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1. Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
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2. Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing
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3. Born to Buy : The Commercialized
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4. Consumer Behavior, Sixth Edition
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5. The Tipping Point : How Little
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9. Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing
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13. World Class Selling : The Crossroads
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20. Building Strong Brands

1. Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
by Paco Underhill
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684849143
Catlog: Book (2000-06-02)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 3373
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a Sherlock Holmes for retailers," author and research company CEO Paco Underhill answers with a definitive "yes" in this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture. Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research -- in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.

In his quest to discover what makes the contemporary consumer tick, Underhill explains the shopping phenomena that often go unnoticed by retailers and shoppers alike, including:

  • How a well-placed shopping basket can turn a small purchase into a significant sale
  • What the "butt-brush factor" is and how it can make sales plummet
  • How working women have altered the way supermarkets are designed
  • How the "boomerang effect" makes product placement ever more challenging
  • What kinds of signage and packaging turn browsers into buyers

For those in retailing and marketing, Why We Buy is a remarkably fresh guide, offering creative and insightful tips on how to adapt to the changing customer. For the general public, Why We Buy is a funny and sometimes disconcerting look at our favorite pastime. ... Read more

Reviews (103)

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST READ FOR ANYONE IN MARKETING OR RETAIL!!!!
Paco Underhill's book utilizes observational research to determine why people buy. The book starts off with a detailed description of the shopping behavior of a customer in the towel section of a store. Underhill carefully writes down the customers every move, from the number of towels touched, to checking the price tag, nothing gets by without being recorded. He does this same type of observation on hundreds of customers, and from the observations recorded; he makes very thoughtful suggestions to the management of the firm.

I found many of his observations very common sense. For example, "transition zone" as Underhill calls it. Many businesses fail to recognize that it takes time for customers to make an adjustment from being outside of the store to being inside the store. A customer will ignore a simple item like a shopping basket if it is placed in the transition zone. Hanging signs and posters in front doors go unnoticed, because customers are concentrating on opening the door, rather than looking at signs. In a later chapter he goes on to discuss how natural human movement motivates customer purchasing. Because humans walk and look in a forward motion, a lot of items that are on the shelves go unnoticed. If a customer is familiar with the stores environment, then he or she is more likely to roam with his or her eyes as they are passing through the isles.

I found the most interesting topics later in the book. Underhill gives a very insightful description of why men and women shop differently. Underhill states, "Men are from Sears Hardware, Women are from Bloomingdale's." I found some of his research findings very fascinating. He gives a wonderful statistic on men's buying behavior. When a man try's items on at the store there is a 65% chance that he will purchase the item vs. a woman 25%. There is one observation Underhill makes I definitely have to agree with is that idea that men almost always pays. However, I do not agree with his idea that men get a thrill out of purchasing their female friends items.

When I started reading the chapter about what women want, I found a lot of his research findings not too surprising. It is almost common knowledge that women tend to shop faster if a male companion accompanies her. Also nothing new about how ritualistic women shopping patterns is. From seeking and comparing, to trying on and leaving items behind, it is all part of a days shopping for women.

At the end of the book there is an insightful chapter called "The Self-Exam." One idea that he mentions repeatedly through out his book, and emphasized again in this chapter is that shoppers need baskets when their hands are full. Which is not surprising, however when was the last time you saw a stack of baskets sitting in the middle of a store? This book is very thoughtful, interesting and gives any person in the marketing field excellent insight on buyer behavior. This book is a must read for anyone managing in the retail.

3-0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile book on retail design
It's interesting that Underhill's group was the one that advised Subway Sandwiches to print specific nutritional comparisons to other brand-name fast food items on their napkins. This was genius!
After reading this book, you will never enter a store or restaurant without examining its design and displays. Underhill describes the "zones" of a store or restaurant.
There's a time or two when Underhill gives contradictory opinions. One time, he says that computers should be displayed set up with their peripherals, ready to work, so that customers can try them out. But, another time, Underhill says customers want to see all similar $300 printers lined up together for comparison.
There are several things Underhill doesn't mention which are major sales inhibitors. Stores may have the best designed signage displaying the menu items or identifying aisles, and then put up large advertising banners a few feet in front of those signs, so that customers can't read the original signs without getting right under them. Many fast food outlets also neglect clearing and wiping tables. Yes, customers are expected to clear their own tables, but if they don't, the staff should promptly do so. Otherwise, the company spends millions in advertising to get customers into a restaurant, and the negligence of a manager chases the customer out. Many a time fast food customers will find napkins, straws and utensils stuffed into dispensers so tightly that it's near impossible to retrieve them.
Likewise, Underhill barely mentions the effects of employees' broken promises and faulty information. How many of us have shopped at a Orchard Supply-type hardware store, to have an employee promise to send someone to help you and never return? Or have an employee tell you they don't sell such an item in the store, and it turns out later they do? Frequently the reverse happens, when the employee swears the item can be found waaay across the store in aisle 3, where it doesn't exist.
Underhill says video stores should play movies suitable to all audiences, but it's often the case, especially later in the evening, that customers will have to shop under blaring rock music. In some stores, such as a mall Radio Shack I visited recently, the teen employees were engaged in such an animated conversation among themselves that customers didn't feel welcome to interrupt them, for the purposes of getting help or ringing up a purchase.
This book is worth reading. In reading the book, you'll see that some stores have incorporated his suggestions in the four years since publication.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the obvious isn't so apparent
I finally picked this one up after about a year of "meaning to buy it." I'm glad I did. It's a lighthearted and fun book that will make you analyze every store you set foot into and make you want to avoid many others. There are no earth-shattering ideas in here, but it does point out many of the obvious things you'd probably miss, ie: product placement, who the decision-makers are and traffic flow of the stores. It's written clear and concise, but recycles many of the examples. I read it over the course of 2 planetrips (with layovers) and will probably pass it along to a store-owner I know - meaning I won't be referencing it for the rest of my life, but I'll probably keep an eye to see what stores have read it and who should

3-0 out of 5 stars The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
It is interesting to note people's reactions to this book. I'm reminded of the adage about the stages of acceptance of an idea. At the first stage people say it's wrong, at the second stage they assert that that it's right, but also trivial (common sense perhaps?), and at the 3rd stage (final acceptance) they claim the idea as their own. Many of the negative reviews fit into stages 1 or 2. I would concur with several reviewers that the author's ego interferes with the presentation, but this does nothing to diminish the observational detail that he manages to share, if you are in a place where you can think about it. It takes a little effort to step back from the detail and consider some of the ideas about our behavior that are cloaked in the author's descriptions. Yet many of the notions about what we notice and why and how we move about in a space could be applied (with some reflective thought) to the whole process of "arriving at" and "navigating" a web site (to purchase something or to get information).

