Sunday, March 30, 2008

Personality Not Included - Book Launch

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Rohit Bhargava from Influential Marketing Blog is currently in the process of launching his book "Personality Not Included". He decided to approach his book launch in a very unique way and I believe its the new engagement model that will drive a lot of interactions in the 2.0 world. So here's what Rohit said and did;

A conversation does not start instantly with a big spike and then trail off. A really good conversation builds momentum steadily and eventually turns into something more powerful. So my aim today is not to create a short term spike, but to start a conversation about the central idea of the book - which is that personality matters, and continue it over the next few weeks and months. To jumpstart this conversation, I'm asking for your help - and offering you something in return.

My idea is simple: if you send me five questions that you want to know about the book or personality, I'll write you a response on Friday that you can publish on your blog. Let's call these virtual interviews (ie - interviews by email). You choose whether to post the interview on your blog or not after you get my responses, but I am essentially offering for ANY BLOGGER to send me interview questions and I will respond with answers that are NOT cut and pasted, but specific to your questions. I will send all my responses to you on Friday in the order that I get your questions, and I will link to all the posted interviews on Friday. On Monday, I'll be running a competition on my blog to let readers vote on the Best Interview. The winner will get a signed copy of my book and a gift certificate for $100 from Amazon.

Companies will be hard pressed to come up with such unique engagements through the web and more and more conversations move out there. For a relatively low investment and a unique idea smaller brands will be able to get viral and grab customer attention compared to $$ being poured into more traditional efforts.

Here's a link to the book and his virtual interview sessions that he had thru the web

Here are my 5 questions to him and his responses;

- What would you say was the single most important factor that inspired you to write this book
I think it was seeing that there was an ingredient of many successful brands that people were not really talking about ... namely, the importance of personality. The book takes some of hte most often talked about trends in business today, such as authenticity, social media and word of mouth marketing and brings them together. I thought there was a need for a book like this in the landscape of marketing and business books ... so I wanted to write it.

- In the tagline why do you say "Companies" lose their authenticity and "Brands" get them back. Can you elaborate? Do you mean companies that do not invest in their brands tend to lose their authenticity?
Good pickup. To a degree, the difference comes down to the central belief of branding ... which is that anyone can start a company, but you need to build a brand in order to have something that someone can believe in. I think that companies who don't focus on building a brand have a problem defining themselves as standing for something. If you don't stand for anything, you can't be authentic.

- Why did you pick Guy K for the foreword? Is this book mainly focused on technology, startups or entrepreneurship?
Guy is someone that I had admired for a long time and I was thrilled that he agreed to do the forward. He has built his reputation in technology and entrepreneurship, but if you have ever heard him speak you know that he has a brilliant mind for business. He was the perfect choice to do the foreword for PNI.

- What was the message or goal that you hoped to achieve with this book?
My main message is really simple: it's that personality matters. It matters because that is what gets your customers to believe in your brand rather than just buying once and leaving. More importantly, it is what gets them to tell others about you.

- Can you attest that you did not do any templating, cut or paste while answering my questions ;-)
Well, you'll be able to tell pretty easily - since I'm publishing the links to all the interviews I answered on my blog! But I can tell you definitely that I didn't for yours, because this is just the second interview ... so you're definitely 100% original content. ;-)

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