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5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing Book of 2008, 16 Aug 2008
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This review is from: Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki (Hardcover)
"The moment that organisations lose their personality is when their employees become "people" rather than individuals...".

As many of my readers and friends know. I'm very much in touch with the "human side of business", especially forming a connection with people. Revealing, the honest, sincere and human side of your business to your customers has repeatedly proved to be a good thing. It's the key to delighting them and making sure they stay with us for a very long time.

Rohit Bhargava as an author is right up there with the likes of Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki. Why? Because he tells it like it is. Jargon is left at the door and the book uses great worldwide examples of excellent personality branding. It's nice to see an American author who shows a refreshing awareness that we all don't live in America!

Wow. I must admit, Rohit actually had me at "hello" with this book. The book brings together, my own personal experiences of business differentiation. Learning, from companies such as Moo and Innocent Drinks (Also mentioned in the book). Rohit did an excellent job of drawing me in with his great writing style and a clear passion for the subject.

Throughout the book he provides many examples of businesses which are successfully using the techniques within the book. The case studies were almost enough to sell me the book alone. However, learning about each technique and then being given an interesting and detailed example of how each idea can be implemented in real life was fantastic. It was was great to see Steve, Hugh and the Blue Monster also getting a mention - Rock On!

Personality Not Included successfully leads the reader through the process of building a company personality. Rohit's approach impressed me in a number of ways. Firstly he outlined all the key elements. I especially liked his "UAT Filter"- the three core qualities of a company personality:

Unique
Authentic
Talkable

Spot on. Secondly, he presented great examples from several companies for each element.

As I finished reading Part 1, Rohit did something that many marketing writers do not usually do. He wrote a "Part 2'. The second part of the book focuses on how to put the discussion in Part 1 into action. To further guide the reader through the process, Rohit provides a number of tools and frameworks to help. The book is broken down into the following chapters:

Part One

Chapter 1 - Faceless used to work because big meant credible. This is no longer true

Chapter 2 - Accidental spokespeople are speaking for your brand - Embrace them

Chapter 3 - Uniqueness plus Authenticity plus Talkability equals personality. Use the UAT Filter

Chapter 4 - Backstories establish a foundation of credibility. You need onq.

Chapter 5 - Fear of change leads to barriers. Finding your authority overcomes them

Chapter 6 - Personality moments are everywhere and unexpected, but you must spot them

Part Two - (Putting Personality into Action)

* New Styles of Marketing (Ten Techniques are Described in Detail)
* Taking Theory Further (Tools and Guides to Accompany Chapters 1 - 6)

The key theme from the first half of the book is that personality matters, because it is the element of your brand that inspires loyalty more than any product feature or element of your service ever can.

Rohit reminds the reader, that consumers aren't just buying a product or service from you. They are buying "into" a whole experience. If they find the experience positive, they are very likely to purchase again, and/or recommend your business to others. As a text book, Personality not Included could also be used to boost your own "Personal Branding".

If you love Seth Godin, or Guy Kawasaki then you'll love Rohit Bhargava. If you are looking for a refreshing and up-to-the-minute business read, then you could do no better.

To conclude, Bhargava's marketing experiences with the world's leading companies has produced the definitive book that explains "Personality Branding", in a practical, understandable and actionable way. I can't recommend this book highly enough for any entrepreneur, business person, or anyone who wants to better understand how `personality' can impact a business.
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