Thursday, November 24, 2011

How to drive your competition crazy Create Disruption For Fun And Profit; Guy Kawasaki



Review by Priyanka Pandit and Sria Majumdar

Hyperion Books | Hardcover Edition, Price Rs.1100 approx.

Sitting down to write my last BookMark, I feel more than confident that this column would continue shining bright, bringing to you the gist of the books every Marketing enthusiast must read. The biggest reason behind this confidence is Sria, an extreme bibliophile counting “Marketing” as one of her passions, who shall be taking over the column full-time from next month. For this special “occasion”, we decided to review one of the ten bestsellers by the marketing brains behind Apple’s early successes, Guy Kawasaki.

Known for the enthusiasm he professes, be it in writing, public speaking, marketing or consulting, Guy Kawasaki has served as the chief evangelist at Apple and is the co-founder of the RSS aggregator Alltop.com and Garage Technology Ventures. His books, including this one, are famous because they are filled with how-to-do-it steps along with real life examples which validate his thoughts.

Summary

The book draws from Guy Kawasaki’s experience in marketing the Macintosh back in the 1980s when people could not think beyond IBM and MS DOS. In order to disrupt the market, customers were turned into evangelists. According to Guy, clear and shrewd thinking, guts, hard work and a willingness to think out of the box are essential to drive the competition nuts and take on Goliaths. The book begins by asking fundamental questions about the nature of business and products and services. ‘Knowing Thyself’ is the key to understanding customers and competition. Like Sam Walton, Guy is also an advocate of following the competitor religiously, playing fair and grabbing a niche market share. He also advises competition and cannibalization but strongly believes a nemesis is essential to drive innovation.

Organization
The structure of the book speaks volumes about the thought process of the author. Guy Kawasaki asks marketers to first explore within before knowing the customer or understanding the enemy. The next section talks about focusing on the customer, concentrating on the decisive point of the product/service and finally converting the customers into evangelists. The focus on the customer is re-emphasied in his section on building brand loyalty. Guy advises the reader to use ‘molehills’ well, and leverage them to gain the differentiating advantage. Packaging deserves a special mention in the book, replete with examples of companies which have turned this P into a selling point. He ends on the note that in order to succeed, one must ignore conventions and grab opportunities with both hands.

Verdict
3/5. Although it seems like common sense at times, it is a sheer reading pleasure for a marketing enthusiast. The theory is replete with numerous interesting examples and the easy flow of language keeps the reader tuned in. The methodical approach and clear guidelines make the book useful for a student as well as for a marketer looking out for ways to rejuvenate his product.
Bottom-line

The book is easily available in bookstores or online stores. Priced at Rs.1100, the book does burn a hole in the pocket for a student. However, it is definitely worth the visit to a nearby library.

We hope you readers continue to send in your suggestions for books you would like to have reviewed, as well as for any special inputs on how we can improve this column. Keep Reading!

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