The Truth About What Customers Want (Truth About Series)

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Overview

Customers demystified! How you can move them to buy...buy more...and keep on buying!

  • The truth about what customers really want, think, and feel
  • The truth about keeping current customers happy–and loyal
  • The truth about the newest trends and advances in consumer behavior
...
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The Truth About What Customers Want

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Overview

Customers demystified! How you can move them to buy...buy more...and keep on buying!

  • The truth about what customers really want, think, and feel
  • The truth about keeping current customers happy–and loyal
  • The truth about the newest trends and advances in consumer behavior

Simply the best thinking

THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

This book reveals 50 bite-size, easy-to-use techniques for finding and keeping highly profitable customers

“Michael Solomon’s The Truth About What Customers Want contains great insights into consumer behavior and is a must-have tool for anyone working in a consumer-driven field. His 50 truths take the guesswork out of marketing intelligence and give insight into navigating today’s technology-driven world.”

Tim Dunphy, Senior Marketing Manager, Consumer Insights, Black & Decker

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this wide-ranging exploration of consumer behavior, Solomon (Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, Being) reveals 50 "truths" to explain what people buy and why. Each truth provides insight into the consumer mindset-including how people respond to scent, the link between sex and marketing, the recent boom in male beauty products and observations about the new breed of conscientious consumers-to help marketers and product developers to "understand consumers' motives" and behaviors to better "meet their needs." The book demonstrates why companies need to have their customers in mind before-and even after-the product is purchased and that consumers should be incorporated into every facet of a successful marketing plan. Solomon also identifies burgeoning markets-such as the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population, and new marketing platforms including avatars and the virtual world, which he believes present huge opportunities. Full of quick-read tips and easy to navigate, this book will be of invaluable help to companies looking to target new markets and for those looking to increase sales in their current markets. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137142262
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2008
  • Series: Truth About Series
  • Pages: 209
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael R. Solomon, Ph.D. is Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Consumer Research in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He is also Professor of Consumer Behaviour at the Manchester School of Business, The University of Manchester, U.K. Professor Solomon’s primary research interests include consumer behavior and lifestyle issues, branding strategy, symbolic aspects of products, psychology of fashion, decoration, and image, services marketing, and the development of visually oriented online research methodologies. Professor Solomon has been recognized as one of the 15 most widely cited scholars in the academic behavioral sciences and fashion literature and as one of the 10 most productive scholars in the field of advertising and marketing communications. His textbook, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being, published by Prentice Hall, is widely used in universities throughout North America, Europe, and Australia and is now in its eighth edition.

In addition to his academic activities, Professor Solomon is a frequent contributor to mass media. His feature articles have appeared in magazines such as Psychology Today, Gentleman’s Quarterly, and Savvy. He has been quoted in numerous national magazines and newspapers, including Allure, Elle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Mirabella, Newsweek, The New York Times, Self, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. He frequently appears on television and radio to comment on consumer behavior issues, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, Channel One, Inside Edition, Newsweek on the Air, The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, the Entrepreneur Sales and Marketing show, the WOR Radio Network, and National Public Radio. Professor Solomon provides input as a marketing consultant to a variety of organizations on issues related to consumer behavior, branding, services marketing, retailing, and advertising. He frequently speaks to business organizations around the world about new trends in consumer behavior.

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Read an Excerpt

PrefacePraise for The Truth About Creating Brands People Love

"I recommend this punchy, provocative book that uses vivid case studies to remind us of 51 truths about brands."

David Aaker, Vice-Chairman, Prophet and Author of Building Strong Brands and Spanning Silos

"Brian Till and Donna Heckler have captured the key proven principles of creating strong brands and managing them effectively over the long-run. Their work is practical and applicable to companies across a wide range of industries. They offer concrete marketing strategy guidelines necessary for creating sustainable brand commitment. Their ideas are expressed in an engaging fashion, and the book is divided into concise chapters that can stand alone to make powerful points during brand strategy planning sessions."

Dan Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and Dean, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

"Utilizing a broad range of examples, anecdotes, and case history-style narrative, the authors answer many of the recurring questions brand managers and their agencies face every day in marketing consumer and business-to-business products and services. The truth about The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is that it offers sound, actionable advice that anyone in the business of building, managing, and stewarding brands can put into effective use immediately."

