Book Review of Brand New World by Max Lenderman
A few weeks ago, I wrote about having attended The Art of Marketing Conference here in Montreal in late September, an event at which Max Lenderman was a speaker. Upon learning I’d secured tickets to the event I made the conscious decision to buy Max’s book and was in the middle of it by the time the conference rolled around.
Like many speakers who have written books, a lot of the content is recycled during speaking events, interviews, blog posts, etc…, and I guess the beauty with Lenderman is that he seems to have an endless stream of examples – some of which that float to the top and get referenced the most:
- Russian Standard Bank (owner of which who happens to also own leading vodka company called Russian Standard Vodka)
- Tide Washer/Dryer Truck
- Sao Paulo billboard ban
- Bank sponsored billboard with solar powered panels powering local African school/hospital
And that really is the gist of the book, as well as Lenderman’s raison d’etre – experiential marketing. I’ve linked to the Wikipedia definition just there (apparently labeled “relationship marketing”), but Max also briefly describes his take in this video where he also talks at length about the book and some of the above examples cited.
What’s neat too about how Lenderman brings all this to life is that he is actually IN the places about which he’s writing, shopping and dealing amongst those nations’ locals, and walking about the slums (sometimes in ill-advised footwear) in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries he (and others no doubt) have labeled hyper-markets. It is in these countries that Lenderman tries hard to have us believe (I am convinced) that the next wave of marketing strategies (of the one-to-one personal sort) and most powerful lot of brand evangelists will develop from – provided the brands get their messages right.
He advises fellow marketers that the commoner, and the pirates (those selling knock off fashion and stolen software) – and what they need to succeed as well as their affect on what a brand might stand for – are people agencies and companies need to fully understand or attempt to at the very least. In a world awash with choice, imagine a fresh-faced country boy from somewhere in India making his way into the big city, wanting to buy a pair of shoes. His first. Your company is well known, adorned by millions, and quite expensive. They happen to have a swoosh on the side. Another pair of shoes, coincidentally right beside the expensive ones appear identical save for the name. Even the difference in quality when held in ones hand negligible. Max tells of how in this instant, your brand, your company has to have meant something to this person (empathized with) at one point in time for them to buy in to your story.
All around, the book is an easy read because of the bits of humor interspersed throughout, not to mention Lenderman’s candidness. It’s easy to tell (more so now after having also seen him in person), that although employed by a billion-dollar agency, that the guy actually cares about the people to whom he’s marketing. And he implores readers to do good. It must be a tough position to be in sometimes considering the company his firm must keep…
In conclusion, there are a lot of ideas to be had for companies looking to expand their reach. Kinda’ makes us want to develop some app in an Indian or Chinese dialect and push the hell out of a PPC campaign over there…but I think we’ll wait til a few more people gain access to the Web…yeah right…Any translators out there?
Lenderman can be read at his blog here.
UPDATE: True to form, Max has humbled us with a Tweet about the review.