July 11, 2004

News & Opinion: BOOK REVIEW: Free gift inside!!

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:24 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

Title: Free gift inside!!
Author: Stephen Brown
Tag-line: Forget the customer. Develop Marketease
Pages: 254 (and a bucket full of footnotes for those that like 'em - I don't)
When I first saw this book, I was shocked by both the title, and the fact that its cover displays breakfast cerial. However this book, written in 2003, is nobody's copycat, what it is is one of the most enjoyable business books I've read in some time.
What Stephen Brown attempts to do is convince us that we are both spoiling, and boring our customers with all our so-called customer centricity. He believes that we should in fact tease them a little better, make them hungry for our product. This is a very refreshing change from the schmaltzy, customer this, customer that, stuff that can be found on every bookshelf, in every bookstore. What's more, convince you he does.
The book is a series of case-studies (free gifts) each showing a different aspect of marketease, and while they are by and large relevant and interresting, I was pretty much sold by chapter three, thus they were preaching to the converted. However, isn't that always the case?
Having said that though, this business book succeeded where many others fail i.e. it was an extremely enjoyable read. I actually found myself laughing out loud at times, so enjoyable was the author's style. For that alone I recommend this book, but really the content is well worthwhile too.
Ironically, although getting to their points in extremely different ways, the authors of the two similarly titled books are actually saying much the same thing - we're not just selling the product, we're selling the conversation/bragging rights that the product comes packaged with. Nice.
Last word: Recommended...!

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.