How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know Hardcover – 11 Mar 2010
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"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.
AdAges Most-Recommended Marketing Book of the Summer 2013See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
It debunks quite a lot of ideas around marketing - e.g. there is no such thing as loyalty - most big brands are big because they have massive distribution so it makes is more likely consumers will find them on the shelves when they're looking for something in the category. The nice thing is that much of the earlier chapters are backed by reasonable amounts of data (e.g. how easily consumers switch brands, etc) - something that is unusual in marketing.
It also ties in nicely with the work of Daniel Kahneman on heuristics saying that, despite having little loyalty, most people only buy things they've heard of (we take mental shortcuts for decisions as Kahneman has comprehensively proved) so you need to make sure people have heard of your brands in the first place if you want to sell it.
However, I only give this four stars as in some of the later chapters (e.g. Chapter 9, "How advertising really works") the author suddenly drops his evidence-based approach and goes back to the time-honored marketing approach of making authoritative but evidence-devoid assertions. For example, the now popular idea that you need to create more "occasions" around your brand to grow mindshare clearly come from this book, but no data for it is ever presented.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An authoritative must read dispelling many myths around Brand, Marketing and Promotion.
Arguments extensively backed up with research. Read more
I wanted to really like this book. I liked the idea of it and I like what it aims to do. I just can't read it without getting bored. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Adam Palethorpe
An amazing book - a different view of modern marketing that can help brand and marketing managers to refresh their view on hoe effectively brand grows. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Filippo
Work made me buy this. Could involve manure and steroids for all I know.Published 7 months ago by Brad French
forget everything you know about marketing. time to start from the top with facts. The data on this is pretty clearPublished 8 months ago by fiscalstudent
Not read it all the way through yet but some really interesting ideas and has provided some good evaluative references for my CIM assignments.Published 13 months ago by Ms Jordan