If you are looking for a book that correlates characteristics of people (socieconomic status, sex, etc) with purchases you will be sorely disappointed. I assume that many of Underhill's clients have contemplated charateristic type marketing data with an eye toward some causal connection between characteristics of people and purchasing behavior. But what Underhill notices is that the act of going to a store and buying something is a sequence of behavior that can be derailed in a variety of ways. And this, ultimately, is why characteristics (socieconomic status, gender, etc) that predict purchasing are also not causal (I don't know of any 100% correlations between characteristics and purchasing behavior that would suggest a causal relationshp). There is instead a process that starts with purposefully going to a store, or arriving their fortuitously, and a subsequent sequence of steps that may or may not result in a purchase. In detailing this process he also takes note of differences related to gender and other characteristics. If you want to understand something about how people must get to a place, enter, move about, notice things and think in order to buy things you will intrigued by the Underhill's anthropological musings. If you want some definitive "cause" for why people buy you might look elsewhere, though I suspect you would be hard-pressed to argue that the processes Underhill takes note of have nothing to do with a successful retail environment.

5-0 out of 5 stars They Know What You are Doing
There are very few books that I read over and over, but 'Why We Buy' has earned a spot in my top ten all time favorites. Through this book, the author takes us on an informative and entertaining journey into the world of retail marketing. However, the beauty of the book lies is that while it is a must-read for any retailer, it will appeal and intrigue the average consumer.

When you shop, you aren't just shopping -- you are performing a science. From the way you move your eyes, to what path you take through the store, even items you touch on the shelves, is all part of how each individual consumer makes a purchasing choice. Through this book, you learn how retailers have studied shoppers -- like yourself -- and why certain items are on the top shelfs, why two items are never on sale at the same time, and a wealth of other retail secrets.

Have you ever stopped to think about what happens the moment you walk into the store? Probably not, but you'll learn about what happens from the parking lot to the checkout stand in this book. You'll find out, for example, why shopping carts are usually always on the righthand side, and why the days of plastering windows with advertisements are all but over for many stores.

Overall, this book is just fascinating in the depth of knowledge it presents, and in such a manner to make it entertaining and informative. Even the most casual reader can find something of interest.

One thing is for sure, once you read this book, you'll never view a grocery store or mall the same way again. ... Read more


2. Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 9/e, (with DDB Needham Data Disk)
by Delbert I Hawkins, Roger J Best, Kenneth A Coney, Delbert Hawkins, Roger Best, Kenneth Coney
list price: $125.00
our price: $125.00
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Asin: 0072865490
Catlog: Book (2003-03-12)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 84852
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Book Description

Consumer Behavior, 9/e, by Hawkins, Best, & Coney offers balanced coverage of consumer behavior including the psychological, social, and managerial implications.The new edition features current and exciting examples that are tied into global and technology consumer behavior issues and trends, a solid foundation in marketing strategy, integrated coverage of ethical/social issues and outlines the consumer decision process. This text is known for its ability to link topics back to marketing decision-making and strategic planning which gives students the foundation to understanding consumer behavior which will make them better consumers and better marketers. ... Read more


3. Born to Buy : The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
by Juliet B. Schor
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
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Asin: 068487055X
Catlog: Book (2004-09-07)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 3859
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Amazon.com

Parents will be tempted to read Born to Buy as a kind of contemporary horror story, with ever more sophisticated marketing wunderkinds as Dr. Frankensteins and their children as the relentless monsters they create. Indeed, it's difficult to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the avariciousness, omnipotence, and ingenuity of the advertising industry Juliet B. Schor portrays when it comes to transforming preschool kids into voracious, 'tude-infused consumers. Intermixing research data with anecdotal illustrations, Schor chronicles the rapid development of a once-shackled industry that now markets R-rated movies to 9-year-olds. The mind boggles at the notion that Seventeen magazine's target readership is now pre-teens. While Schor unearths a surplus of information on the effectiveness of advertising, she's not nearly as adept at proposing effective responses. Reacting to the power and creativity of the consumer culture with politically unfeasible regulation and parental diligence is a little like attacking Frankenstein's creature with torches. Still, Born to Buy is an eye-opening account of an industry that is commercializing childhood with remarkable effectiveness and insouciance. --Steven Stolder ... Read more


4. Consumer Behavior, Sixth Edition
by Michael R. Solomon
list price: $133.00
our price: $133.00
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Asin: 0131404067
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 95340
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Book Description

Communicating a fascination for the everyday activities of people, this leading book on consumer behavior examines how our world is influenced by the action of marketers, and considers how products, services, and consumption contribute to the broader social world we experience. Its incredibly interesting and dynamic content proves hip and engaging, while reflecting the latest research. KEY TOPICS A four-part organization looks at consumers as individuals, consumers as decision makers, consumers and subcultures, and consumers and culture.For brand managers, marketing research analysts, and account executives. ... Read more


5. The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell
list price: $23.98
our price: $16.31
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Asin: 1586217453
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 60209
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a bestselling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control,when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly.Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfiedcustomer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message--that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world." ... Read more

Reviews (330)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Insights into Mass Behaviors
Despite an earlier reviewer poo-pooing this book for shallow insights, I beg to differ. This book is a fascinating and original take on what makes people behave in a certain way en masse. Tying together Paul Revere, Hush Puppies and many other very accessible ideas makes this book, that is in some ways very academic, read like a thriller. I read it in three sittings. It has an impact on several levels. One, as a marketer, it gave me insights into how word-of-mouth really works. I'll be experimenting with these concepts for years. Second, as a member of society, I gained insight into why I am pulled this way and that by trends. If you enjoyed this, you'll also enjoy the groundbreaking book by Robert Cialdini called "Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion." It makes some of the same points. Finally, it makes me think that some savvy activists will find some ways to use these principles to start societal epidemics that will ultimately have a positive effect. I believe Gladwell has introduced a concept, "the Tipping Point," that will have a wide-ranging impact on how we view the world and human behavior.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bowled me over.
This book is quite wonderful, and it doesn't surprise me at all that it's getting such solid reviews here. Gladwell writes wonderful pieces for the New Yorker (and elsewhere, no doubt), and the craft of the writing here combines with fascinating material to produce a book for the lively of mind.

What is a "tipping point"? Gladwell shows us how concepts and perceptions derived from epidemiology can provide unexpected, but highly plausible explanations for the transformation of a minor phenomenon into a major trend. Gladwell's examples are diverse, drawn from such apparently disparate worlds as policing, fashion, and medical research, but they work well to create a sense that there's a logic at play in the crazes and fads we see turn into cultural trends.

