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Great Brand Stories: Innocent : Building a Brand from Nothing But Fruit Paperback – 25 Jan 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cyan Books (25 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905736045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905736041
  • Package Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

John Simmons is a brands expert who was previously a director at Interbrand, the world’s largest brands consultancy. He is the author of several books, including My Sister’s a Barista, Dark Angels, The Invisible Grail, and We, Me, Them & It (all published by Cyan).

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You know when a book is so good that you have to keep putting it down and look out the window or something - just to try to contain your excitement?

I've read an unhealthy amount about branding, writing, marketing and management -and this relatively short (charmingly written) book, in one single story about one (amazing) company, has taught me more about branding, writing and how those two things can define and direct a business than all the rest put together.

John Simmons shows you that your brand and how you articulate your brand are one and the same thing. He shows you that writing can permeate every part and every stage of an organisation, so that everyone in your business (your colleagues, your customers, your suppliers, your investors, the media - everyone) will know what you do and who you are - and like you all the more for it.

Like his other books (We, Me, Them & It, The Invisible Grail, Dark Angels etc), this is about bringing honesty and humanity to work through your actions and through your words. It's about talking to and thinking about people in a way that not only genuinely reflects who you are, but helps shape and define who you are at the same time. The lesson I took away was this: Get the big picture through your brand, then really do sweat the details - from the way you write your company rule books (yes, Innocent do have them), to the way you answer the phone.

If you already know Innocent's 'tone of voice' (the words they use and the way they use them), you might imagine that while all this might work when you're writing a list of ingredients on the side of a smoothie, when you're dealing with things like supply chain logistics or complex marketing strategy, it all ends up sounding like a bunch of ill-thought-out, homespun truisms.
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Format: Paperback
John Simmons writes with clarity and simplicity so that you almost feel as if you haven't read a business book; it was all too easy. Then again, you look back and realise you've learned much more about the business than if you'd struggled through a business report twice the length.
But now innocent have launched a break-away brand, This Water, and the Fruitstock Festival has turned into the Village Fair; we need an update.
What interests me is - according to John's description of their meticulous and lengthy planning process - that innocent must have been plotting their new developments while they were telling John about their recent history. These innocent chaps are wise indeed.
That's the problem with describing a moving target and the only reason I give the book a four and not a five. I need to know the thinking behind the This Water brand, why they moved on from Fruitstock. Bring out the update and I'll give it a 4.5.
But as a history of the brand's first few years, I'd recommend this for all your MBA case studies. Reading it as probably as close as you'll get to the interviewing the founders and Dan4.
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Format: Paperback
This is a truly fascinating story about an extraordinary company. The book is easy to read and understand and very difficult to put down once you have started reading. Not only does it contain many valuable information about the company, it also gives a personal insight into their business operations and the personalities within it. It can become a little repetitive from time to time but this is majorly due to John Simmon's enthusiasm and passion about Innocent!
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Format: Paperback
As one of those people who, like so many others, once walked into a copywriting workshop clutching an Innocent bottle in my hand as though it was an elixir of creative wonder, before reading it out to the class - I was rather excited (not to mention a smidgen envious) when I heard this book was being written.

Happily, it's a really entertaining read, which I devoured in only a few sittings. What's so nice is the way Simmons' own enthusiasm for the brand shines through, as he leads us on a guided tour through Fruit Towers and the story of Innocent; from its humble beginnings in the much-fabled land of `yes' and `no' bins, through to its humbler still existence today as Britain's fastest growing food and drinks company. From the dancing grass vans and the banana phone, to the fruitstock festival, and to the almost bloody-minded optimism which bounces through Innocent's whole approach to things... it's all there. And like the smoothies themselves, this book leaves you feeling uplifted and charged, fresh with the knowledge that simple goodness, optimism and honesty really can triumph above cynicism.

I can't remember the last time I read a non-fiction book so quickly, or came across one so `unputdownable'. Maybe it's partly because the content was so interesting, but it's also got to be down to the engaging openness of the author's style. As in all his other books, he writes with a simple charm that isn't a million miles away from the natural, funny tone running through Innocent's own voice.

As well as a comprehensive history of the brand and its people, there are many other lovely treats inside. There's a gallery of the best and most read-aloud labels over the years.
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