This is the review of my favorite contributor: Ken McKellar. He reviewed the book of his rowing friend Chris Radford. In the picture, Ken rowing in London. Ken has also reviewed this book on Amazon. I recommend you take the time to read both. The Amazon review is quite objective yet the following has personal side to Ken, a tenured coach and an expert in career transition at AGM Transitions in the UK.
ENJOY! and do not forget to buy the book from this website.
When you are a member of a sports club, it often takes time for you to discover what your colleagues do for a living – this is not always the first question that you ask them, as you don’t want to intrude upon their business lives during their leisure time.
So it was with Chris Radford, whom I met upon joining Kingston Rowing Club over four years ago. When we rowed together we only talked about how to move the boat faster. Only gradually did I get to know Chris’s business alter ego and the fact that he was somehow involved in marketing. I then discovered a couple of months ago that he had published a book and was curious to read it.
Until I read Chris Radford’s book I always felt that I had missed out in my business education by hardly knowing anything about branding and marketing. The people I have met who claim to be specialists in this area always seemed to speak a different language that I didn’t understand and behaved in unusual, eccentric ways.
Chris’s book is a breath of fresh air, written in plain language and describing basic marketing and branding concepts in words and phrases that all of us can understand. Yet there is nothing basic about Chris’s experience, which includes senior marketing and general management roles in well-known global brands. He now runs Differentiate, a brand and marketing consultancy which teaches many of the concepts that appear in his book.
The Attractive Thinking approach brings marketing and branding back to basics and puts a structure and process around what for many people is a nebulous discipline. The approach is built around the following five questions that drive successful brand strategy and how to answer them:
1 PINPOINT–Who are our customers and what are their problems?
2 POSITION–How can we solve their problems and stand out?
3 PERFECT–How do we create a product, service or message that delivers this?
4 PROMOTE–How do customers find out about it and where do they buy it?
5 PITCH–How do we engage our shareholders, board directors, colleagues and customers?
The book addresses each of these questions – and provides answers and advice for them – using case studies, methodologies and examples from Chris’s own experience.
I particularly enjoyed Chris’s observation that all of us are customers and yet we leave our customer behaviour behind at the door whenever we go to work and then start trying to sell to customers with varying degrees of success.
There is a deeper philosophical message though to Chris’s book and it is highly relevant to the future way in which companies will be run. He contrasts his Attractive Thinking with the Extractive Thinking that dominates most business practice.
In Chris’s own words: “Attractive Thinking is about building a long-term sustainable business whilst also getting quick wins and short-term profits. It does not accept that there is a choice between the long term and the short term. What we must do is make our offer to customers more valuable and more visible and more available so we will attract more customers. Whereas the extractive approach is about the quickest and easiest way to maximise short-term gains.”
Attractive Thinking is a timely book for today’s world, an antidote to the short-term thinking and instant gratification which many marketing people are accused of fueling in society. It works well as both a work of philosophy and a marketing primer. This reflects Chris’s own philosophy; he is both a deep thinker and a man of pragmatism. Don’t take a marketing diploma: read this book instead. It’ll save you a fortune and you’ll learn more.
Our contributor Ken McKellar reviews a book about his personal hobby. Tell us about yours!
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