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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
A Book About Innocent: Our Story and Some Things We've Learned
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on 11 December 2017
Good book. More of a smart brand piece by the Innocent chaps
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on 22 April 2013
Once I picked it up I could not put it down. Have your notebook handy as you muli million idea may just be created as you think 'I could do that and have some fum on the way (in-between hard work!'
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on 21 June 2011
This is the most enjoyable "business book" I have ever read. I've put the genre in inverted commas because the feel of it is completely different to anything I have come across before. It almost needs a new genre for itself.

The book completely reflects innocent. Innocent was started by three friends in 1999 and now they have completely taken over the smoothies market in the UK and some other countries. I am a great fan of their products, they do taste yummy. They can look a little bit pricey, but having read about the manufacturing process behind them, they really should not be priced for less.

Innocent is an environmentally responsible company, I would go further and say, an ethically responsible company, to the core. They REALLY practice what they preach. And if the book reflects in any way their day-to day operations (which I'm pretty sure it does), their ethos drives everything they do. Even the book itself has a completely different feel to it than most paperbacks, though published by Penguin.

Back to the book. It's a great read: light, full of examples and a really good balance of things that went well and those that didn't. But what I enjoyed about it most was its honesty. Of course, the honesty contributes to the humour: I'm bound to cite many a time the fact that the guys tried to schedule their meetings with investors at lunchtime in order to get free sandwiches when their cash was running out.

The book is full of advice for entrepreneurs, such as my favourite: "start small, but do start". But beyond that, it is a story about entrepreneurial success. From three guys thinking "Hey, it would be really good to go into business together" to "Hey, Coke's invested £30 million in our company and we can still run it as we want to".

If you enjoy reading the labels on the innocent smoothies, you will enjoy this book. It has a story, has been written for your amusement, contains some advice (and no artificial additives) and is written by successful people who don't take themselves too seriously. What more could we possibly ask for?
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on 28 April 2009
It's a small thing but I now carry a notebook everywhere to write all my ideas down, whether they are good, bad or just plain ridiculous. Thanks to this great book that seems to have masses of excellent business thinking but not a word of jargon in sight.
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on 8 June 2009
This is everything you'd expect from innocent, an easy read, full of humour, conversational anecdotes but mostly pure business inspiration. Buy this to admire the writing or get the boost to start your own fledgling business. 10 years on and still innocent.
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on 27 October 2010
Trust is a vital ingredient of our society, and the capital of trust which corporations were endowed with has been seriously eroded over the last couple decades. This has occurred very visibly through a series of massive corporate scandals, but also through the thousand stings of little lies and the greed of some getting the better of their sense of responsibility. In a world where companies are no longer presumed innocent, what better response than to just BE innocent? In this book, the three founders of innocent tell us how their very successful and likable "little food company" came about and thrived. The book contains useful start-up advice for would-be entrepreneurs, sharing lessons they have learned about positioning, focus and persistence dispensed with commonsensical clarity and a healthy dose of British downplaying humor that I very much enjoy (and, as becomes clear throughout the book, a key ingredient of all things innocent). But it was the sections on the branding that I found the most interesting and an original contribution to the field of marketing. Innocent has built its brand by leveraging its "genuine authenticity" (I know it is kind of redundant, but you can probably think of a few "fake authentic" companies, so cut me some slack, here), by acting responsibly and in transparency, and by bringing its consumers into a brand that is not a mere image that wraps a product to make it sell better, but an expression of the values held by the company, its founders, and its employees. This approach is a very successful response to the context of lowered trust, heightened expectations (pressure for social responsibility) and increased internet-enabled transparency that businesses need to contend with today. If the authors make it sound delightfully easy, I think no one should be deceived into believing that achieving authenticity and the level of coherence without which the message will just ring hollow is very difficult indeed (blatant manipulation is a lot easier to perform, but just does not seem to work as well as it used to).

These insights and the not-so-serious tone (supported by a totally innocent zesty format and cheeky illustrations) make this book a delight to read, from cover to cover. As someone who has read more management literature than I really care to admit, I also found it a fresh and compelling look into what marketing should be about. For those of you who are interested in the topic of how to build meaningful brands in today's business environment I'd also recommend the excellent textbook by Claudia Fisher-Buttinger and Christine Vallaster, "Connective Branding".
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VINE VOICEon 28 February 2014
This is a very refreshing book, just like the Innocent juices.
It is amazing to see how difficult it was for these three friends to set-up this business. They went to see many investors and with no experience in running a business, no experience in the juices world they pulled it off.
In the book they share their journey and the secrets to their success.

There were on a mission and were determined to succeed. They were open minded all the way and kept improving things ion order to achieve success. I find the ideas in the book and the inspiration of the story valuable insight into creating wealth.
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on 20 December 2011
Someone once said to me 'So, hit me with your elevator pitch, what's your business about'. Well 10 minutes later I was still trying to elicit the fine detail of my business, needless to say the guy had left many floors before. This book actually made me simplify my business right down to a one line comment.

What I love about this book is how it elicits a complicated idea into something very simple and understandable. You may think innocent smoothies made with fresh fruit is a simple idea but with an industry set up for concentrates and preservatives its not. I find what innocent has done is brilliant and with a fact they have set up a business in a way where they can really do what the enjoy and at the same is the main part of there product - the fresh and natural nature of the smoothie. The focus on this ties in with what they are about and selling there brand. Basically creating a brand we all want to identify with.

I find it a very inspiring message of how to do business in a modern climate.

The book as many other commentators have highlighted is brilliantly free of jargon and written in a way that it's simple message carries a lot of really practical information but is written in such a way that it gets you thinking about your business, that is supposing you want to start a business in the first place and with little personal anecdotes mixed in throughout the book makes for a great inspiring read.
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on 11 June 2009
I read the book on the train this week. It's an easy and enjoyable read. There are similar books out there, but it is well presented, seems honest and doesn't have any unnecessary bits in it. Funny that.
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on 30 April 2009
....these guys are the real deal. You can smell their enthusiasm and their advice is spot on. It's a good fun read and you do not have to agree with everything they say, but one thing is for sure, they have thought very hard before they have written anything down and over the last 10 years, they have practiced what they preach. Some may say this is all a bit self promotional, but to some extent that's the point! INSPIRATIONAL
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