Last April in NY during the Blogger Social, we all received a bunch of goodies, most of it small promotional items, but also some marketing related books. One of those books was ‘Personality not included’ from Rohit Bhargava, also present at the event. We had a little chat about the book, which was pretty interesting for many reasons but one thing Rohit said made me more curious about reading it than anything else and that was part of a chapter talking about Microsoft and The Blue Monster. So I started reading on the plane back already, it just took me a while to write down my thoughts.
In the introduction Rohit already makes it very clear what this is about:
“Personality matters. Being faceless doesn’t work anymore. The theory of PNI is that personality is the answer. Personality is the key element behind your brand and what it stands for, and the story that your products tell to your customers.”
Rohit defines personality then as:
“The unique, authentic, and talkable soul of your brand that people can get passionate about”
Chapter 2, that talks about The Blue Monster, interested me for two reasons. One, it’s The Blue Monster (see earlier posts) and two because it talks about ‘The Accidental Spokesperson’. The reason why that interested me more has to do with the revealing of corporations who get social media, lists you can find all over the place these days. Microsoft who used to be mentioned a lot in the beginning as a company who ‘gets it’ is hardly ever in those lists. Why? Because they look at corporate blogs, corporate twitter accounts etc. And we don’t have that – at least not like a CEO blog or something. But there are some hundreds of Softies on Twitter, a few thousands that blog and those are not to be ignored – the chapter shows it well.
Last point I wanted to highlight is something about transparency. Rohit says ’transparency is overrated’ and talks a bit about transparency and authenticity. I pretty much agree with his point and it reminded me of something David Weinberger said during the Euroblog event in Brussels, about how transparency and authenticity are too often used in the wrong meaning, or even terminologies that are sometimes mistaken for one and other. Now David was a lot more articulate about this than I am here now, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
Rohit is a smart guy, he writes one of the better marketing blogs you can find and is a great person to discuss with about the changes in consumer engagement. And that reflects on his book, you can see the personality. The one thing I didn’t like (much like Jennifer) is the ‘Guides and Tools’ section of the book, which is too much repetition for me re the first part. That said, good book, go check it out.
One of the great things about Rohit – both in the book and on his blog – is his ability to create (or assimilate from other influences) and share inspiring marketing approaches. I was part of the original blogger outreach at the book-launch, and with my particular interest in sound and music in branding and communications (I’m on the advisory board of Sound Strategies), I was impressed that he responded so positively and openly to learning more than just the usual superficial approach. You can read my interview with Rohit here: http://internetbrandingstrategy.com/2008/03/27/book-launch-personality-not-included/
Thanks so much for sharing your point of view on this book, I was happy to see that you had a chance to read the book and that you enjoyed parts of it. I can also understand your point about repetition, something I did do on purpose, but knew might stand out for a few readers like yourself who “get it” upon reading the first section and may not need the more broken down explanations of the second half.
Nonetheless, I appreciate your sharing your experience of the book with your readers and apologies for my delay in getting a chance to respond to your post due to travel.
All the best and hope we get to connect again in the near future!
@Ronna: Thanks for the link.
@Rohit: Thanks for checking in, as said I recommend the book to others. Part of my experience (re repetition) is also due to the fact that I’ve been reading many books around the same topic lately (Join the Conversation, Groundswell, Crowd Surfing, …). Hope to connect again in the near future as well.