Top positive review
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This book changed how I think about business
on 2 February 2007
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. Don't you believe it, there's more clarity, focus, direction and simplicity resulting from the approach written about in this book than I've ever seen before.
If you want to improve your writing, read it. If you want to run a better business, read it. If you want to see that the world of marketing, branding and consultancy (for all its evils) has at least produced the three innocent founders and the author of this book, read it.
A great, great brand story - I genuinely couldn't more highly recommend it.