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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Marketing guru Jack Trout sounds a wake-up call for big brands: rest on your laurels, and your unique identity as well as your market dominance could soon disappear -- as Levi-Strauss, among other companies, can attest to. Trout backs up his admittedly dogmatic approach with an in-depth look at, among other things, the management and model evolution of General Motors and the troubles of such companies as Sears and Crest. Throughout the book, he tempers his sometimes abrupt and sweeping statements ("Ego is the enemy of successful marketing") with a broad and compelling historical perspective.
Trout begins by laying out what he thinks are the most common big-name-business mistakes and indicates what they cost the companies that make them. He follows that with ten fascinating and sometimes lurid object lessons, involving corporate behemoths such as AT&T, Firestone, and Xerox -- some of which are on the client list at Trout's marketing firm, Trout and Partners. Then he looks behind the brands, at the consultants, boards, analysts, and CEOs he sees as overstepping or underperforming on their way to marketing disasters.
Company by company, Trout sheds light on popular myths of big-brand dominance, providing not only clarification but interesting insights into the fallibility of big names. Big Brands Big Trouble will make good reading for everyone from the marketing student to the CEOs of the companies Trout takes to task.
A scholarly and historical -- and often divergent -- take on some of these same issues and companies can be found in Gerard J. Tellis and Peter N. Golder's Will and Vision: How Latecomers Grow to Dominate Markets. (Magdalen Powers)