Obviously, this book would be a good read for anyone interested in forcasting consumer behaviour, and other business concerns. I read it, though, as a person interested in culture and the trends which form the fabric of our waking lives. I read it twice, in fact, because it's very well written, and because I used it to teach theories of information to university students, who also really "got" the book. I find that concepts drawn froom the book return to me in unlikely situations, and that's a true test of non-fiction.

My only complaint? It's not long enough!

3-0 out of 5 stars Esoterica
This is a fun book to read, but the dots remain uncconected.
...
I much prefer works that are more practical, and guide you directly to where you are going, instead of this very indirect analysis.
...
Some examples of this direct approach which are exceptionally well done include the CD "Voice Lessons to go" and the DVD "New Sex Now."
---
All of these are fun and enjoyable and will improve your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars does not disappoint
I rarely pick up a book that holds my interest all the way. This book was exceptional though and I have recommended it to many of my friends. The book discusses what causes an epidemic- how one tiny product, tv show, event, etc influences so many. I was impressed by the number of case studies and research that Gladwell did to back up his point. I really enjoyed learning about the influence Sesame Street had on the literary rate of the children who watched it, while what causes problems like teen smoking and suicide. It was a very interesting read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tiresome and Repetitive
Tipping Point is a painful book to read, painful especially to contemplate the patchwork of fill that turns what at best is a pop magazine article into a poor excuse for a book. Gladwell stabs at any theme he can possibly use to support his by no means new theory of tipping points. He hits one, perhaps, when he covers Rudy Giuliani's results in the City of New York, buts the rest are paler attempts. His comparison of Paul Revere with Dawes is over-romantic and downright silly. There's something profoundly patronizing about his tone of writing and his lack of any kind of wit. ... Read more


6. Ethical Theory and Business, Seventh Edition
by Tom L. Beauchamp, Norman E. Bowie
list price: $69.33
our price: $69.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131116320
Catlog: Book (2003-07-23)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 126896
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book presents a comprehensive anthology of readings, legal perspectives, and cases in ethics in business.Contrasting business ethics approaches, Regulation of business, Performance Monitoring. Genetic testing and screening. Third world issues. Federal sentencing guidelines.Ideal for business professionals interested in reviewing ethical issues in business. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Critical Compendium
This book is a critical reader, and it's probably the most highly used text in business ethics today. Those who reviewed this book negatively sound like people looking for a fun, non-academic overview of the field. If so, this book isn't it. These are articles published in top academic journals, edited for readability, by scholars who are addressing the fundamental issues in a wide range of topics. It's meant to expose the span of the field and still give students (not light readers) exposure to contemporary literature that touches on the most salient points. It's meant to be a starting point to deeper research in any given topic. As such, the book is a complete success. B & B do a great job (here as in other ethics compendiums) of providing a framework that makes it easy for a professor to expose her students to the field in one swoop. They do a fine editorial job, stripping the articles of padding, and they work hard to keep the offerings up to date (passing on older articles that are superceded by fresh insights that touch on contemporary challenges and technologies; look for something relating to the corporate scandals of this last year in the next edition). If you are a student looking for an overview on business ethics, this book is the correct starting point. If you are someone looking for light reading about corporate corruption, with illustrations and full-color photos, stick to People magazine.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Anthology
I really enjoyed this anthology, especially the section on sexual harassment. Some of the subjects were hard going, but, it was a good introduction to business ethics.

4-0 out of 5 stars In Defense of Beauchamp and Bowie
I teach business ethics at the college level, and have found Ethical Theory and Business to be very helpful. Basically, B and B attempt to do three things, or so it seems to me. First, they offer an introductory essay, covering some of the main distinctions in both meta-ethics (e. g. whether morality is objective or subjective) and normative ethics. This essay is the weakest part of the book, I think, because they seem to offer caracatures of most relativist leaning views (e. g. egoism), and do not adequately criticize Kantian moral philosophy. But even so, the essay does explain many useful distinctions in philosophical ethical thought. Second, B and B offer both classic readings in Business Ethics (e. g. Milton Friedman), as well as really up to date readings, by many of the leaders in the field (e. g. R. Edward Freeman). This is quite a good selection of readings, although they have omitted a few classic essays (like Galbraith's 'The Dependence Effect'), and a few subjects which might have been useful, such as the question of whether one can attribute moral agency to corporations at all. Even so, B and B include more than any course in Business Ethics could cover. Third, B and B provide a Web site with excersizes and instructor aids. Depending on how much one uses the Web, this may be helpful too. So generally speaking, although no anthology is perfect, Beauchamp and Bowie have put together an admirable collection. There is a seventh edition coming out soon. Perhaps that one will be as good as this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars This Book is Whack!!!
Ethical Theory and Business by Beauchamp & Bowie is the worst academic book I have ever been required to read. I agree with the reader from Minnesota that this book is very dry and boring and if I could give this book zero stars I would. All of the chapters in the book do not flow together very well since this book is very unorganized and is nothing more than a collection of narrative articles. The book does not have an index or any illustrations in it and the companion website to the book [stinks]. I do not think I learned anything about business ethics from reading this book nor did I find the information in it helpful for me in my life. After I finished reading this book, I felt like throwing it away, but instead I sold mine back to the bookstore. So if you want to learn about business ethics and are not required to purchase this book for a class, do not purchase this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is not worth the paper it is written on!
This book is horrible, boring, and very very dry. I do not recommed this to anyone wanting to learn anyhting about Business Ethics. I have read this book and I don't think I have learned a thing. ... Read more


7. The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
by James Surowiecki
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385503865
Catlog: Book (2004-05-25)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 264
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment
I had high expectations for this book because James Surowiecki's New Yorker column is usually so good. But THE WISDOM OF CROWDS is one of the most disappointing books I've read in years. (Indeed, I feel somewhat ripped off by having purchased it and devoted several hours to reading it.)

The main problem with this book is that despite Surowiecki's often breathless tone, nothing he says is new. Every point he makes has been made many times before by many other writers.

For instance, the key theme of his book is that groups can solve certain "cognition problems" better than individuals. No kidding. Ever hear the phrase "Two heads are better than one?" The thesis is so self-evident and widely-known that it comes with its own cliché! Yet Surowiecki devotes more than one-third of the book essentially to arguing that two people can solve a crossword puzzle faster than one person. Amazing, no?

