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Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki [Hardcover]

Rohit Bhargava
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 31 2008

The age of the faceless corporation is over. In the new business era of the twenty first century, great brands and products must evoke a dynamic personality in order to attract passionate customers. Although many organizations hide their personality behind layers of packaged messaging and advertising, social media guru and influencer Rohit Bhargava counters that philosophy and illustrates how successful businesses have redefined themselves in the new customer universe.

Personality Not Included is a powerhouse resource packed with bold new insights that show you how to shed the lifeless armor of your business and rediscover the soul of your brand. Sharing stories from the ethos of the world's weirdest city, to how Manga has taken the comic book industry by storm, to showcasing brands like Intel, Boeing, ING, and Dyson, Bhargava shows you why personality matters from the inside out.

In Part One, you'll be introduced to the key components to building a personality and learn how to:

  • Recognize the greatest myth that most marketers blindly follow, and how to get past it
  • Use the “UAT Filter” to understand the personality of your organization and products in order to develop a communication strategy that drives your marketing
  • Create your company's “marketing backstory” using techniques pioneered by Hollywood screenwriters
  • Harness the influence of “accidental spokespeople” and use it to your advantage
  • Navigate the roadblocks of using personality that come from bosses, peers, investors, and lawyers, without getting fired or flamed
  • Pinpoint and capitalize on the moments where personality can make a difference

Part Two is packed with guides, tools, and techniques to help you flawlessly implement your plan. It features practical, step-by-step lessons that help you effectively move from theory to action, and includes a valuable collection of guides, checklists, question forms, printable resources, and more.

Don't be another faceless company-learn the new rules for succeeding in the social media era with Personality Not Included.

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From the Back Cover

Personality Not Included breaks down the old barriers between marketing, advertising, and PR and shows you how to nail the single objective of it all: creating powerful conversations with your customers and getting them to choose you over the rest.”
-Timothy Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“Just being pretty isn't enough anymore, today a brand also needs a strong personality to survive. In Personality Not Included, Rohit gives you the techniques and tools to help your brand go from wallflower to social butterfly.”
-Laura Ries, bestselling author of 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, cofounder of Ries & Ries

“If there is one book I recommend every client and every agency person read right now, it's Personality Not Included. Every chapter gives you new ways to navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape with clarity, nimbleness, and pragmatism.”
-Carla Hendra, Chairman, Ogilvy New York, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy North America

“There are two types of small business owners-ones that know they are in the business of marketing and those that don't. For either, Personality Not Included is an eye-opening look at what really matters when it comes to delighting your customers.”
-John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing

About the Author

Rohit Bhargava is SVP of Digital Strategy and a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, one of the world's largest marketing and communications agencies. He authors the award-winning Influential Marketing blog (, is a sought after marketing speaker, and has been featured in media worldwide including The Wall Street Journal, Marketing China, and BrandWeek. Read about Rohit's latest updates and appearances at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Just finished Personality Not Included. Since I started reading it, I've used it as one my sources to assist clients, present to MBA students and marketing colleagues.

The title is a bit deceiving, this is not a book about your own personality or how to brand yourself (although some lessons in it would work in that way). This book is about how companies can become more than just the logo or fabricated brand that they often rely on. It takes real life stories and links them to easy steps that you can use to better the customer experience your company delivers.

This is one of the easiest books that I have read. The direct and conversational style reminds me of Seth Godin. Rohit's style is no BS, all relevant, and stays away from the ego back patting that so many marketing books tend to have.

From the the ideas of building a corporate personality by being Unique, Authentic and Talkable, to providing steps that you can actually use to help your company (no matter what position you're in) - PNI is jammed with ways to take action and extends beyond the book to a website full of resources.

Because of all these thins and more, Personality Not Included should be in every Marketer, Manager and Executive's library.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice From An Insanely Great Book April 17 2008
By Michael D. Yanke - Published on
Guy Kawasaki illustrates in his foreword to Rohit Bhargava's excellent new book that it's not enough anymore to produce something great, rather, an absolute necessity to create something "insanely great." Otherwise, you are simply pushing your great product out into the market flush with other great products.

So how do we ensure we create something "insanely" great? We cultivate personality.

Luckily, cultivating a personality is - when boiled down to its basic elements, one of the easiest things in the world to do. Unfortunately, the exact same can be said of golf.

The power of Bhargava's book stems from its ability to take high level marketing themes and elements and make them instantly relatable through exercises, case studies, and pop culture analogies ranging from The Simpsons to Fletch Lives - from Die Another Day to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Of course, sharing themes is only one half of the battle - and also almost exactly one half of this book.

It's second half is stunning in that it exists as a virtual how-to guide sharing new, yet proven, marketing techniques that can turn even the stodgiest, faceless corporations into the next corporate darling - seemingly overnight.

Techniques shared include karmic marketing - or doing something good without asking for a reward, antimarketer marketing - or making fun of traditional marketing techniques in general to prove you are above it all, and fallibility marketing - or playing up your own mistakes to build a personality.

In the end, "*Personality Not Included" exists in equal measure as a text book new marketing students will find themselves hiding behind the jackets of stodgy, traditional marketing tomes; and as a vital "how-to guide" for rapid cultivation of something many corporations will be embarrassed to admit they may have never had.

