Most helpful critical review
Same old stuff
on June 30, 2004
For some reason, Both Ries and Trout get away with recycling their old material and putting a new name on it.
More than that, you couldn't tell that their partnership fell apart years ago since the same ideas, and more importantly, the same examples are used extensively in each man's books.
These guys must LOVE Papa Johns (or be shareholder's, as they both mention the compony time and time again (In multiple books as well) as some paragon of food and of great marketing. As far as I'm concerned, Papa John's is indistinguishable from Domino's. I wonder if either man has ever even tried it.
Anyway... back on track.
This book continually simplifies the reasons behind the success and/or failure of various companies and products to the poor use of publicity. No mention of poor management or rationalizing markets, or the fact that the product or service stunk in the first place.
The most appaling thing is this guy has the balls to tell the city of Cusco in Peru and the country of Guatamala, they should change names in order to attract visitors. (Ciudad de las Incas and Guatamaya, respectively). I don't know if this is marketing ignorance, or American disregard for foreign cultures, but I couldn't believe what I was reading.
He continues to show his ignorance of technology and pop culture with incorrect example after incorrect example.
For example, he points out that there was once a beer called Yuengling that failed because of it's name. Guess what, Al, Yuengling, is alive and doing pretty well.
Also chapters are repetitive. After reading about Red Bull 3 times, in as many chapters, it got a little boring
To sum it up: Advertising is bad, Brand extension is bad. Anyone who didn't listen to his advice is now out of business, Papa John's is great. There I saved you the agony of reading this (Or anyother of his books or the books by Jack Trout) and $15.
Save your money. A stinker of a book.