What's more, Surowiecki's central point about the power of "collective intelligence" has long been a staple of business education. If you've ever taken an organizational behavior class, you've done the exercise where groups of varying sizes are stuck on a desert island with a dozen supplies -- and then each group must devise a solution for escaping the island using those supplies. Inevitably, the larger the group, the better the solution -- because larger groups reflect the accumulated experience and expertise of more people. (In other words, five heads are even better than two.) Want another example of how threadbare this idea is? Google the phrase "none of us is as smart as all of us" - and you'll discover that Surowiecki's supposedly "counterintuitive" notion has been talked about in business circles since Bill Gates was in short pants.

If that weren't bad enough, the rest of the book -- particularly Suriowiecki's discussion of "coordination," his second "stunning" insight--- is essentially a retread of arguments that have been made elsewhere for more than a decade. James Gleick made many of these points in CHAOS. Kevin Kelly said everything that Surowiecki says ten years ago in OUT OF CONTROL. Steven Johnson said it again four years ago in EMERGENCE. Howard Rheingold said lots of it last year in SMART MOBS.

And Surowiecki's third argument -- that sometimes cooperation is preferable to competition -- is even older. Charles Darwin told us this in the 19th century! Indeed, there's an entire branch of evolutionary psychology devoted to studying cooperation. Just read Robert Wright's THE MORAL ANIMAL if you want a more thorough and engaging account of this point.

If this book were an undergraduate term paper that summarized the self-evident and reviewed what others had already had said, I'd give it a B. But for book that costs 20 bucks from a writer who's obviously got some talent, I'd have to give THE WISDOM OF CROWDS an Incomplete. Please try again, James. But next time, try a lot harder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I'm a big fan of James Surowiecki's "Financial Page" column in The New Yorker. He's consistently able to come up with unusual takes on seemingly familiar topics, and he has a great knack for making business stories compelling and entertaining as well as understandable. But because it's only a page long, I sometimes come away from the column wanting more, and I always wondered how Surowiecki would do if he was able to develop his ideas and arguments more fully. Luckily, "The Wisdom of Crowds" lives up to all my expectations. It's wonderfully readable, full of terrific stories, funny, and its basic argument -- that groups, under certain conditions, can make better decisions than even the smartest individuals -- is counterintuitive without being willfully contrarian.

The roots of the argument obviously stem from the way markets work -- buyers and sellers find each other and reach efficient outcomes without anyone being in charge, while the stock market (at least some of the time) does as good a job as possible of setting prices. But what I really like is the way Surowiecki extends this argument way beyond business and markets, showing how collective wisdom can be seen (and can potentially be used) in a host of other situations, including the racetrack, on the Internet, and on city streets. He also does a good job of drawing out the possible implications of this for everything from the U.S. intelligence community to the way companies are run.

This is definitely a big-idea book, but the author is cautious in laying out his evidence, and is careful to show that groups, even if they're potentially wise, are often stupid and dangerous. The chapter on small groups in particular, which focuses on NASA's mismanagement of the Columbia mission, is powerful stuff, and useful to anyone interested in how to run a meeting well (or badly, for that matter). The least satisfying part of the book is the chapter on democracy, where Surowiecki shies away from pushing his conclusion to its logical end. But on the whole, this is just a wonderful book, elegant and enlightening.

If you're interested in this book, it's also worth checking out Paul Seabright's "The Company of Strangers" and Robert Wright's "Nonzero."

5-0 out of 5 stars Relevant and surprising
Although the subtitle to THE WISDOM OF CROWDS is an awkward mouthful, it is at least accurate: the book does an exceptional job of illuminating a remarkably wide range of material from politics, everyday life, and the business world. Surowiecki's not offering a grand unified theory of everything, but in the course of investigating how and when groups and crowds are and are not intelligent, he takes you on an exhilarating ride. You can't go more than a couple of pages without coming across some interesting factual tidbit or clever anecdote. Just a short list of stuff Surowiecki writes about includes: crowds on city sidewalks, Navy men trying to find a lost submarine, the Nielsen ratings, Google, scientists trying to find the SARS virus, the stock market, game-show audiences, fashion stores, and the C.I.A. Thankfully, though, he understands that just stringing together stories isn't enough. Instead, he fits his examples into a strong argument that holds the book together. You can get a lot out of this book just by dipping into individual chapters, but reading it from beginning to end is a powerful experience.

One of the things about the book that hasn't been much remarked on is the light it sheds on the flaws in the way the U.S. intelligence community -- and, I would argue, the Bush administration -- approaches the problem of forecasting the future and making good decisions. The book's main subject is the wisdom of crowds, but Surowiecki spends a lot of time on how groups go wrong, and his discussion of how groups make bad decisions seems to me completely relevant to our current problems. When Surowiecki delves into groupthink, into the pressure that's exerted on lower-level employees to conform, and the perils of too little diversity of opinion, he's making a broader point about what good decisions require. But in the process, he clarified for me just why the current administration did such a bad job of figuring out whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and of planning for the postwar period. I was surprised, but it turns out this book has a lot to say about the state we're in right now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly optimistic
It seems naive to mention it, but one of the things I liked best about Surowiecki's take on the intelligence of groups is how optimistic it is. Most of what we hear about crowds and democracy and the potential of average people offers a dismal picture. But I came away from this book in a hopeful mood, and infused with a sense of real possibility. Surowiecki is convincing on the idea that the intelligence of Google, or bettors at the race track, or the audience in "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" aren't peculiar anomalies, but are actually connected by the fact that they're tapping into collective wisdom. This makes me think that if we can figure out a way how to use group intelligence in a wider way -- inside companies, governments, whatever -- the decisions society as a whole makes can be improved.

Stylistically, the book is a delight. The sentences are crisp, and the stories are well-told. Occasionally, Surowiecki makes his ideas too involved and ends up in a digression. But I forgave this because it felt like the result of someone who thinks everything is interesting and wants the reader to feel the same. Wonderful stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Even after having read it, I'm still not sure what category I'd put THE WISDOM OF CROWDS in. It offers important insights into business, and helped me understand the way markets work. But it also has lots of fantastic and entertaining material about group psychology, and it's an interesting look at a host of questions about everyday life, ranging from the way crowds on a sidewalk move to traffic to the role of trust.

