5 Books That Transformed Our Marketing Strategies, And Why.
THE AGENCY THAT READS TOGETHER, LEADS TOGETHER
At Socialike we’re engaged in building businesses through social and digital marketing. But we also have Book Club. This serves a couple of purposes. It creates social bonding time and it gives the CEO, Isaac Brody, (e.g. me), a way to inject lessons about branding into the private lives of my team. That said, Book Club is popular.
HERE’S HOW OUR BOOK CLUB WORKS
I’m always looking for creative input that will help our business, or on a more personal level, to help me stretch and reach personal goals I might not otherwise have achieved. So a book will catch my eye and I’ll read it. Every now and again I get one that’s transformational, and I share that with my team. I may even tell them it’s mandatory. These books have the power to transform businesses and marketing, and we’re applying their lessons to our own business. Here are just a few of the titles the team has not only found inspirational, but we’ve also loved reading.
- MADE TO STICK by Chip and Dan Heath
Every employee at Socialike is required to read Made to Stick during his or her first month. A “sticky” idea is simply one that is so good it lasts. You’re trying to tap into the “Velcro Theory of Memory.” The biggest takeaways are the importance of simplicity, and pairing ideas with things people can relate to, like movie popcorn and Big Macs. For example, most people don’t really understand what 1200 calories really means, in terms of fat. But tell them a large tub of buttered movie popcorn has more calories and saturated fat than two Big Macs, and they’ll get what you mean. Once you have heard that, you never really forget it. Our mission is to come up with concepts that are easily understood and beyond that, memorable. Stickiness is an excellent principle to keep in mind.
Lesson learned: Make sure your messages, whenever possible–and it always is, if you work hard enough at it–are memorable.
- THE TANNING OF AMERICA: HOW HIP HOP CREATED A CULTURE THAT REWROTE THE RULES OF THE NEW ECONOMY by Steve Stoute
Cultural shifts take place every generation. Tanning is Steve Stoute’s term for the phenomenon whereby hip hop music and rappers became mass-popular and people of all ethnicities and backgrounds adopted the same “mental complexion.” This involved listening to a lot of hip hop, wearing starter jackets and trying to look hard-core, even when–like me–you were a kid from the middle class suburbs of Long Island. It made sense to us when a rapper had a song about Adidas and then became a spokesperson for the Adidas brand, especially when they were getting royally paid. These role models had nothing to do with Mom and Apple Pie, but they sold mad sneakers. An interesting and compelling story. One that turned marketing on its head.
Lesson learned: People prefer authentic, realistic and believable.
- THE KNACK by Norm Brodsky
I had the opportunity to meet Norm Brodsky on multiple occasions. He asked me why I was in business, and I replied, “To make money.” To Norm, I gave him the right answer, and a lot of people don’t. He has impacted me in such a way that I might have named my son Norm, if my wife had allowed it. In the book, he provides valuable insight into using street skills to become better at entrepreneurship. If we remember that business has to make money, and stay focused on the important issues in business and in life (a quintessential street attitude), we can come up with strategies that will let us do much more than survive. We can prosper, too.
Lesson learned: Yes, the office may be a fun place to hang out, but at the end of the day we work to provide for our families. Let’s not forget it.
- CREATIVITY INC.: OVERCOMING THE UNSEEN FORCES THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF TRUE INSPIRATION by Ed Catmull
This book helped me in deciding to start a business that celebrates creativity. In Ed Catmull’s tale, we follow Pixar: how the company started, grew a bit, and then became extremely successful. It can make blog-writing and putting out Instagram posts seem a little tame. But if you’re like me, the message will motivate you. Not only can we strive to get better in touch with our creative selves, we can set up a work culture that inspires others to stretch, too, with fantastic results.
Lesson learned: Individual strengths, glued together, can lay the groundwork for startling successes.
- BRAND LIKE A ROCKSTAR by Steve Jones
Steve Jones gives major lessons on branding, but he does it using the rock bands whose music have become part of the fabric of our culture. Jones attributes the multigenerational success of AC/DC to their unwavering spirit, a core value over time. Another example is Bob Marley, who always knew his audience and kept focused on them above all. A brand must be consistent with the expectations of the consumer, and we can all use a little of that belief in building our own brand. The book is not only fun, but undeniably true.
Lesson learned: No brand will be liked by everyone. Ignore the haters and focus on your fans.
The Net Effect
Book Club at Socialike is our way to expose ourselves to the voices of real success and the minds behind their achievements. Talking about books happens to be fun, too — a bonding experience that take us away from a lit-up screen. And it’s a great idea for a creative shops like ours.
Here’s our group lesson:
Don’t forget about Stickiness. Stay genuine. Remember why we are here. Creativity is a mindset. And always play to your strengths.
Got any books that transformed you or your company? Share them with us. Your comments and observations are always welcome, so please add them here:
A SOCIALIKE BELIEF: TO GET REAL ATTENTION FOR OUR CLIENTS, WE OWE THEM CREATIVITY
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Isaac Brody (aka“Ike”) is the owner and CEO of Socialike, a Manhattan-based creative agency that specializes in social and digital marketing. Isaac comments on trends in marketing. Socialike’s clients, whether they’re in natural products, hospitality or any other industry, get concepts that differentiate them–along with trackable results.