Joe Osborn, Partner, Osborn & Barr Communications

"This is an enjoyable read of spirited and engaging 'Truths' regarding effective brand building. Importantly, it is filled with wisdom and insights that apply to all brands and all businesses."

Patricia Seybold, Author of Customers.com, The Customer Revolution, and Outside Innovation

"Brian and Donna have peeled back the secrets of how to make great brands. Filled with countless real life examples, it's an easy and "relatable" read. A great primer for the marketer just starting out or for the established manager who thinks he knows it all."

M. Paul Kravitz, Manager, New Products and Business Development, Nestlé Purina PetCare

"A must read for corporate execs. It brings the basics back to branding."

Brian Abrahams, General Manager, U.S. Sales Division, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

"A very easy to read-and-apply text that relates well to the new marketing 'guru' and the seasoned vet. A must read for all marketers."

Larry Brayman, Manager of Marketing, Dunkin Brands, Inc

Preface

Creating brands people love seems so easy. Just look around at all the wonderful brands that we experience every day. Yet, creating brands people love requires more than simply love of a product and spectacularly creative advertising—it requires intelligent, strategic, and coordinated decisions in many areas of marketing. Packaging, promotion, advertising, positioning, distribution, and pricing are just some of the important functions that, when successfully managed, lead to profitable brands that matter to consumers.

The purpose of this book is to illustrate universal truths about brand management that cover the range of brand-building activities. These truths transcend context, providing important insights irrespective of industry-specific dynamics. The guidelines here are as relevant to a marketing manager for a steel producer as for a cereal maker; as meaningful to a brand manager for coffee machines as for a ski resort; as useful to someone running an art gallery as to someone managing a high-end hotel.

For experienced and well-trained marketing managers, these truths provide a touchstone to those basic principles that are sometimes overlooked in day-to-day decision making. For the up-and-coming brand manager, this book provides thoughtful guidance that will serve you well over the course of a career. For senior executives responsible for the marketing function but not formally trained, the book serves as a framework to think about brand building and from which to challenge your marketing staff. Finally, for students, you will find these truths to be a solid foundation for life-long learning in this fascinating business.

The following chapters cover an assortment of issues regularly faced by marketing and brand managers such as media, taglines, brand extensions, brand names, use of celebrities, packaging, and so on. Importantly, though, none of those decisions will matter unless your basic product or service offering is on target. The product or service itself is the starting foundation of a great brand.

Consider Honda. Certainly there are cars more luxurious, cars that deliver greater thrills, and cars that are more stylish. But Honda nails the essence of a great product—reliability, excellent build quality, comfortable, well-planned ergonomics, and good fuel economy. Although Honda's brand image is not flashy, Honda's image does have appeal to a significant group of people. Importantly, the starting point for Honda as a brand is Honda the product.

Gas station and convenience store QuickTrip is another good example of a brand that pays close attention to the little things. The cashiers, in addition to their speedy change counting, are quick with a "Many thanks," or "Come back and see us soon." The consistency from QuickTrip is not simple coincidence but rather an intentional focus on speed and pleasantness. At many service stations, when filling to a prepay of $20, the rate of gas flow drops to a trickle at $19.80 or so, and then the last twenty cents worth dribbles in. Not at QuickTrip. The gas flow is constantly strong until it hits exactly $20. A small detail indeed, but a detail that reinforces the promise embodied in their name—quick trip.

Without diminishing the role and importance of public relations, creative TV advertising, an engaging website, captivating packaging, motivating promotions, or any of the other tools that collectively build strong brands and drive profitability, there is tremendous importance in putting first things first—and the first thing is a fundamentally great product. Great products make great brands.

