Billion-Dollar Branding: Brand Your Small Business Like a Big Business and Great Things Happen Paperback – Oct 1 2012
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About the Author
Blaine Parker is a national-award-winning copywriter who has spent much of his life toiling in small business obscurity—and loving it. A former Creative Director for the Salem Communications radio network in Los Angeles, Blaine has spent much of his career bringing big-advertising sensibilities to small business marketing. He is also a voiceover performer who can be heard on radio and TV commercials for brands of all sizes from New York To California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
-Great examples of successful and unsuccessful branding from a wide range of businesses, from large corporations to small one- or two-person offices.
-Starts with large-scale examples that we are all familiar with (Home Depot, McDonald's, etc) and then translates those same concepts into usable info for understanding how branding works in a very small business (an eye doctor, a hairstylist, etc).
-The first several chapters end with questions about brands you've seen or asks you to assess other company's branding. It's a great way to get you thinking about the concepts without the immediate pressure of trying to figure out how these concepts apply to your business. Then in the last few chapters, the final questions and ideas to ponder move toward asking you about your own business, once you've thought about the concepts in a less high stakes way.
Some things I didn't like:
-Lingered too long on the theoretical. I'm a fast learner. Once I get the concept, want to start working on applying it to my own situation. Just as the Foreword says, this book does not include spreadsheets or workshop ideas for creating or advancing your own branding, except for some targeted questions at the end. I was ready for more targeted questions sooner in the book.
-I would have liked to hear more about the Parker's own process. They included a full case study on one of their clients, but I'm reading the book because I'm interested in trying to do it myself. They reference their process, but could have included more detailed pieces as a further case study.
A great introductory look at doing branding well for a small business (or a large business, really). Introduces basic concepts clearly, references a wide range of useful examples, and is written in a tone that's delightful to read.
It's like finding the pilot slumped over in the cockpit with the plane in a steep dive... (Try to imagine a snow capped mountain looming in the windscreen)... Warning signals bleeping and buzzing, automated voice saying "Pull Up, Pull Up, Pull Up..." I have to drag the pilot out of his seat and save the plane at the last second. (Cue dramatic action music) I've done it over, and over, and I've actually become quite good at it. One client routinely calls me "The Fixer" (Sounds vaguely like a hit man. it's a little unsettling.) In any case, I rarely have time to goof around with (derisive snort) branding.
I'm a go for the throat direct response guy and I figured all that branding jazz is for those big rich corporate entities (read "pansies"). Turns out.... (Forehead slap).... I'm dead wrong!
I read Blaine and Honey's book and "grew up" just a little more (I'm 54 and like to watch Ren & Stimpy cartoons). Turns out, branding is for any business, even the mom and pop outfits like mine. It's for anyone interested in more than just a series of feast-famine business cycles! Sure, you can live from one BIG TENT SALE to the next SUPER SAVINGS SATURDAY, but wouldn't you rather see smoother lead flow? Wouldn't you rather develop a constant stream of business that comes to you for WHO you are rather than just WHAT YOU SELL? Wouldn't you love to grow your business by leaps and bounds? It's more than possible with an extra push from your very own "First kid on your block" brand. It's time to be more than just a commodity. Please do yourself a BIG favor and grow up a little more, READ Billion Dollar Branding! (Stimpy the cat sings Happy Happy Joy Joy)
I highly recommend this book to anyone who's business is affected by the world of Marketing / Advertising / Branding.
If you think that you know as much about marketing (and branding) than you're ever going to know...then this book is NOT for you.
If you regularly shoot down ideas for your business because they seem just a bit too risky...then this book is NOT for you.
I could go on, and on, and on, with the "If..then..." statements. But let's go the other way for a hot bit, instead.
If you want your head to explode with thoughts and creativity that you never knew existed in that brain of yours...then this book IS for you.
If you want to spend the next five showers in a bit of a daze, forgetting if you shampooed your hair or not, because all you can think about is the million ways that you could make your business's brand better with a tweak here, major change there, distillation of it all everywhere, etc...then this book IS for you.
I went into this book expecting amazement, mainly because I've been following Blaine and Honey's weekly blog, Hot Points, for a while now, and it always elevates my understanding of brand to a level that I wouldn't reach otherwise. Being able to put that new knowledge to work in my job makes it even more valuable.
I finished this book with my expectation of amazement surpassed wildly. My head spun for hours directly after finishing it (which I did in one beautiful sitting). I don't know what you should expect based on your world view, but I recommend that you set the bar high in your mind...and know that Billion-Dollar Branding will pass it, with miles to spare.
Relevant, useful, tested books from people that have actually successfully built small business brands and have a clue what they are talking about - just a handful.
One of those people(s) are Blaine and Honey Parker. When you hone your skills (Blaine) building successful brands on a small, barely rated radio station in one of the nations largest markets, you quickly learn that if it doesn't work, you lose business and customers. So it better work...and it did. Combine that with big agency experience (Honey) and you have a team that has been unearthing brand gold from small business mines with crazy success.
They didn't have to write a book - they already do what they do successfully. But they decided to tell you what really works...so you can do the incredibly hard work on your own. Thank them in the one way that matters - Buy this Book!
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