers to compare the scale of these enterprises. A simple, standard table of revenue, income, employee numbers and growth would have enabled this.

Limitations

Another weakness is the limited geography covered. All of the companies quoted are drawn from just two markets - the UK and US.

This places great restrictions on describing the cultural differences impacted by customers. For example, brands such as IKEA and Tchibo have distinctive experiences drawn from deep roots in Swedish and Germanic culture - it is a shame that European and Asian examples are excluded.

The irony of the book is that its own reader experience is so poorly managed. In particular, the lack of any sound structure within each case-study forces the reader to pick through a long narrative, looking for clues to compare companies.

This makes much of the insight hard to take away, and restricts the value to anecdotal at best.

A missed opportunity.....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2005
Fantastic business book. The authors don't try to prove any hokey point: they just list great example, after great example of fantastic brands and the people behind them. If you work on the agency-side you are going to find quotes from the book peppering your client conversations and in doing so will find yourself becoming even more credible!
If you are a client, or a brand, yourself then you might find something like "Smart Retail" useful too because that book can move you on from these great examples and actually show you can create a great brand-reinforcing culture yourself.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2002
A really interesting,well written book that will be of interest to anyone, whether they're involved in HR, marketing or not. Great illustrations really bring the text to life and it's unusual to get such honesty and openess from some of the world's highest profile MDs and CEOs.
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