The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is a complete toolbox of ideas, strategies, and techniques that can take a great product and transform it into a profitable brand people will love. Each concept has at its core a focus on how to connect with the consumer in a meaningful way. Be empowered, challenge conventional wisdom, think strategically, and use this book as a guide to creating a bond between your customers and your brand.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Truth 1 Your customers want a relationship, not a one-night stand 1

Truth 2 Design it, and they will come 5

Truth 3 Sensory marketing–smells like profits 9

Truth 4 Pardon me, is that a breast in your Coke? 13

Truth 5 One man’s goose… 17

Truth 6 Throw ‘em a bone, and they’ll no longer roam 21

Truth 7 Stay in their minds–if you can 25

Truth 8 These are the good old days 29

Truth 9 Why ask why? Understand consumers’ motives to meet their needs 33

Truth 10 He who dies with the most toys wins 37

Truth 11 Your customers are looking for greener pastures 41

Truth 12 “Because I’m worth it” 45

Truth 13 Love me, love my avatar 49

Truth 14 You really are what you wear 53

Truth 15 Real men don’t eat quiche (but they do moisturize) 57

Truth 16 Girls just want to have fun 61

Truth 17 Queer eye for the spending guy 65

Truth 18 Yesterday’s chubby is today’s voluptuous 69

Truth 19 Men want to sleep with their cars 73

Truth 20 Your PC is trying to kill you 77

Truth 21 Birds of a feather buy together 81

Truth 22 Sell wine spritzers to squash players 85

Truth 23 They think your product sucks–but that’s not a bad thing 89

Truth 24 When to sell the steak, when to sell the sizzle 93

Truth 25 People are dumber than robots (lazier, too) 97

Truth 26 Your customers have your brand on the brain 101

Truth 27 Let their mouseclicks do the walking 105

Truth 28 Nothing shouts quality like leather from Poland 111

Truth 29 Consider investing in a drive-thru mortuary 115

Truth 30 Go to the Gemba 119

Truth 31 Your customers want to be like Mike (or someone like him) 123

Truth 32 Go tribal 127

Truth 33 People like to do their own thing–so long as it’s everyone else’s thing too 131

Truth 34 Catch a buzz 135

Truth 35 Go with the flow–get shopmobbed today 139

Truth 36 Find the market maven, and the rest is gravy 143

Truth 37 Hundreds of housewives can predict your company’s future 147

Truth 38 Know who wears the pants in the family 149

Truth 39 Youth is wasted on the young 153

Truth 40 Make millions on Millennials 157

Truth 41 Grownups don’t grow up anymore 161

Truth 42 Dollar stores make good cents 165

Truth 43 The rich are different 169

Truth 44 Out with the ketchup, in with the salsa 173

Truth 45 Look for fly-fishing born-again environmentalist jazz-loving Harry Potter freaks 177

Truth 46 Ronald McDonald is related to Luke Skywalker 181

Truth 47 Sign a caveman to endorse your product 185

Truth 48 Make your brand a fortress brand–and make mine a Guinness 189

Truth 49 Turn a (pet) rock into gold 193

Truth 50 Think globally, act locally 197

References 201

About the Author 209

Read More Show Less

Preface

Praise for The Truth About Creating Brands People Love

"I recommend this punchy, provocative book that uses vivid case studies to remind us of 51 truths about brands."

David Aaker, Vice-Chairman, Prophet and Author of Building Strong Brands and Spanning Silos

"Brian Till and Donna Heckler have captured the key proven principles of creating strong brands and managing them effectively over the long-run. Their work is practical and applicable to companies across a wide range of industries. They offer concrete marketing strategy guidelines necessary for creating sustainable brand commitment. Their ideas are expressed in an engaging fashion, and the book is divided into concise chapters that can stand alone to make powerful points during brand strategy planning sessions."

Dan Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and Dean, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

"Utilizing a broad range of examples, anecdotes, and case history-style narrative, the authors answer many of the recurring questions brand managers and their agencies face every day in marketing consumer and business-to-business products and services. The truth about The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is that it offers sound, actionable advice that anyone in the business of building, managing, and stewarding brands can put into effective use immediately."

Joe Osborn, Partner, Osborn & Barr Communications

"This is an enjoyable read of spirited and engaging 'Truths' regarding effective brand building. Importantly, it is filled with wisdom and insights that apply to all brands and all businesses."

Patricia Seybold, Author of Customers.com, The Customer Revolution, and Outside Innovation

"Brian and Donna have peeled back the secrets of how to make great brands. Filled with countless real life examples, it's an easy and "relatable" read. A great primer for the marketer just starting out or for the established manager who thinks he knows it all."

