Stocking fillers and corporate thrillers – best business books

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We’ve been very flattered to feature on a number of “must read” lists down the years. Here’s what that cosmopolitan bunch at design and infographic champions Shift Business are recommending as stocking fillers for the discerning business book buyer. Pleased to see Ian’s Brand Champions in such exalted company……

Looking  for inspiration in your business? Want to try something new and innovate? In this day and age, there are a million and one blogs out there that will give you some great pointers. But sometimes you need something a little bit more in-depth to really get your creative juices flowing. Immersing yourself in a longer-form book can be an ideal solution.

So why not put down your summer blockbuster and instead pick up a business book to help you get a fresh perspective. There’s plenty of books out there to choose from.

Here’s five of our best reads and some detail about how they might be able to help and inspire you:

1. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik

A company website is vital for any small business out there these days. Who better to learn from here than Google’s own digital marketing evangelist, Avinash Kaushik. In this great book, Kaushik shows you how to use the copious amounts of online data out there and understand more complex strategies such as online analytics and the eight critical web metrics that will help you succeed. This is a book for anyone that wants to measure the effectiveness of their website.

2. The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Facebook is everywhere these days! And increasing numbers of companies use the social networking site to connect with customers and prospects. But how did Facebook get to where it is today? What are its secrets of business success? This book will tell you more about how founder Mark Zuckerberg took his company from just two employees to 3,976. Get ready to be inspired!

3. Brand Champions by Ian P. BuckinghamBCsiteacket.asp

Does branding matter? According to Ian Buckingham it really does. He also thinks the secret to success lies with your employees. If employees don’t embody a brand, then how can a company keep its brand promise to its customers. Your employees are your brand custodians and this book will help you turn them into the beating pulse of your company.

4. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Content is king right? If you still need to be convinced then this is the book for you. It will help you put together a content strategy and explain why it is important for your business. You’ll find out why messaging is worth paying attention to and how to write blogs that resonate. So get reading (and writing!)

5. Good to Great by Jim Collins

This book is about being the best in the world and not just sticking to the average. If that sounds like something you would like for your business, then pick up this book. Filled with inspiring tips and tricks, it is a step-to-step guide on the important things to focus on in business and how to make positive changes.

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Welcome acclaim for Brand Champions – a B2B recommended summer read

Brand Champions

Author: Ian P. Buckingham
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan

Gone are the days when ‘colleague engagement’ was tacked onto the end of a brand project. A couple of roadshows and free mousemats do not maketh a business fully aligned with its brand.

Ian P. Buckingham sets out the case for creating greater colleague commitment, treating the workforce as a powerful asset for brand growth. A sequel to Brand Engagement, this book supports integrated brand management within, and across, an organisation from boardroom down (not just passed between marketing, HR and internal communications).

What makes Brand Champions a recommended read is the richness of material on ‘how’ to build brand enthusiasm. Original cases (from Barbour to British Gas) make a refreshing change from the usual ‘cool brand’ suspects. There’s a treasure trove of tools for you to raid – from ‘brand superheroes’ to ‘brand eisteddfods’ – anything that links individual contribution to bigger brand purpose is to be warmly welcomed.

Helpfully, it’s a B2B behemoth that emerges as a world leader in building brand commitment. Cemex, for example, recognises growth through M&A means global brand engagement can’t happen by accident. Brand champions are seconded for months to spread Cemex culture. Line managers are responsible for ensuring employees provide a brand experience in line with brand strategy.

Critically, this book highlights the cost of neglecting brand commitment. Investing in understanding and motivating customers is a false economy unless colleagues are committed to delivering the brand. As Buckingham concludes, “Don’t spend money on advertising unless you can first back up your promises.”

Recommended by: Rosa Wilkinson, corporate brand consultant, Dragon Rouge

To take a look at the rest of the Summer reading shortlist which includes works by Campbell, Godin and Collins, follow this link.