Students and kings of industry alike are encouraged to hold this book close at bay.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read with Actionable Advice April 16 2008
By Terry Starbucker - Published on
Should a business have a "face"? Should an enterprise exhibit human-like traits to set it apart from straight-laced, by the book and bureaucracy-deep "corporations"?

The answer to these two questions is unequivocally "yes", according to this excellent book.

I must confess he had me at hello on this one, because my bias was already pointed firmly in this direction, but nevertheless, Rohit did a great job of drawing me in with his no nonsense writing style, intelligent pacing and organization, and a clear passion for the subject.

Once drawn in, I was impressed by the way Rohit lead me through the process of properly "building" a company personality.

First he outlined all the key elements. I especially liked his "UAT Filter"- the three core qualities of a company personality: Unique, Authentic and Talkable

Spot on. And he presented great examples from several companies for each element.

Then Rohit did something that many book writers do not do - he wrote a "Part 2" that showed us how to actually put those elements into action, and gave us a bunch of tools to use to boot.

I'm all about the human side of a business. Actually showing that side to our customers is surely a good thing - it's the key to delighting them and making sure they stay with us for a long, long time.

Because people just aren't buying a product or service - they are buying "into" a positive experience. Rohit Bhargava, by virtue of his great experience as a marketing consultant, gets this "big time", and better still he's written a definitive book that explains it all in a practical, understandable and actionable way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chicken Tells All Oct. 28 2008
By ChrisBrogan - Published on
Rohit's book is a must read for businesses seeking to understand the new landscape of branding. It's equally good at explaining how an individual can benefit from standing out in a crowd, but as the primary reader of this book will be a business, let's stick to that. Simply put, the book delivers.

What Rohit Bhargava shares with us is that companies who dare to expose their human side are the ones who will keep our business. As I write this, the economic downturn is throwing financial ripples in all directions. Good service is one thing, but a human-feeling relationship with your customers is most certainly equally important.

Filled with examples and suggestions on how you can implement similar efforts, the book delivers lots of actionable value. There are worksheets, web-based extras, and lots of easter eggs included in PNI.

I'm a big fan, and recommend this highly to companies looking for advice from an industry leader.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hand on, common sense, great stories May 25 2008
By Klaus Holzapfel - Published on
Rohit Bhargava is the author of the leading "Influential Marketing Blog" (IMB) and is a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence team at Ogilvy. That means he is no "feather weight" in the world of marketing.

His first book "Personality not included" is a solid attempt to explain to marketers why many of the old corporate habits of dealing with their customers and the general public iare obsolete. Who came up with all the stupid policies anyway? If you are in marketing you might not find that book ground breaking because it just reiterates what you can read in the blogosphere pretty much every day. Rohit is not as radical as Seth Godin would be.

Actually Rohit is a very good showcase for his own book: He has a mind of his own and has no problems sharing his thoughts. At the same time he works for a large organization with over 10,000 employees. He is a watch and learn case for many guys who think that blogging and working a corporate job simply don't go together.

This is a book that everyone in business can read and get something out of. It is not too academic or plastered with acronyms that nobody but 50 people in the world would get.

So if the book is not ground breaking in my eyes, why should you read it?
1. Stories: Rohit has a lot of first hand experience to share and throws in many other stories to add to his theories. That is valuable information for any marketer.

2. This book will make you more conscious about your marketing. Many potential readers might apply some principles of the book in their daily work already (myself being one of them). Rohit makes a good effort of structuring and organizing what many of us "feel" is the right thing to do.

3. It might give you some more ammunition when you are arguing with other in your organization on what is the right thing to do: How open do you want to be to the public? How do you portray yourself? How do you deal with your mishaps? Sucking a little less than your competition would be nice, wouldn't it? :-)

4. Power to the people: The book makes a very strong case that the employees of a company are their strongest asset - if they are empowered and have a face and aren't just XYZ employees. Companies embracing this thought will advance and it will make our (corporate) world a nicer place to live in.

The book has only 6 chapters in part one. Rohit explains that almost all marketing books tend to be most interesting until chapter 6 and then become repetitive or boring. So he stopped right there. But then he continues with a nice hands on part that serves as a good reference point for making changes to your own organization (or the ones of your clients).

So even if you are super-smart and know much more than I do you can read the book, put a check mark on every page and know that the top guys at Ogilvy don't know more than you do. That should be worth the price of the book.

Rohit is a humble man: He only gave himself 4 stars for his own book. Many people will disagree and give him 5 stars and I know he will continue to be in high demand.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice to Businesses & Individuals on getting it right April 22 2008
By Shashib - Published on
Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back
Rohit gets it. I have heard him speak at several forums and I watched as he spread the word about this book implementing and practicing what he preaches. The book itself is a unique product ( cartoons from Hugh Mcleod, tags and place marks that let you go to the relevant worksheet), Its written in a very simple authentic way so you can read it like a book. ( I did on a 4 hour flight). Its talkable having some new things like a "Intermission". If you watch enough Bollywood movies you know you need an intermission.

Every small or large business wil find things in this book that will hit home. If they don't then pat yourself on the back that you are doing the right thing. In case you need to be walked through step by step the book also contains worksheets that you don't have to tell your boss about but they will make you look good.

As for me I bought 3 books for everyone above me in the reporting hierarchy and now I am expecting a promotion. Thank you Rohit for writing a great book. I hope it becomes a NY Times best seller
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