M. Paul Kravitz, Manager, New Products and Business Development, Nestlé Purina PetCare

"A must read for corporate execs. It brings the basics back to branding."

Brian Abrahams, General Manager, U.S. Sales Division, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

"A very easy to read-and-apply text that relates well to the new marketing 'guru' and the seasoned vet. A must read for all marketers."

Larry Brayman, Manager of Marketing, Dunkin Brands, Inc

Preface

Creating brands people love seems so easy. Just look around at all the wonderful brands that we experience every day. Yet, creating brands people love requires more than simply love of a product and spectacularly creative advertising—it requires intelligent, strategic, and coordinated decisions in many areas of marketing. Packaging, promotion, advertising, positioning, distribution, and pricing are just some of the important functions that, when successfully managed, lead to profitable brands that matter to consumers.

The purpose of this book is to illustrate universal truths about brand management that cover the range of brand-building activities. These truths transcend context, providing important insights irrespective of industry-specific dynamics. The guidelines here are as relevant to a marketing manager for a steel producer as for a cereal maker; as meaningful to a brand manager for coffee machines as for a ski resort; as useful to someone running an art gallery as to someone managing a high-end hotel.

For experienced and well-trained marketing managers, these truths provide a touchstone to those basic principles that are sometimes overlooked in day-to-day decision making. For the up-and-coming brand manager, this book provides thoughtful guidance that will serve you well over the course of a career. For senior executives responsible for the marketing function but not formally trained, the book serves as a framework to think about brand building and from which to challenge your marketing staff. Finally, for students, you will find these truths to be a solid foundation for life-long learning in this fascinating business.

The following chapters cover an assortment of issues regularly faced by marketing and brand managers such as media, taglines, brand extensions, brand names, use of celebrities, packaging, and so on. Importantly, though, none of those decisions will matter unless your basic product or service offering is on target. The product or service itself is the starting foundation of a great brand.

Consider Honda. Certainly there are cars more luxurious, cars that deliver greater thrills, and cars that are more stylish. But Honda nails the essence of a great product—reliability, excellent build quality, comfortable, well-planned ergonomics, and good fuel economy. Although Honda's brand image is not flashy, Honda's image does have appeal to a significant group of people. Importantly, the starting point for Honda as a brand is Honda the product.

Gas station and convenience store QuickTrip is another good example of a brand that pays close attention to the little things. The cashiers, in addition to their speedy change counting, are quick with a "Many thanks," or "Come back and see us soon." The consistency from QuickTrip is not simple coincidence but rather an intentional focus on speed and pleasantness. At many service stations, when filling to a prepay of $20, the rate of gas flow drops to a trickle at $19.80 or so, and then the last twenty cents worth dribbles in. Not at QuickTrip. The gas flow is constantly strong until it hits exactly $20. A small detail indeed, but a detail that reinforces the promise embodied in their name—quick trip.

Without diminishing the role and importance of public relations, creative TV advertising, an engaging website, captivating packaging, motivating promotions, or any of the other tools that collectively build strong brands and drive profitability, there is tremendous importance in putting first things first—and the first thing is a fundamentally great product. Great products make great brands.

The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is a complete toolbox of ideas, strategies, and techniques that can take a great product and transform it into a profitable brand people will love. Each concept has at its core a focus on how to connect with the consumer in a meaningful way. Be empowered, challenge conventional wisdom, think strategically, and use this book as a guide to creating a bond between your customers and your brand.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fifty snappy insights on customer decision making

    If you kept this by your desk and read a short essay every week, it would last you a year (given a quick vacation) and you'd be able to absorb each of consumer behavior lecturer Michael Solomon's 50 "truths" at a steady, thoughtful pace. Each well-researched insight is designed to stand alone, as opposed to fitting into an overall, conceptual presentation or some governing framework. Still, the temptation is to read them all at once, given the intriguing stories Solomon tells along the way. Despite offering his material in short, disconnected chapters, he shares a lot of solid content and expands on some of his juicier subjects by packing in telling, detailed stories, case histories and information. getAbstract finds that this collection of ideas, notes, facts and findings includes some arresting insights, and recommends it for quick hits of marketing inspiration, either spread over time or happily taken in over a weekend.

    To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/11652/the-truth-about-what-customers-want.html

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    Posted June 14, 2011

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