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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars28
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: HardcoverChange
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on 25 March 2013
I never buy business looking books, but I thought this seemed different after reading a newspaper article and I was right. You get this from the moment you open the first chapter. The articles are very personally-focused and you feel like you are actually getting to know all the people involved. I found myself really liking Jackie Cooper especially - which is surprising, as I'd never heard of her before this book. The stories take on a very human angle, it is far from being a stuffy business book but an enjoyable read, making you feel that you actually know the people you are reading about. I feel the same as the previous reviewer, it will make a wonderful father's day book, however, it is not just a book for men but for women too.
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on 23 March 2013
The Branded Gentry is a very entertaining read that also manages to be quite inspirational and moving. Surprisingly personal insights into the motivations, strengths and weaknesses of the people behind a range of brand names - including Boden, Bridgewater, Dyson, Paul Smith and Sainsbury. A really enjoyable book that you can dip in and out of - also makes a great gift (I bought it as a Father's Day present and ended up reading it myself).
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on 28 March 2013
Very easy reading for a book about running your own business - and beautifully produced too. I was given this as a gift, and have enjoyed dipping into different chapters. There's a lot of direct quotes from the different people in there which gives you a real sense of who they are, and their families too. It's a clever concept - looking at what motivates those entrepreneurs who give their own names to their brands, and how that makes them different from all those other companies that don't. I shall look at my own high street with new eyes!
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on 5 April 2013
If understanding character is the key to understanding how people make it or fail in life, this book delivers in spades. Letting the characters speak for themselves is key. The author doesn't often get in the way of self-expression. In any case, the characters, like Tim Bell, have much to say for themselves and most have been disarmingly frank. All this makes for an engaging and informative "read".
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on 15 April 2013
A friend left it at mine by chance a couple of weeks ago and I have ended up reading it. I don't usually read business books, but at a first glance I was intrigued by some of the brands names that appear on the cover and so I decided to give it a go, starting from Paul Smith's chapter. You can actually do that without missing anything, because each chapter tells a different story, and this was actually on of the reason why I enjoyed the book, being free to browse it my way.
Each chapter has a quite personal twist, and they are both informative and interesting, this thanks to the fact that they are set as informal interviews. Paul Smith's story is def my favourite. I love the way he designs but before reading this book I didn't know anything about how he actually made his business back in the Seventies, and what kind of person he is. There are a lot of interesting facts about all these entrepreneurs, from which you can gain quite a lot of inspiration, while enjoying a bit of British business culture history.
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on 29 April 2013
This is a refreshing approach to a marketing/business book. The authors don't try to steal the show but they guide us through the trials and tribulations faced by the likes of James Dyson. The restlessness, persistence, determination of these characters is fascinating. You realise the money and trappings mean very little but the challenge is everything. Well done Mr Hopper & Mr Vallance - the title is inspired and is much of the writing. What's next please?
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on 27 March 2013
This is not your usual business book, more a collection of conversations with people you've kind of known all your life - but know little about. The premise is based upon the industry of personal business, people who have put not just their name into their business, but a huge chunk of themselves. People like Paul Smith, who's signature is worn by millions of people, especially Asia, every day - not bad for a lad from Nottingham who wanted to be Bradley Wiggins (well, whoever his equal was 40 yrs ago). In an era when the great names of Woolworths and Dixons slip from our high st under the weight of the likes of Apple and, ahem Amazon - its a great read that you can just dip in and out of, or dwell on some of the nuggets of insights from some of the great visionaries of the past few decades.
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on 20 May 2013
The authors' declaration in their prologue is of their desire of "meeting-the-people-with-the-names.....to look into their eyes...to depict the true colour and texture of entrepreneurial success."

This book is definitely NOT a how to guide, and you should not expect it to be.

Instead, each chapter is a pen portrait of one of the successful branded gentry who are now household names amongst the media London chattering classes of a certain age - John Hegarty, Lord Bell.

It features those who have taken a particular form of Englishness and sold it overseas: Paul Smith, Johnnie Boden, Viscount Linley. I particularly liked learning about Emma Bridgewater; female business-builders are under-represented here - no Cath Kidston, no Chrissie Rucker of The White Company.

As insight into the driving forces that compel individuals to forge their own destinies, written in their own words, this is fascinating.
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on 10 May 2013
If you hate business/marketing books that place you back in the class room or surrounded by dusty grey suits as soon as you read the first page then this is for you! Written in a 'having a chat' style I found this book easy to read, a great source of inspiration and confirmation that having my own business is the way forward as long as I'm willing to put the hours in and not be scared of failure!
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on 4 April 2013
I rather enjoyed this a lot. Ordered it after reading some of the excerpts from the book in the Telegraph having been impressed by the more personal angle they've managed to elicit from these high profile entrepreneurs, some of whom must have done hundreds of interviews in their time. It's never explicitly alluded to in the book, but there are some distinctly common elements in their experience of childhood and relationship with their parents, that many of these branded gentry folk have. It certainly gets the amateur psychologist in you generating some hypotheses...

It's also packed full of some very original and insightful killer quotes that I'm likely to be referencing for some time to come.
0Comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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