Why Johnny Can't Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea

by Bill Schley & Carl Nichols, Jr.

Hands-down, the most lucid, refreshing and enjoyable branding book of the decade. Schley & Nichols have succeed in breaking down branding into its essential elements and, in the first fifty pages, deliver seventeen dead-on branding commandments – dubbed The Granite Pages – designed to help readers develop a clear, focused and unique "Dominant Selling Idea" for products, services or even individuals. Run, don't walk, to get this book.

Selling The Invisible : A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

by Harry Beckwith

An invaluable primer on how to position, market, and promote intangible skills and services, Selling The Invisible tackles the tricky subject of how to communicate the value of services that can't be boxed, bottled or shrink-wrapped. "Services are just promises that somebody will do something," Beckwith points out. So, while a dress, doorknob, sports car or cupcake can be seen, felt or tasted; massages, medical treatments, accounting services and counseling services cannot. While targeted toward services firms, Invisible offers practical advice and a fresh perspective on businesses of all stripes.

The Art of the Long View: Paths to Strategic Insight for Yourself and Your Company

by Peter Schwartz

Schwartz brings the art of envisioning the future down to the ground in a simple, elegant, practical and incredibly concise volume. In a nutshell, scenario planning is the basic work of constructing a set of stories about the best, neutral and worst case scenarios and the organization's likely response ("and then this happened...so we did this..."). Having "seen it all before," inevitable twists, bends and dead ends in the road suddenly seem more familiar and less daunting. Deja view, anyone?

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck

What is the essential element that separates industry leaders from their also-ran competitors? Bossidy & Charan (the former CEO of Honeywell and a distinguished Harvard Business School professor, respectively) say that it comes down to one key factor: the basic ability to get %#*! done. Leaders commonly delegate execution-oriented tasks to their lieutenants so they can spend more time working out the "big picture." The authors debunk this common practice and offer a thought-provoking prescription for creating faster, more responsive and (gasp!) more productive organizations.

Fast Company Magazine

An always insightful and provocative take on what's now and what's next in business, Fast Company (www.fastcompany.com) is a spunky celebration of the innovative people, places and things that put the fizz in fiscal responsibility.


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