Thursday, 17 September 2015

Back to life, back to reality ...

This one is really for my German-speaking readers, as it's a review of a book that is, as yet, only available in German. The book is Markenerleben by Ralph Ohnemus, who is CEO of K&A Brand Research AG. Without any further ado, here's what I thought:

The way in which people experience branded products and services in today's world has changed fundamentally as technological advances lead to the blurring of boundaries between people, media, channels and brands.

Yet many marketeers are still rigidly brand-theory focussed, clinging onto the models, theories and principles of 20th century marketing, seemingly oblivious to the reality out there.

This book gives a constant reality check on what's really happening 'out there', in terms of how people encounter brands and how human behaviour constantly confounds the outdated theory. A transformation in how we think about people - our customers and potential customers - is proposed - from 'Homo Oeconomicus' to 'Homo Heuristicus'.

There is no magic formula or black box model for Marketing in the 21st Century proposed (thank goodness!), but a few interesting suggestions of approaches and a constant reminder to look from the human point of view.

Although German is not my first language, I found the book very readable. It's a long way from a dry textbook and there are plenty of examples and sources quoted to follow up on, if one is interested in reading in a bit more depth. A slight criticism (of sorts) is that the book is bang up to date for 2015, but may well be out of date in parts within a couple of years.

But my advice would be to buy it and read it now!

It was certainly refreshing to read a marketing text book that acknowledges the real world out there.

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