The book's real strength is its ability to take a complex question -- when are people in groups smart, and when are they foolish? -- and make it accessible and engaging, even to those of us without much background in the field. Surowiecki has a light touch with his ideas, and for me the book flew by (with the exception of a few pages about the NFL, which I had a hard time with). I feel as if I see the world now in a different way. ... Read more


8. Customer Behavior : A Managerial Perspective
by Jagdesh N. Sheth, Banwari Mittal, Bruce I. Newman
list price: $137.95
our price: $137.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0030343364
Catlog: Book (2003-01-15)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 446319
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Book Description

Now in a completely revamped second edition, the authors of Customer Behavior have adapted the content, length, and end-of-chapter materials in the text, producing a new text that is tailored specifically to upper level 4-year programs, or to graduate level programs.Its managerial approach focuses not only on the household consumer but also on the business customer market.This text goes beyond the conventional subject matter of consumer behavior textbooks, focusing not only on the role of customers as buyers, but also on their roles as users and payers. ... Read more


9. Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy (with DDB Needham Data Disk)
by Delbert I Hawkins, Roger J Best, Kenneth A Coney
list price: $125.00
our price: $125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0072416882
Catlog: Book (2000-06-26)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 476862
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Book Description

Hawkins offers balanced coverage of consumer behavior including psychological, social, and managerial implications.The new edition offers exciting and extremely current examples.This author team is best known for their ability to tie the topics back to marketing decision making and strategic planning. ... Read more


10. Consumers
by EricArnould, LindaPrice, George M Zinkhan
list price: $125.00
our price: $125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0072537140
Catlog: Book (2003-03-21)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 117955
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Book Description

Consumers, 2/e, by Arnould, Price and Zinkhan, analyses how and why consumers purchase and consume the way they do. It outlines both the individual and social factors that influence these processes.The text presents a global, behavioral, and multi-disciplinary coverage of consumer behavior. Consumers is praised as the most current text in the field in the areas of technology, research, and illustrative examples. ... Read more


11. Consumer Behavior: A Framework
by John C. Mowen, Michael Minor
list price: $80.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130169722
Catlog: Book (2000-07-20)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 493079
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12. Overpromise and Overdeliver: How TouchPoint Branding Brings Customers
by Rick Barrera
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591840619
Catlog: Book (2004-12-29)
Publisher: Portfolio
Sales Rank: 17231
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Book Description

Companies like American Girl, Best Buy, Washington Mutual, and TiVo came out ofnowhere to virtually own their respective markets. How did they scoop their bigger andwealthier competition? It wasn’t through a fat marketing budget. It was because they kepttheir promises . . . and not just any promises, but dangerously ambitious promises. In fact,these companies overpromised to lure customers in—and thenoverdelivered to keep them.

Rick Barrera, a respected marketing consultant and business lecturer, has studied theseword-of-mouth-driven successes and concluded that they are masters of what he callsTouchPoint Branding—the art of making sure that every point of contact between acompany and its customers is well executed and fulfills an over-the-top brand promise.

Barrera explains how TouchPoint Branding’s three major components—ProductTouchPoints, System TouchPoints, and Human TouchPoints—can create dramaticmarket differentiation. The companies featured in the book start with an extraordinaryproduct (like the Hummer), supported by smoothly running systems (like the SumersetHouseboats Web site), and add satisfying human contact (like the service at an AmericanGirl store).

It’s an old cliché in business that smart companies underpromise and overdeliver. But intoday’s crowded market, that’s not enough. Barrera’s insights and case studies can helpany company overpromise . . . and still overdeliver. ... Read more


13. World Class Selling : The Crossroads of Customer, Sales, Marketing, and Technology
by JimHolden
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471326054
Catlog: Book (1999-03-19)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 506671
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Praise for Jim Holden’s World Class Selling "World Class Selling is a must for any company executive and sales professional committed to achieving world class supremacy. Jim Holden has surpassed himself." —George E. Harvey President, Business Group AT&T Canada "The Holden Corporation and its value concept teachings are not new to the Microsoft OEM division. For the past three years we have worked with them, immersing ourselves in their value management methodology, applying it to a variety of scenarios in our business, with excellent results. For us, World Class Selling is another great extension of what we have been practicing for some time. I’m sure it will make us an even better organization to reckon with." —Joachim Kempin Senior Vice President, OEM Division, Microsoft "In World Class Selling, Jim Holden adds another dimension to his teaching effectiveness. The real-life highs, lows, threats to, and accomplishments of Mary Gagan establish the drama of what selling has become…an outstanding book which addresses a very complicated subject in a very interesting and comprehensive way." —William Y. O’Connor Chairman, CEO, and President, GTECH Corporation "The concepts put forth in World Class Selling, created by linking critical sales and sales-related areas of a business, will drive any company’s ability to change as market circumstances change. Holden Corporation has been a strong, passionate, and value-focused partner to ALLTEL. Their proven processes are helping to link every employee, everywhere in the company, directly or indirectly to providing value to our customers." —Jeff Fox President, ALLTEL Information Services "Using the methods Jim Holden spells out in World Class Selling, we at Origin were able to use one common language and professionalize our sales process and sales force, resulting in an increased hit rate and lower sales cost." —Peter Overakker Executive Vice President Origin International (The Netherlands) ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
World Class Selling does a masterful job of not only focusing on what salespeople need to do to be successful, but on what a salesperson's company needs to do. For example, if my company's marketing is not aligned with sales, it makes my job twice as difficult.

I also very much enjoyed the real life scenario that runs through the book, espically the ending.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother
This is worse than a complete waste of time -- it is nothing more than an infomercial for the sales training program run by the same group. It is filled with Capitalized Letters and Italicized Jargon that are part of the cute terminology. The book is written around some styalized characters who walk through a script -- it is impossible to read, and even less possible to gain any valuable insight, it is so annoying. I wish that I could get my money back. The worst part is that it seems like there might be some good ideas underneath, if you could just get to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive approach to transform a company's sales culture.
"Not adequate! Superb selling skills are not adequate to ensure success in today's topsy-turvy global marketplace. Winning companies will intimately understand their customers' goals, their strengths, and their weaknesses. They will distill this information into a detailed understanding of solutions that provide the highest value leverage. Solutions are more than products and supporting services. They are the tangible intangibles that derive from the total company-to-company relationship. Having a company internalize the new paradigm that the entire organization - not just the sales department - is responsible for securing and retaining key customers will usually require a radical culture change. Jim Holden, in World Class Selling, almost brutally represents the horror story that can result from not making the paradigm shift. This book will be of limited value to a sales force if sales leadership does not 'sell' every member of the executive leadership team on reading this book, discussing the implications, and then using its concepts as the basic framework to transform the organization into a well-oiled value selling machine."

5-0 out of 5 stars Jim Holden solves the modern sales problems of today.
Jim Holden has applied the research necessary to identify the sales and marketing problems faced by fortune 500 companies today. Not only does he identify the problems, but he carefully and entertainingly takes the reader through a real life example and solution to the problems.

This is a must read for every professional marketer and sales manager today, as well as the CEO's and CFO's. The helps every one understand and work together to solve the modern problems in this competitive environment.

