Monday, October 5, 2009

Baked In Follows Its Own Advice

I just finished Baked In by Alex Bogusky and John Winsor and I was thoroughly impressed with the book. Not only does the book bring up a very important subject in the way products are designed, it also follows its own advice by baking in features that will help this book grow and live beyond its pages. It does all of this in a streamlined, no fluff set up that allows the reader to dig into the book, extract useful information and apply it to his or her own situation.

Baking In

The main idea behind Baked In is integrating marketing into the design of your products. This integration allows the product and the marketing to tell the same story. This idea seems simple enough but its something that rarely happens. The book shows real life examples of companies that do a fantastic job of integrating the two, as well as companies that missed this crucial step.

In addition to the real life examples, the book also goes through “28 rules for baking in”. The rule I find most interesting is “Become A Silo Jumper”. To me, this step seems to be the most integral piece to the baking in puzzle and at the same time seems the hardest to achieve. If your company, like most companies, has different departments going about their days without interacting with each other, an integrated product is very hard to develop. At the same time, breaking down those barriers can be very hard and even dangerous to your job. This section gives a good “recipe” on how to jump the “silos” and make your company a true team.

Do As I Say, And As I Do

Remember when your mother would use the famous “do as I say, not as I do” trick on you. Well, this book is following the motto of “do as I say, and as I do”. Not only does it preach baking in, it actually does it. Throughout the book, the authors have included Twitter hash tags to keep the conversation going beyond the book, into the Twiterverse and their blog. This is a great way to bake conversation and word of mouth directly into the book. Instead of having readers from all over the world having haphazard conversations all over the web, the predetermined hash tags and blog allow readers to interact with the book and with each other. This will eventually lead to interesting and thought provoking conversations that will only strengthen the ideas within this book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The ideas within it make sense for a changing economy and changing consumers. With all of the different avenues that consumers have to research a product today, having a consistent and meaningful message becomes all the more important. This book gives you tools on how to accomplish that very thing.

What did you think about this book? Do you have any Baked In stories to share?

- Dennis

Full Disclosure – I have no affiliation with the author of this book or the publisher.

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