Cyberlibris et le Groupe Express-Roularta s'associent pour offrir aux lecteurs de L'Expansion, de l'Entreprise et de Mieux-Vivre Votre Argent un nouveau service de bibliothèques numériques.
La première bibliothèque est plus particulièrement destinée aux lecteurs de L'Expansion et leur permet d'accéder aux meilleurs ouvrages de management francophones et anglophones. Les aficionados du management y découvriront une riche littérature dédiée au coaching, au leadership, au management international, à la Chine, au changement etc..
La deuxième est dédiée aux entrepreneurs, fidèles de l'Entreprise: du business plan, à la fiscalité en passant par le contrat de travail à un clic de souris!
Enfin, toutes les personnes soucieuses de la gestion de leurs finances personnelles trouveront réponses à leurs questions grâce à une bibliothèque numérique couvrant la co-propriété, l'investissement locatif, les SCI, l'impôt, les viagers, le droit etc...
Rajnish Mehra, Professor of Finance, University of California, Santa Barbara,
Donald Kuratko, The Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship, Indiana University,
and many more....
The contributions of these bright academic spirits are available online full-text in Cyberlibris Academia thanks to Cyberlibris partnership with Now Publishers. Just type the name of the authors in Cyberlibris search box or, even better, just type Now Publishers in the search box and you'll get immediate access to 46 magnificent pieces of work.
I just received the latest newsletter from Brand Guru Martin Lindstrom. Very Interesting indeed! Lindstrom is indoubtedly talented to create a lot of hype around his "brand" new book: BRAND Sense.
Here is his starting pitch to make you "salivate" of course:
"BRAND sense is about how our five senses interact with brands. It demonstrates how it's entirely possible to go beyond sight and sound to fully integrate smell, touch and taste. The effects are nothing short of mindblowing. Based on the world's largest study ever conducted on our five senses carried out by prominent research institute, Millward Brown, we are now able to prove that multi-sensory branding works."
Lindstrom goes on with the usual pinch of business romance:
" The answer came to me on a Tokyo street in the spring of 1999. A lady brushed by me and her perfume took me back to my childhood. It was extraordinary. For a moment the rush-hour crowds, the traffic and the high-rise buildings ceased to exist. I was instantly transported to the Danish countryside, smelling the same perfume that a friend of mine always wore. It stood to reason that if brands contained a scent, they could be equally powerful. This epiphany triggered what was to become the world's largest study on our five senses in relationship to branding. With help and support from the international research institute Millward Brown, a team of 600 researchers undertook an intensive 18-month study across 13 countries. The findings have been nothing short of mind-blowing. What was revealed was that the second-most important sense that connects us emotionally, is in fact smell.
Surprising - if so read this: Two identical pairs of Nike running shoes were placed in two separate, but identical, rooms. One room was infused with a mixed floral scent. The other wasn't. Test subjects inspected the shoes in each room, and then answered a questionnaire. Overwhelmingly, by a margin of 84 percent, consumers preferred the shoes displayed in the fragrant room. Additionally, the consumers estimated the value of the "scented" shoes was, on average, $10.33 higher than the pair in the unscented room."
Well, Lindstrom has a genuine gift to tell stories even if, when you think of it twice; a lot is "déjà vu"! But again, the point is that he is able to make a "whole" out of moving parts.
I wonder what Naomi Klein (No Logo) has to say about all this. Sounds like "Logo" is taking it one step beyond. Never mind! What's true is that impaired people (blind, deaf) may find it useful to now be able to recognize brands which they could not before.
Will be fun too to see how marketing professors are going to accomodate this new brand dimension into their teaching.
As far as I am concerned, I have already started: Get your nose close enough to your PC screen and you'll get to experience the very first scented blog!
Does not work? Call Typepad support!
More on Martin Lindstrom in Cyberlibris:
BRANDchild: Insights Into the Minds of Today's Global Kids, Martin Lindstrom, Kogan Page, 2003
"You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.
What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last?
Face it, the checklist of tired 'P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed -Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few-aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important 'P' that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow.
Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period." (Drawn from Seth Godin ' Purple Cow book description; translated into French: La Vache Pourpre, Maxima, 2004).
I f you've never read a book by Seth Godin, the Purple Cow is a good start. Godin has an innate way of making you think out of the box: Don't expect something academic, expect good sense and a great sense of humor too. If you run your own business, I bet you will keep wondering whether your business is a purple cow, how to make it a purple cow.
This reminds me of the interview of a German manager whose family had been manufacturing garden dwarfs for centuries. Some twenty years ago, it was his turn to run the show. At the time, he said he hated the idea: How can you be successful with girls, he said, when they realize that you're in the business of garden dwarfs! Now, he loves it and has developped a genuine understanding of the garden dwarfs market. The one thing he did recently is to produce a brand new rather unexpected kind of dwarf.