5-0 out of 5 stars "World Class Selling" is a great textbook and a great read!
"World Class Selling" is to "Power Base Selling" as HDTV is to analog TV. Jim Holden's new release brings added dimension to his proven techniques, with illustrations of where and how to use them . It will become a "must" for marketing and sales professionals, as well as management executives and technology developers. As a setting, he develops a storyline all can relate to, and at the same time, he instructs. The result is a Systems Engineering Masters Course for Business Development. Take the suggestion to visit efox and you will experience the future...with "just-in-time" learning , and on-line proficiency refreshment, using state-of-the-art access tools. ... Read more


14. Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy -- and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market
by Lisa Johnson, Andrea Learned
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081440815X
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: AMACOM
Sales Rank: 33640
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Purchases by women now total trillions of dollars annually, accounting for 85% of all consumer expenditures. So, reaching women should be considered the number one priority for most businesses.

Don't Think Pink will help marketers see their brands through a woman's eyes, unlocking the secrets to developing products, services, and marketing strategies that truly resonate with female buyers.

Based on painstaking research into women's experiences and perceptions, Don't Think Pink reveals:

* How generational history, culture, life stages, and daily realities influence a woman's buying mind * How the manner in which women buy is more critical than what's being sold * How listening to women earlier and more often leads to more powerful strategies * How to use the Internet and other technology -- both in market research and during the buying process -- to gain a greater understanding of female consumers * How to gain a bigger share of the awesome purchasing power of women

There's no question that women buy. Don't Think Pinkexplains what drives their buying decisions, and how businesses can capitalize on this enormous (and evergreen) market. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow ! Bravo !
The last time I was this enthused after reading a marketing book was in '99 when Paco Underhill's book Why We Buy was published. I've already begun a second (slower) reading of Don't Think Pink -- and I just bought it on Thursday!

Thanks to the authors Lisa and Andrea for sharing their experience and findings in such a readable book. After knocking around the marketing arena for a couple of decades, I am thrilled to have a ready, authoritative reference such as Don't Think Pink to cite when presenting recommendations and concepts, both internally as well as to clients.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not your average marketing book!
I've read a lot of business-related books and rarely do I find one that I can't put down. As a woman consumer, I read Don't Think Pink and I found myself feeling understood. As a businesswoman I believe that organizations that truly embrace the marketing philosophy, strategy and tangible suggestions that the authors provide will find themselves able to break ahead of the pack to reach their women customers innovatively.
The personality and expertise of the authors come through in their writing, which makes this book not only incredibly relevant in today's marketplace, but also just a fun, conversational, easy read! ... Read more


15. Unbelievably Good Deal and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50, 2005-2006 (Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventur ... u Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50)
by Joan RatnerHeilman
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071438297
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 109485
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Book Description

"The bargain hunter's bible." --Modern Maturity

The newest edition of this proven bestseller, which has sold more than 850,000 copies, is completely revised and updated with even more information about trips, discounts, clubs, programs, and special perks for anyone over 50. Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 includes amazing bargains on:

  • Airfares and hotels
  • Car rentals and public transportation
  • Vacations designed for grandparents and grandkids
  • Adventure destinations
  • Bike trips and walking tours
  • Golf, tennis, and other sports
  • Free or discounted educational opportunities
  • And much more!

In addition, you are offered an overview of organizations for those over 50, an especially useful feature for baby boomers who are just turning 50 and looking for action and excitement. The market is growing exponentially every year, and it's getting more and more active. This edition is ideal for those with a penchant for travel, exercise, fun, and big savings.

... Read more

16. The Complete TightwadGazette
by AMY DACYCZYN
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375752250
Catlog: Book (1998-12-15)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 6366
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Though tightwad seems like a derogatory term, author Amy Dacyczyn wants to assure you that it's okay to be a penny-pincher. This self-styled "Frugal Zealot" wrote and published The Tightwad Gazette for over six years to spread the frugal gospel. Each issue contained tips from her personal experience and from her many readers. The wealth of information contained in all these issues has been compiled into one volume for the first time. You'll find literally thousands of ideas for saving money, from the simple or practical to the difficult or bizarre. On the simple, practical side, Dacyczyn advises would-be tightwads to keep track of price trends at several stores in a "price book" and to buy in bulk when prices are low. Other, stranger offerings include tips for turning margarine-tub lids into playing-card holders, old credit cards into guitar picks, and six-pack rings into a hammock or volleyball net. More helpful are inexpensive recipes for making homemade versions of pricey, well-known products and ingenious ways to fix broken or damaged items. The book's disorganization encourages browsing, but the detailed index will point you to the exact page for specific items. Dacyczyn's occasional "thriftier than thou" tone is balanced by the friendly support for frugality that infuses every page. She even reminds her readers that it's okay to "sweat the small stuff"--because this small stuff is the essence of frugality. --C.B. Delaney ... Read more

Reviews (128)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible for Stay-At-Home Mom's on a Tight Budget!
When I decided to stay at home with our daughter ,instead of putting her in a daycare, I knew it would be tough. Our income wasn't much but our family was more important than the money. I quit working and did a lot of research for money saving ideas. When I came across Amy's books I could hardly contain my excitement. There are tons of great ideas. It has become my second bible and a divingboard for my own creativity. My husband has been able to spend more time at home and less time working. Lots of family time! Our child is happier. Our marriage is happier. At a yearly income of $15-18,000 (never been on welfare), we are a testiment to the fact that money really doesn't matter.
Yes, some of the ideas can seem extreme. I think when you prioritize you life, you'll see it really isn't. If you are truely serious about changing your life/situation, you'll open your mind to anything.
This book isn't just great for stay-at-home parents, but college kids, newlyweds, even folks who want to get rid of debts. I recommend the Tightwad Gazette books to anyone who wants to save money.
The true tightwad will make a run for the library. I also recomment the monthly Tightwad Newletter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yet another sparkling review
I will not repeat a lot of what has been said already about the quality of information contained in this book and the talent of the author. I will admit that I have read and used this one book more than any other I own, besides the bible. There is an endorsement! Besides tons of money saving advice, Amy shares her sense of humor, creative spirit and deep philosophical insights which make this a value for any person to read, regardless of financial status. Personally, I have never really struggled financially, yet feel committed to be a good steward of the resources I have been blessed with. Please keep in mind that she is not any type of expert on investing, so look elsewhere for better reading on that topic. This is also not a parenting book, although it amuses me that a couple who have sacrificed to retire early and raise their family full time are under such scrutiny as parents. I would sooner label parents who work full time, buy fast food and come home to watch T.V. until bed time abusive, even if their kids wear designer clothes and get new toys at Christmas. It just goes to show you where many peoples' values lie. I could not say enough good things about this book and even if some ideas are over the top, there is not a more comprehensive book on the subject of saving money anywhere to be found. Enough said.

