You know, as a former Franchisor, I almost feel as if I could teach a class on branding. Still, in the Internet age it’s a whole different ballgame, it’s not like the “old world” at all. Business moves at the speed of thought, and now social networking algorithms are predicting those thoughts in advance. Do you ever wonder how all this came to be in just a couple of decades? If so, there’s a great book I’d like to recommend to you;
“eBrands – Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed,” by Phil Carpenter, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA (2000), 301 pages, ISBN: 0-87584-929-6.
The author of this book is the CEO of Critical Path, a company that indeed has some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley as clients, and some extremely successful start-ups names for bragging rights. Thus, what he does have to say in this book whether you go for every line or argument or not – regardless you should listen to the wisdom, soak in the ideas, and it will make you a better brander and marketer once you are done reading.
In many ways this book seems to be dual purpose, explaining strategies and successes, and highlighting some of his clients. There are case study chapters on iVillage, CD Now, Barnes and Noble (dot) com, Yahoo!, Fogdog Sports, and OnSale (dot) com. The conclusion of the book is quite telling – honest and up close and personal, you almost feel as if you were there in the heat of battle during the case studies, and the conclusion sums it all up with important take-aways.
Throughout the book he explains the competitive threats, importance of reputation, and the exponential growth of brands on the verge of chaos, but growing by leaps and bounds. I’d say this book and the book in its eBook form which is also available it perfect for PR professionals, online start-ups, small business people, branding consultants, venture capitalists, and anyone trying to guess which start-up with online sales is worthy of investing in.
The best part of this book for me, and yes, I do have somewhat unusual tastes, was the journey behind the scenes, really getting to know the decisions being made in real time by those nudging the brand’s path, while attempting not to turn off the momentum as it grew. The comparisons were also great, especially coming from the various interviews of those in the know, and on the ground floor of that fast moving battlespace of online branding and marketing.
Would I recommend this book to you? Yes, I would and I also own a copy sitting on my book case in my personal business library along with my other top branding and online marketing books. It deserves a space on that select row. Please consider all this and think on it.