Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Personality Not Included by Rohit Bhargava

Personality – Personality is defined as “the unique, authentic, and talkable soul of your brand that people can get passionate about. Personality is not just about what you stand for, but how you choose to communicate it. It is also the way to reconnect your customers, partners, employees, and influencers to the soul of your brand in the new social media era.”

Have you ever thought about the fact that your business should have a personality? You might not have thought about creating or developing a personality for your business – but in the twenty first century, your business needs a personality. The time for faceless businesses is gone. We have all been told to develop a brand for our business. But, creating a personality that reflects and deepens that brand is taking the idea to a higher level.

Think about your favorite coffee shop or your favorite restaurant. What do you like about that business? Is it the service, the products, the atmosphere, the location, or something else? The personality includes things that set that business apart from other similar businesses.

This book contains six chapters in Part One. Part Two contains learning guides which expand on the content in Part One and various other resources. The contents include:

Part One

1. Sign Here to Read This (How Organizations Lose Their Personality)

2. The Accidental Spokesman (How Unlikely Voices Are Shaping Your Brand)

3. A Signature is Not Enough (How to Define Your Organization’s Personality)

4. Lessons from the Storytellers (Crafting a Backstory People Care About)

5. Conquering the Fear Factor (Getting Your Organization to Embrace Personality)

6. Add Personality and Stir (Finding and Using Personality Moments)

Part Two

· The Butler Was a Marketer (Putting Personality into Action)

· New Styles of Marketing (Ten Techniques are Described in Detail)

· Taking Theory Further (Tools and Guides to Accompany Chapters 1 – 6)

Throughout the book Rohit Bhargava provides ample examples of businesses which are using the techniques that he discusses. The case studies were almost enough to sell me on this book, but learning about each technique and then being given an interesting and detailed example of how each idea can be implemented in real life was invaluable. For example, we all know that Starbucks is very popular. In Personality Not Included we are given details on what they did right and then how they let the personality slip away.

Another fascinating chapter is chapter two when we learn about the many types of accidental spokesmen that can represent a business. In addition, he tells us how each type of spokesmen is effective and how to make the most of their enthusiasm and appeal. In business for years, I’ve learned so much through mistakes that have been made, by me or by others. There are plenty of examples in this book of what techniques won’t work in certain situations or when it’s better to use another option. I love to highlight the valuable information in books and my copy has plenty of information marked for future use for me and my clients.

Backstory is critical when writing a novel, but have you ever thought about sharing the story behind your business? This chapter explains why you should have a backstory and how to use that backstory. The strangest thing happened as I read this chapter. I usually share my business and promotional background with people when I give my experience, but chapter four helped me begin to develop a new approach. My dream as a teenager was to be a novelist named Nikki Leigh and later on I got my feet wet in promotional work as a consolation prize in a management job and I found that I loved it. Those are two of the things I can use to begin to put the backstory for my business on paper. What story do you have behind your business that would attract the public and help them to see you in a more favorable light?

In the opening chapter and introduction of the book I was patting myself on the back because I’ve used many of the ideas that are presented. Then Rohit Bhargava said something that really got my attention. He mentioned that just learning to create a personality isn’t enough. You need to learn the best way to implement that personality plan in your business and learn to identify even more ways to find opportunities to develop this personality even further.

When you read the book, definitely take the time to read the learning guides in Part Two. Here is an example. In Chapter Four (page 112), we learn about How to Use the Backstory Model Picker. This section summarizes the different types of backstory, what they include and who should use each type. Once you read that information, you flip to the guide on page 259 for much more detail on each of the types of backstory and how to utilize them in the best way. There are many “guides” in the book which give you additional information on how to get the most out of the ideas and techniques in the book.

I highly recommend this book for any entrepreneur and business person who wants to understand the need for a business personality. Business managers can also learn so much from the content in this book. It is also for the person who wants to find the different ways to develop this personality. Your business can stand out from the competition in amazing ways - it just needs more personality. When you read the book, keep your eyes open for the interesting ways the author has woven a unique personality into the pages of the book.

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