4-0 out of 5 stars Encouraging and a bit discouraging, all in one!
This book is the compilation of The Tightwad Gazette newsletter issues, and I subscribed to The Tightwad Gazette back when it was still a subscription newsletter. I started reading it because our family was facing some serious financial difficulties and I needed help NOW! The first time I read the newsletter, I was able to pick up tips that turned our family's financial situation around right away.

The author is a black-belt tightwad and has been from the beginning of her marriage. She and her husband did things "right" from Day One. Which is great for them, but that's where the discouragement from this book came in for me. My husband and I didn't do things "right" from the beginning and consequently weren't going to be able to live in a big, beautiful farmhouse in the country while our children were still small. It was sort of depressing to read about all the wonderful benefits that frugal living brought to the author's life. We'd made some major mistakes in the past (both of us were raised in spend-thrift homes so we really didn't know another way until we'd hit rock bottom ourselves) ... and all of the penny-pinching in the world now wasn't going to allow us to live out our "dream."

Anyway, please know that I LOVE this book for it's tips and ideas! Frugality really is an alternative lifestyle in this day of easy credit and disposable everything, so the author's voice is desparately needed by those of us looking for some frugal encouragement.

But because of the depressing aspect of feeling like the author doesn't "get" the situation of people who've made financial mistakes, I found that reading Mary Hunt's books (especially "The Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover") has helped to balance things out a bit for me. Mary Hunt's family overcame more than one-hundred-thousand dollars in consumer debt (her family's debt made my family's finanicial situation at its worst look GOOD!).

A good friend of mine -- who's made "right" financial decisions her entire marriage -- thought Mary Hunt's books were just plain "stupid." But then she LOVED The Tightwad Gazette and found it incredibly encouraging -- she also couldn't figure out how I could find The Tightwad Gazette depressing. But she'd never seen life from the view I have. So I think it's a matter of perspective how people relate to the different books. That's why I'm so glad there are numerous people writing on frugality. Somebody's voice is bound to speak to you whereever you're at in your personal financial journey -- if it's not Amy Dacyczyn ("The Tightwad Gazzette") or Mary Hunt ("The Cheapskate Monthly"), maybe it'll be Jonni McCoy ("Miserly Moms") or Deborah Taylor-Hough ("Frugal Living For Dummies").

If you're facing a mountain of debt -- or living the consequences of bad decisions in the past -- be warned that this book could make you feel a bit "down" ... but keep a stiff upper lip, buck up, read this book, and apply its tips ... you -- and your bank account(!) -- will be glad you did!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but irritating
While I enjoy and have used much of the information in this book, my big gripe is that the index is done terribly. It seems like they just copied the indexes from the three books instead of re-doing them, so nothing is listed under the proper page number. It makes trying to find anything a nightmare.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice book but not for everyone!
I agree with some of the authors advise like not to spend money on disposable things like diapers,paper towels,paper plates etc...some of the advise in this book is a bit too extreme like trash picking but still makes a nice reading . ... Read more


17. Inside the FDA: The Business and Politics Behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat
by Fran Hawthorne
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471610917
Catlog: Book (2005-02-25)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 26299
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The forces that shape America's most powerful consumer agency
Because of the importance of what it regulates, the FDA comes under tremendous political, industry, and consumer pressure. But the pressure goes far beyond the ordinary lobbying of Washington trade groups. Its mandate-one quarter of the national economy-brings the FDA into the middle of some of the most important and contentious issues of modern society. From "designer" babies and abortion to the price of prescription drugs and the role of government itself, Inside the FDA takes readers on an intriguing journey into the world of today's most powerful consumer agency.
In a time when companies continue to accuse the FDA of nitpicking and needlessly delaying needed new drugs, and consumers are convinced that the agency bends to industry pressure by rushing unsafe drugs to market, Inside the FDA digs deep to reveal the truth. Through scores of interviews and real-world stories, Hawthorne also shows how and why the agency makes some of its most controversial decisions as well as how its recent reaction to certain issues-including the revolutionary cancer drug Erbitux, stem cell research, and bioengineering of food-may jeopardize its ability to keep up with future scientific developments.
Inside the FDA takes a closer look at the practices, people, and politics of this crucial watchdog in light of the competing pressures and trends of modern society, revealing what the FDA is supposed to do, what it actually does-and fails to do-who it influences, and how it could better fulfill its mandate. The decisions that the FDA makes are literally life and death. Inside the FDA provides a sophisticated account of how this vitally important agency struggles to balance bureaucracy and politics with its overriding mission to promote the country's health.
Fran Hawthorne (New York, NY) is a senior contributing editor of Institutional Investor and has connections deep within the business and finance communities. Hawthorne has been covering healthcare and business for more than twenty years for such publications as Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Crain's New York Business. She is the author of The Merck Druggernaut (cloth: 0-471-22878-8; paper: 0-471-67906-2).
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, although it misses one key insight
Far better and more balanced than any book to date on the subject. The book does an amazing job explaining the external forces tugging in all directions at the FDA without those shrill calls for "reform" made by so-called public interests like CSPI or misguided lawmakers like Hinchey out of NY.

The only thing missing from the analysis are the internal forces. FDA attitudes are very much related to the belief system of the staff and the culture fostered by the institution.

If you've ever been on the receiving end of an FDA action, you know the prevailing culture inside the FDA views the entire industry as the police view criminals. The FDA often seems to doubt every iota of data, question every motive and act as if the administrative procedures which insure fairness are somehow boundaries on a power they believe should be limitless. Many parts of the FDA are an "end-justifies-the-means" culture. Staff who don't toe the line and approach industry with all out animosity and suspicion are often suspect themselves of being deficient in intellect and/or integrity.

The book does a bang up job analyzing external forces. If Ms. Hawthorne actually could have gotten inside the front lines at FDA, she would have had all the facts she needed for a superb analysis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended for public consumption!
I found this to be one of the most comprehensive books on the FDA and its role in issues that affect every American's daily life. She really explores the inner workings of the agency and takes it to task for its failures ... a great job, too, of laying out the complexities involved in controversial decisions on GMOs, stem cell research, etc. ... Read more


18. FabJob Guide to Become a Personal Shopper
by Laura Harrison McBride, Peter J. Gallanis, Tag Goulet
list price: $29.95
our price: $25.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1894638557
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: FabJob.com Ltd
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Personal shoppers are hired to shop for gifts, fashions, and other items for busy people.

Some personal shoppers are employed by boutiques or department stores to assist the stores customers. Others are hired to shop for individuals or corporate clients. As a personal shopper your work may range from buying birthday presents to finding the perfect promotional item for a company to give to important clients.

