Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Brand Against the Machine

By: Gini Dietrich | January 6, 2012 | 

It’s the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for a book review!

Let me start out by saying, I receive a ton of books in the mail. Most of them are unsolicited and arrive without a note or a signature inside or any reason to compel me to read it.

Before Brand Against the Machine was published, I knew of John Morgan very peripherally so I wouldn’t have known about his book unless it’d been recommended to me by a friend.

But he did two things really well. He sent me a signed copy of his book. It is written specifically to me and you can tell he did his homework.

I love that.

Then he sent me a personal note (handwritten, none-the-less) about why he thought Spin Sucks readers would benefit from knowing about his book.

Score two points for John.

So, of course, I felt compelled to read his book.

Now the review.

The book sucks.

HAHAHAHA! Just kidding, John!

I just wanted to give him a little heart attack because I’ve been teasing him about this review for weeks now.

In all seriousness, the book is very good. For those of you who do a lot of branding work every day and have years of experience, you’re not going to learn a lot. But the stories he tells throughout are entertaining and keep your attention. So you’ll likely come away with three or four really good nuggets you never considered OR things you’d forgotten.

For those of you really active in social media, it won’t be earth shattering in terms of what works and what doesn’t work (video, not selling, having conversations). But you’ll learn how to take what you’re really good at and apply some strong marketing and branding techniques to help either your company or your clients.

He covers a lot of ground, from haters and brand ambassadors to perfecting your website and creating a conversation. I got the most out of the last three chapters of the book.

I don’t mind rules, John, and thought that last chapter was excellent. I also really enjoyed reading the reasoning behind what is killing entrepreneurs (and I agree).

The only thing I wish is that the measurement chapter had more meat to it. It’s the one thing we’re really missing in the bigger marketing, PR, advertising, and branding conversation and I thought that chapter was glossed over.

All-in-all, I definitely think it’s worth a read. It’s very easy to read, especially because he inserts hilarious stories throughout that, literally, make you laugh out loud.

So there you have it. Brand Against the Machine by John Morgan. Get it. YWRI.

P.S. Make sure you pay particular attention to page 66 when he talks about linking his social networks and what his mother-in-law discovered from his tweets because they were posted on Facebook. Holy. Cow.

Disclosure: The only thing I got out of this review was the free book. Geoff Livingston still holds the title for best bribe, with wine and bruschetta, for my review on Welcome to the Fifth Estate.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Thrilled to see you talk about John Morgan’s book here! I know John IRL and he’s genuinue and personable, so his kind gesture to you is certainly no surprise! Your review is dead on – it’s a fun, quick read that’s a great primer for people who don’t deal with branding on a day-to-day basis. I think it would be a great one for business owners for sure.

    Happy Friday!

    • ginidietrich

      @lauraclick All my friends know him, but I don’t. How is that possible?

      • @ginidietrich I don’t know! He lives in Nashville, so it would be hard for me NOT to know him here. 🙂

        • @lauraclick@ginidietrich 2012 will be the year Gini and I meet IRL. Also, I had to google IRL to know what it meant…*hangs head in shame*

        • ginidietrich

          @JohnMorgan@lauraclick LMAO!!!

        • @ginidietrich@JohnMorgan@lauraclick I thought she was meeting you at an Indy Racing League event.

        • @JohnMorgan@ginidietrich And here I thought I was about about acronyms and internet language! 😉

  • Video works… really? 🙂

    –Tony Gnau

    • ginidietrich

      @T60Productions I had no idea, either!

      • @ginidietrich@T60Productions Mimes on Webcam are the new hottest thing in marketing.

      • @ginidietrich It might just be me… but I kind of felt like you buried the lead. 🙂

        –Tony Gnau

  • Wine and bruschetta? Yum! Almost as good as our dinner at that yummy place right by your work! I’m looking forward to reading p.66 – stories about mother-in-law’s are always fun!

    • ginidietrich

      @samtaracollier Mmmm…Naha. Yum.

      • @ginidietrich@samtaracollier I bet it’s funnier than Shit my Dad Says. Did that sitcom make it past the pilot?

      • @ginidietrich@samtaracollier GIni’s Cafeteria!

  • Gini,

    I just finished John’s book, and it is a good one.

    It made me feel that I’m on the right track. I love John’s style.

    The Franchise King®

    • ginidietrich

      @FranchiseKing Oh you? You’re never on the right track.

  • Thanks for the review Gini! I appreciate you keeping the post live until I woke up this morning 🙂

    Also, just a warning to Geoff Livingston, when I write book #2 it comes with a free kitten.

    • @JohnMorgan She won’t want a kitten. Get her kibble for Jack Bauer. Or that bike she’s had her eye on…

    • ginidietrich

      @JohnMorgan Um, I’m allergic to cats. So that’s not going to work.

      • @ginidietrich awesome! I actually hate cats. Am I understanding correctly that your dog is named Jack Bauer? I hope so, I named my son Jack because of Jack Bauer.

        • ginidietrich

          @JohnMorgan Yes, yes. I have a 100 pound Weimaraner named Jack Bauer. Does your Jack know his namesake?

        • @ginidietrich Not yet…he just turned 3. But as soon as the wife let’s me introduce him to 24 it’s on!

        • @JohnMorgan@ginidietrich so glad I never watch TV except for South Park. When I have a son he will be named Kenny Cartman. Who is this Jack Bauer I though Gini just came up with the name because it was cute.

  • Great. Adding this to my list.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller You’ll like it. It’s an entertaining read.

      • @ginidietrich@KenMueller Chapter 6 is all about buying Facebook ads.

    • @KenMueller Me too.

    • @KenMueller Me too!

      –Tony Gnau

  • BTW I am writing a book called ‘Pay me to review my book’ and it will cost you only $49 to review. Oh and a bottle of proseco. But I charged @DannyBrown + @KenMueller $89 to review my book so you are getting a deal. Funny though they paid me but haven’t reviewed it yet.

    I am so backlogged with books. But this sounds interesting! Also all those chumps sending you free books should read ‘How to get @ginidietrich to read your book’ before sending.

    • @HowieSPM@KenMueller@ginidietrich I gave you real estate on my blog. So piss off. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM We all get backlogged with books and it’s hard to keep up. I definitely can (and will) read the books when the authors stick out like this. But you’d be amazed how many I read that don’t make it to the blog. Simply because I won’t write a bad review.

  • ginidietrich

    @williamcmurray Good book!

    • williamcmurray

      @ginidietrich with have to put it on my to-read list!

  • I have done a very few book reviews on my personal blog. I wish there was more time to read books… I am a slow reader and non-fiction based books take forever to read for me! How do you guys read so fast – Do you people skim across books instead of actually reading it?

    • ginidietrich

      @Raj-PB I only read one business book per month. I have about 30 I need to read, which is why it’s important the author make an effort to connect with me and give me a reason to put their book ahead of the others. I know there are plenty of people who will skim books in order to do reviews, but that makes me feel guilty. If I’m going to recommend something here, I want to do so because I feel good about the book. And I can’t do that if I didn’t read the whole thing.

  • johnmorgan

    @adamtoporek when you give it a read, let me know your thoughts

    • adamtoporek

      @johnmorgan Will do