As you may imagine, even if there are more and more garden dwarfs aficionados (including French designer Phillippe Stark, most people tend to laugh at people who put garden dwarfs in their garden. They find it ridiculous, ugly what have you... This is obviously something that may hurt business. Well, what the German firm did was to design a new dwarf: The garden dwarf that has been killed by the neighbour. Imagine a dwarf, lying down, face (and beard) on the ground, with a knife deep in his back. This dwarf is a killing. The firm has sold tons of them.
Why? Well, it sounds to me that this dwarf is a kind of purple cow. The dwarf design is a fun and astute way of generating cash-flows out of the love-hate feelings that garden dwarfs trigger. You hate them, show it, buy a killed one. You love them and want to make fun out of your neighbour, buy one too!
The more I go, the more I see pornography in management literature. Not convinced! Well, just candidely think of the type of titles a lot of business books carry these days (the following titles are fake/invented ones but quite similar to true ones): "Ten best stocks for the millenium", "The best kept secrets of top CEOs", "Managing like XXX", "XXX on successful leadership" etc...
I do not mean that all these titles necessarily relate to poor books. What I mean is that most of them don't challenge us into deep thinking. They take for granted that it is easy to disentangle skill from luck.
But let me ask you: How do you do that? Is Warren Buffett skilled or lucky (remember tossing a coin may end up with 15 heads in a row with a non zero probability)? How do you recognize a skilled VC from a lucky one? Are not we too often tempted to rationalize ex-post? Is luck that scary that we need skill as an explanation for what we don't want to see as Lady Fortune's hand!
The publishing industry is going through interesting times. Good old Gutenberg must be turning in his grave. Indeed, it is a stimulating experience to see the North-American publishing industry going digital without really going digital. The latest event in this saga is the Google Print initiative whereby, through Google, publishers will allow readers to flip through the pages of newly released books (they say roughly 20% of the book). The basic idea is to give readers a better sense of whether they should go for the book, that is buy it. Google's idea is to combine the viewing of a given page with their Adsense contextual advertising program. Publsihers will then receive a share of the ad revenues based on the number of Adsense clicks that we, readers, gonna trigger.
Interesting! This mimics what we're allowed to do for free in a bookstore (where sometimes we can even enjoy a sofa and a cup of coffee (Starbucks?)), that is making our mind about the book while sipping coffee and flipping through pages. We can do so even if we don't buy the book and decide to leave the bookstore without opening our wallet. The clever trick here is an indirect re-monetization of this free right: Publishers gonna be paid when we flip through the pages AND click on Adsense boxes.
Now, I have some questions that spring to my mind. What's the deal for authors? Will they get their cut? Is this to be considered as a derivative right to be compensated for. Next is the question of why Google takes the burden of scanning the books instead of relying upon the available electronic files that are nowadays provided by publishers.
Mmmmhhhh!!! Is this Big Brother striking again? Are we going to leave even more footprints? Frankly I do not know what to think even though Google claims that they are good guys with no intention of profiling us whatsoever.
Although not clearly visible, something may be wrong with this picture. Indeed, did you know that monkeys peel bananas from the bottom up (well to make things even more confusing this is the other way round since bananas grow upside down)? Anyway! If you assume that monkeys are banana experts (not a bold assumption to make), how can it be that we, clever humans, have it all wrong for so many years?
This is not a joke or some kind of "I love to turn conventional wisdom upside down" trick. This question has been dealt with by University of Rochestor Professor of Economics Steven E. Landsburg in Slate.
Now the reason I am referring to Landsburg's banana obsession is not to add my own explanation or yours (by the way if you have one post a comment here, I'll pass it on to Landsburg) but to illustrate a principle, namely that of symmetry. This principle is much useful as it can spark very creative processes. It is simple and boils down to the question "what if we were doing it the other way round. " We used a version of this principle in an earlier post on this blog. Yale University Professors Ayres and Nalebuff use it extensively in their Why Not? book and on their related website.
Examples: Why do we have ATM machines where we can get money even if we are not customers of the bank where the ATM is located while we cannot do the same when we want to deposit money in the same kind of ATM?
Why is that telemarketers who call us on the phone to ask us questions don't use a number which would credit our bank account, thus paying us for our time that so far they consume for free. I can see dozens of benefits doing so.
Think of Dutch auctions: Instead of proposing higher and higher prices, the auctionner does the reverse and the bidder who wins is the one who steps in first (as opposed to last in "traditional" auctions).
Applying this way of looking at things and people is indeed a unique way of creating new ideas, new business opportunities.
When I was an investment banker, I did realize that it was easier (to a certain extent of course) to buy from my clients than to sell to them. This is not that obvious when you think that army of fellows on trading floors are called salespeople not buypeople!
Well, a blogger somehow abides to the symmetry principle being both at the same time his or her own publishing company and the author.
Now, I wonder whether venture capitalists are fond of the symmetry principle. But what I am sure of is that this principle can be an inextinguishible source of inspiration and...business plans.