The book offers advice on how to learn the skills needed to get hired as a personal shopper, including identifying what clients want, finding the best products, and arranging for purchases. You will also learn how to get discounts on merchandise and prevent purchasing disasters.

The guide explains how to get hired as a personal shopper by a boutique, department store, or shopping center. You will learn how to find job openings, prepare a resume, and do well in an interview.

The guide also gives step-by-step information on how to start a personal shopping business, including how to get clients and how much to charge. The CD-ROM that comes with the book includes many helpful samples that can be used in a personal shopping business. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource
I had been searching for detailed information on how to become a personal shopper without success, so it was exciting to finally find this book. I love all the expert tips, and am especially grateful for the CD-ROM with all the samples I can use to start my own business. ... Read more


19. Trillion-Dollars Moms : Marketing to a New Generation of Mothers
by Maria Bailey, Bonnie Ulman
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1419504576
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Dearborn Trade, a Kaplan Professional Company
Sales Rank: 111389
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes Mom Marketing Beyond the Basics
This book does a great job of shattering old sterotypes such as the Soccer Mom and reconizes the complexity of marketing to moms. Bailey and Ulman offer fresh research that provides interesting, useful insights. For example, moms of different generations may be the best of friends because the ages of their children are the same, so recognizing the common experiences of moms regardless of their own age is important. This callenges traditional demographic profiles and demonstrates that the moms market needs to be considered from many angles. The book is an easy read as it often uses interviews with real moms to convey key points. I found it very beneficial and a worthy addition to my bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must-Read for Mom Marketers
I've had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Maria Bailey's new book, Trillion Dollar Moms. If Mom is a customer of your business, it's a must-read.

As the world changes rapidly, Moms are changing with it and leading the way. The differences in how Boomer, Gen X, and Gen Y Moms respond to marketing in today's multi-channel, multimedia environment are significant. Maria provides a landscape for you to design marketing strategies to best connect with Moms.
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20. Building Strong Brands
by David A. Aaker
list price: $28.00
our price: $19.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 002900151X
Catlog: Book (1995-12-12)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 12830
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As industries turn increasingly hostile, it is clear that strong brand-building skills are needed to survive and prosper. In David Aaker's pathbreaking book, Managing Brand Equity, managers discovered the value of a brand as a strategic asset and a company's primary source of competitive advantage. Now, in this compelling new work, Aaker uses real brand-building cases from Saturn, General Electric, Kodak, Healthy Choice, McDonald's, and others to demonstrate how strong brands have been created and managed.

A common pitfall of brand strategists is to focus on brand attributes. Aaker shows how to break out of the box by considering emotional and self-expressive benefits and by introducing the brand-as-person, brand-as-organization, and brand-as-symbol perspectives. The twin concepts of brand identity (the brand image that brand strategists aspire to create or maintain) and brand position (that part of the brand identity that is to be actively communicated) play a key role in managing the "out-of-the-box" brand.

A second pitfall is to ignore the fact that individual brands are part of a larger system consisting of many intertwined and overlapping brands and subbrands. Aaker shows how to manage the "brand system" to achieve clarity and synergy, to adapt to a changing environment, and to leverage brand assets into new markets and products.

Aaker also addresses practical management issues, introducing a set of brand equity measures, termed the brand equity ten, to help those who measure and track brand equity across products and markets. He presents and analyzes brand-nurturing organizational forms that are responsive to the challenges of coordinated brands across markets, products, roles, and contexts. Potentially destructive organizational pressures to change a brand's identity and position are also discussed.

As executives in a wide range of industries seek to prevent their products and services from becoming commodities, they are recommitting themselves to brands as a foundation of business strategy. This new work will be essential reading for the battle-ready. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
Branding appears to be a mushy, unquantifiable subject. Before I bought this book I read through countless articles on the subject that just didn't make much sense. Reading Aaker's book provided the opposite experience: crystal clear, a compelling argument for why brand matters and how best to build one.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good brand classic!
This book is a comprehensive and holistic approach to brand , although a but out-dated. For more updated concepts I reccommend 60-Minute Brand Strategist by Idris Mootee. The author presents an expanded view of the meaning and role of brands and gives a new dimension, deeper than the single, limited conceptualization of a brand as a product. The role of the organizational associations, of the culture values and the emotional imput is very well integrated to understand the multidimensional meaning of a brand. Both books will help brand, marketing and/or commercialization managers to best leverage their corporate, range and product brands. Additionally, the insights presented to understand brand and company valuations are very well explained.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
Building Strong Brands realizes right away how crucial a brand identity is in today's economy. Well written and researched, Aaker delves into case histories of some very well known brands--such as Saturn--to forcefully argue his premise about the vital importance that a well-established brand identity can play in marketing and selling a product. Although his case histories are strong ones, each situation is unique. Guerilla PR: Wired is laden with various techniques to help an organization market its brand identity.

3-0 out of 5 stars Building A Brand
Add this to the list of business books that you must read before you try to build a brand of your own. I also liked Micheal Levine's Guerilla PR Wired, which is great for taking on Internet branding.

3-0 out of 5 stars Is ¡§Brand¡¨ need some changes?
¡§Brand¡¨ has been a powerful tool for years. With the use of ¡§Brand¡¨, products and service can differentiated from the competitors. With the use of ¡§Brand¡¨, customers can identify the products and services from different brands and they can purchase the one they trusted. With the use of ¡§Brand¡¨, company can provide products to customers while the ¡§Brand¡¨ can serve as the guarantee about the quality for the customers. With the use of ¡§Brand¡¨, company can prepare strategies to build up customer loyalty towards the brand.

So, it seems that it is very important for company to make use of ¡§Brand¡¨. And it seems that once the company has built up the ¡§Brand¡¨, they can be successful. It also seems to me that they should keep on using that ¡§Brand¡¨ since the company has put effort to build customer loyalty towards the brand.

However, after read this book, I found that the above belief is wrong. Actually, ¡§Brand¡¨ need to be changed over time. For example, just like what mentioned in the book, if the ¡§Brand¡¨ was poorly conceived, or the ¡§Brand¡¨ is out of date, or the ¡§Brand¡¨ appeals to a limited market, or the ¡§Brand¡¨ is not contemporary, or the ¡§Brand¡¨ is tired. It means that it is time for the company to change its ¡§Brand¡¨.

So, if you want to know more about ¡§Brand¡¨,
if you want to know how to build a strong ¡§Brand¡¨,
if you want to know whether it¡¦s time for the your companies¡¦ ¡§Brand¡¨ to be changed,
or if you also have the incorrect beliefs about ¡§Brand¡¨ that I mentioned,
it would be a good idea for you to read this book to know more about ¡§Brand¡¨. ... Read more


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