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Baked In: Creating Products and Businesses That Market Themselves [Paperback]

Alex Bogusky , John Winsor

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Book Description

Dec 1 2010
Brands must build a new relationship with their customers and the culture they participate in. The old rule was to create safe, ordinary products and combine them with mass marketing. The new rule: create truly innovative products and build the marketing right into them. Today, it's within the product itself that a brand has the most leverage with consumers. So where should companies start? They must take their brands back to their foundations and realize that the message is not the product, but that the product is the message. Authors Alex Bogusky and John Winsor have worked with some of the most important brands in today's marketplace, including American Express, Best Buy, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Google, Nike, Microsoft, Patagonia, and Toyota, utilizing the tools they discuss in this book. Writing in a swift, irreverent style, Bogusky and Winsor make readers feel like they are getting a front-row seat at a top-level marketing strategy session.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Agate B2 (Dec 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932841571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932841572
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 12.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #198,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"With Baked In, Alex Bogusky and John Winsor recast the way people will think about the integration of marketing and product design. This is a provocative and compelling message, and vision for the future."- Matt Jacobson, Head of Market Development, Facebook

About the Author

Alex Bogusky is the chief creative insurgent at MDC Partners, the parent company of Crispin Porter + Bogusky advertising agency. He lives in Miami. John Winsor founded Victors & Spoils, the first ad agency built on crowdsourcing principles. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth your while! Nov. 4 2009
By Ranelagh - Published on
No one reading "Baked In" should assume that Bogusky and Winsor are going to divulge all their marketing secrets, but there are definite golden nuggets in this well-conceived book. Simply put, Baked In encourages companies to remember one simple rule: your product, not your marketing, is your most effective tool. Their advice is clever and succinct, and at a slim 152 pages you won't suffer information overload at its completion. I am not a business person - hell, I didn't even think I was interested in advertising - but I read Baked In with a fascination that extends well beyond the reach of the industry itself.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, but a bit thin June 29 2011
By Matt N - Published on
I had been wanting to read this book for months, then finally found a copy and ... well, I can't say it lived up to my expectations. I think this is partly because I'm an ad guy, and wanted to hear these ad geniuses talk about what they're geniuses at - rather than NPD, which it seems they want to be geniuses at, but haven't really got much of a track record at (for that, you'd be better off reading anything by Tim Brown at IDEO)

Bogusky and Winsor are undoubtedly extraordinary professionals - at the top of their game for years. But this book starts from a strange premise - that CEOs of businesses (because that seems to be who they're aiming at - not marketing professionals, but everyone else in businesses) are actually TOO preoccupied with marketing (dazzled by their Boguskys, perhaps), and that really they should focus more on their product. It is a shame to have to use all your marketing energies to counteract negative perceptions of a product... but c'est la vie, when did ad people get too big for that kind of a brief?

I've never met a business person who isn't focused on their product. The idea that they should really put more emphasis there seems patronising in the extreme - if they invest in NPD it's probably for a bigger reason than just to "bake in" marketing (i.e. make their ad agency's job easier).

Their examples are worthwhile, their rules are sensible, but all amount to little more than platitudes unless you're someone about to launch a new business - then it is a very valid question, "is this a product with its marketing baked it?" - but it seems like those circumstances are few and far between.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You either have it or you don't May 29 2010
By Donavon Roberson - Published on
There are few books out there that really cut to the heart of the matter, Baked In is one of those books. In regard to marketing, what are your customers saying about your product? Who is designing your product? Is your product a solid representation of your brand? OR are you faking it?

Gone are the days of big business telling the consumer what the brand stands for and why they should buy the product. There is no place to hide...the customer interacts with your product and becomes brand representatives. If you have exceptional products, you will have exceptional representation by the consumer. If you products are average or less than had better look out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving past advertising Jan. 22 2010
By johnathan bowden - Published on
If advertising is not your chosen profession in life, why the heck would you want to read a book written by two of the top leaders in the advertising world? (alex bogusky, @bogusky , longtime creative director at crispin porter + bogusky; and John Winsor, @jtwinsor , former head of product innovation & cognitive research at cp+b)

Because I believe the authors are on to something. And it's not advertising. I want to say it's way past advertising, but it's actually pre advertsing.

What?? Sound confusing? Let's jump into the meat of the book.

Though I passionately disagree with both authors on the value and practice of crowdsourcing, here are a few of their points from @bakedin that stuck with me:

+ Let's cut the crap of lying and false promises about products, and instead design a useful & beautiful product / experience that meets the users exact needs & wants.

+ Stop spending 3,4, or 8 years in r & d, and instead prototype and test early, and revise what works and throw away the rest.

+ Listen to and know your audience, and make a product that fits, instead making a mediocre product and then trying to advertise the crap out of it.

+ Inrementally changing a mediocre product each year to be (slightly) new & improved is a flawed business plan. Let's innovate! Let's create something new! Let's create something beautiful! Let's create something useful!!

So if you have any interest in providing a useful / beautiful / wow product or service, do your future self a favor and pick this book up!

Also, a big thanks to @jtwinsor for sending me a copy of the book to review!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The product IS the marketing! Sept. 3 2010
By Kevin Donlin - Published on
Summary: To succeed today, you should create innovative products (or services) with the marketing baked into them.

(The phrase "baked in" comes from 3D printing, a process that "bakes" prototypes in a oven-type contraption.)

Do this right and your products/services will market themselves, like Threadless t-shirts, OXO kitchen utensils, the iPod, etc.

Three takeaways:

1. The product is always the most-powerful marketing and sales tool. Stop designing in a vacuum and start designing as if the product had to sell itself without marketing. This forces you to innovate.

2. A shortcut to innovation is to steal great ideas -- from different industries, not your competitors. Nike "stole" the inspiration for its 20th anniversary edition of Air Jordan shoes from the design on Wynton Marsalis' trumpet, for example.

3. The name of your product can make or break it. Example: the VW Golf had slumped in sales by 90% over 15 years, from 250,000 units a year to 30,000. Back in its peak year, there was one thing different: the name. It used to be called the Rabbit. (Remember?) When VW changed the name back to Rabbit, sales nearly doubled in one year -- to 50,000.

This is a slender book you can read on an average plane ride. Be sure to re-read it when you land, then turn your ideas into actions. Recommended.

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