The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome Hardcover – Aug 7 2012
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From the Back Cover
Awesome To-do List
- Hire awesome people at every level of your business
- Listen to your customers
- Create amazing content that goes viral
- Reach the Third Circle
- Own up to mistakes and continue on being awesome
Being an awesome business requires dedication from every corner of your company, from HR to PR, to customer service and marketing. Whether you're building brand awareness, improving customer service, or filling a position, your employees and customers communicate who your brand is to the whole world. The Book of Business Awesome includes case studies of successful businesses that gained exposure through being awesome and effective. Discover how you can use social media to recast a mistake into a golden moment for your organization. Learn how to re-recruit your employees, recourt your customers, and spice up an old brand.
Wield these awesomely effective tools, and ensure that your business remains awesome.
UnAwesome To-do List
- Set massive budget for that unawesome billboard ad (don't forget QR code!)
- Ignore your customers when they reach out to you
- Also, layoff customer service department
- Don't forget to add pop-ups to the website! Definitely need animation, with music, something loud
In all seriousness, the marketing industry is full of amazing and powerful tools that can spell disaster for your brand if you don't use them carefully. The Book of Business UnAwesome recounts many cautionary tales of companies that did it all wrong. Learn from other businesses' mistakes, like viral marketing gone wrong, social media done unsocially, and just hiring the wrong people, for the wrong job, at the wrong time. The cost of being unawesome to your employees and customers is much more than ever before.
About the Author
SCOTT STRATTEN is the President of UnMarketing.com, a company that combines efforts in viral, social, and authentic marketing. He has guided companies such as PepsiCo, Adobe, Red Cross, and Saks Fifth Avenue through the viral/social media and relationship marketing landscape. Scott was named one of the top five social media influencers in the world on Forbes.com. He has appeared on Mashable.com and CNN.com, and in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company. He speaks globally on how businesses can engage better (or at all!) with their current and potential customer base using social media, viral marketing—and just plain old engaging conversation.
Scott travels around the world sharing with audiences the "what not to do in business" stories we all can't get enough of. Lucky for Scott, there is never a shortage of material to draw from. He believes that 85 percent of people in the world are morons (not you, if you buy this book).
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As you might expect, social media plays a large role in both the positive examples and the negative examples of this book, but it is not a book about social media per say. Those looking for a nuts and bolts how to I do X, Y, and Z on Twitter, Facebook or practically any another sphere of social media would be better served by Arnie Kuenn's excellent: Accelerate! that I reviewed this time last year. "The Book of Business Awesome," however, is more of a call to arms for brands and companies to be something other than normal - particularly because normal can be so crappy - and to go out of their way for their customer.
To be funny.
To be honest.
To be human.
And to apologize because they genuinely regret a mistake, or bad customer experience, not because they got caught or called on it.
Really, this book is about culture and people. The stories that are replayed in both their awesomeness and unawesomeness throughout give a window into the soul of the featured companies. It shows ordinary front line employees doing extraordinary things and those extraordinary things having an impact far beyond the normal, or even intended, business interaction. As Scott states on numerous occasions: social media doesn't fix anything - it just makes things louder. If you don't give a damn about customers when you transact with them - this will be heard loud and clear online and will also come across in your social media interactions.
Filled with links to additional content and even the odd QR code (I'd actually would have liked to see more QR codes, the link typing thing got old after a while) the Book of Business Awesome also has an excellent couple of chapters on public speaking and panel discussions. As a side note, if you ever get a chance to see Scott speak at a conference, or on his book tour, do so - for the rest of us there is YouTube!
Not as funny as Scott's in-person presentations, The Book of Business Awesome is, however, just as passionate and quite amusing. And this is actually a very minor quibble consider that many business books are about as entertaining as a tax audit. It also probably says more about Scott's skills as a public speaker than any lack of skill as a writer.
The Book of Business Awesome is nothing short of bible for customer service in the Social Media age.
I like to think of myself as Awesome, so I started with that side. Most business books suffer from word-glut - the author has a few short messages he tells with too many words. Stratten is succinct with his narrative and well organized. Each chapter is only a few pages long - it tells a point and then moves on. From how to recover from a social media gaffe (The Red Cross is "gettngslizzerd") to rebranding an old product like Old Spice, Stratten hits many points in the market quite well. His "Thirty Tips for Speakers" covers the critical points of a shelf full of public speaking tomes in a single succinct chapter that summarizes about all of the wisdom you need to stand in front of a crowd.
Business "unawesome" covers the others side - social media gaffes that are not well handled, how we misuse Facebook, when not to use a QR code (like on a highway billboard!), and other stories of people who have single handedly killed their brand or just their own careers/reputation.
I have gotten cynical with my reviews of business books - too much repetition and too little original thought. Stratten was a refreshing read. Sure I read some stories I knew from before, but the presentation was fresh, original, and best of all, quotable. I am giving a social media talk in a few weeks and intend to use some of his examples. Thanks to the organization and straightforward style he uses, that will be no problem.
I recommend this book and Stratten's approach to any business person looking to make himself more "awesome".
Having said that, yes it's obviously bad to swear at your customers, but I have to admit that if you're running a business it is really easy to forget the other perspective. Recently I had an extremely negative customer service experience through a new supplier I was trying out for my business, and it left me running back to the company that packs lollipops with every order and who calls me if something is wrong. Obviously one company is awesome and the other isn't, but would I have applied that to my own business without someone stopping me and encouraging me to think about it? Probably not. If we naturally did that then every company would have great customer service.
So the value in the book for me was that it has some memorable examples that make you think about your customers' experiences. Stratten is very witty and it's a quick and interesting read. I also have to give props for the design. The lady bug is brilliant.
Having said that, the QR codes irritated me at the end of each chapter. I would have preferred a thicker book (it is pretty small). I'm not a fan of books making you go get your smart phone to read more - it's too cumbersome (which is ironic - he talks about making it easy for the customer).
I also thought social media was overemphasized. He does talk about it as a tool in a tool box and tries to keep it in context, but you can tell he's good at it and loves it. I tolerate facebook for my small business, but I'm not really witty or entertaining and I have other things I'd rather be doing. Companies need to have a social media presence but I have to disagree about its role. A lot of people still aren't on Facebook or Twitter or anything else. It's amazing how many of my clients ignore social media completely.
So overall it's definitely worth reading, but it isn't *the* book on business. It is quick and light, but does have some nuggets of wisdom worth thinking about.
The optimistic side of business awesome starts with all of the cool ways that your business can use social media to gain better results by listening to your clients and the people that you serve. There is a segment of society that uses Facebook, twitter and other services to announce to their tribe their thoughts and beliefs to their friends and fans. When you do good the friends and followers hear about it and your company looks like the hero that it is.
The pessimistic or the unawaesome side of the book explains social media gone wrong and what not to do to the people who use your services. There are also a couple of examples of how not to run social media campaigns with a few ways to fix screw ups that happen. The Red Cross had an example where someone was on their twitter feed and tweeted an inappropriate message for the image of the company, they took it in stride and fixed the issue.
While most of this book examines how social media can be used to communicate better it also goes to show that good old fashioned customer service is what will get you to win every time.
There is plenty to learn from the book with good examples of what to do, not to do and possible fixes if you get yourself in trouble. The book is a fast read and is easy to follow.
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