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June 19, 2008

Tribal Knowledge Money Quotes

(It's nice to know my two-year old book still has some legs.)

Just got off the phone with a journalist writing a story about some of the marketing lessons I share in TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE. The journalist put together some tasty pull quotes from the book to help direct our conversation.

And since I'm obviously suffering from a severe case of blog drought, below are the money quotes the journalist pulled. Enjoy.

“Companies that focus on delivering remarkable products and services attract significant attention from customers conditioned to a retail world in which the necessities are bought and sold without fuss or feeling.” (Page xiii)
“Companies that put their money behind their brand and not their business fail to realize that the business is the brand.” (Page 6)
“Starbucks learned the most effective way to spend its marketing dollars is not on making funnier television commercials but rather on making better customer experiences.” (Page 10)
“…lasting brand loyalty is built on making the common uncommon…” (Page 11)
“Measuring the reputation of a brand can and should be as simple as measuring the reputation of a company – something that is earned through purposeful execution and not merely fabricated to exploit a worthwhile business opportunity.” (Page 24)
“The challenge for a company that chooses to open its doors – and grow its business – based on quality products and services and quality customer experiences is that it has only one shot to make a meaningful customer connection. Customers will overcome their aversion to higher prices if the product or service they are buying is well worth it.” (Page 32)
“Businesses can simplify sales strategies by focusing on acquiring new customers; getting current customers to buy more, more often; and/or raising prices. It really is that simple.” (Page 40)
“Growth was and is encouraged, and made possible, by wanting to meet the desires of customers more than wanting to meet sales or profit projections…Starbucks’ steadfast drive to become the best coffee retailer has resulted in its being the biggest coffee retailer. It can often work out that way…but it never seems to work in the reverse.” (Page 51)
“What is the benefit of the benefit of your best-selling product or service? Think about its most important feature and make it more personal, until you’ve reached the ultimate experience your customers derive from it.” (Page 59)
“Needs are basic. Needs are rational. Needs are boring. Needs have been commoditized. Every unremarkable business seems to be in the needs-fulfilling business. Wants are emotional. Wants are aspirational. Wants are thrilling. Wants are where the profits are. Only truly remarkable businesses are in the business of satisfying customer wants by helping customers actualize their aspirations.” (Page 96)
“Delivering on promises is not enough today. Businesses, big or small, must find ways to over-deliver on their promises, implied and expressly stated, to customers…The most important part of over-delivering on promises to customers is having conscientious employees who make over-delivering a part of their everyday on-the-job way of life.” (Pages 103-104)
“…experiences provide customers with rich and compelling stories to share with others, while products typically satiate immediate, basic needs.” (Page 136)
“The best internal culture a company could hope for is one where the employees are so loyal they spread word of the company and its product with fierce passion, a culture where employees go way beyond being minions to being missionaries.” (Page 157)
“Brands are made possible by people because, unlike products and services, competitors cannot replicate a brand’s promise, or their passion.” (Page 189)
“Starbucks doesn’t view profit and the maximizing of profits as business strategy. The company views profit as an outcome. The mindset at Starbucks is, profit happens as a direct result of doing everything else right.” (Page 225)
Further learning:
>> TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE | Amazon link
>> TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE Manifesto | ChangeThis website
>> ALL THINGS STARBUCKS | Brand Autopsy postings


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Still waiting for you to autograph my copy...

Speaking of good legs, I saw you from afar at the gym the other day. I mean, that's good branding!

Dang, this book sounds awesome! We r on a branding mission @ my church, this book could get us moving in the right direction, man! Thx for the post.

just bought it on Amazon...thx again!


Tribal Knowledge remains one of my favorite books. It offers so many useful pieces of advice. Best of all, most of the advice you offer requires little but an honest desire to delight the customer. No platitudes, no big budget ads, no overly complicated theories, just common sense ways to make "the common uncommon." You are brilliant, and your book is a reflection of that. Thanks for making me better from having read your words.

This has inspired me to pull my copy of Tribal Knowledge off the shelf.

Some of my favorites not covered above:

"But it is vitally important for a healthy, growing business to have more brand credits than debits. ...given enough brand debits, a company will find itself facing brand insolvency, a condition that happens when a business continually promises more than it actually delivers, bankrupting the brand."(pg 47)

"Stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like a customer." (pg 231)

Betsy ... don't let your new hubby read this. He'll get jealous of your 8th grade crush.

Heather ... thanks for liking the bite-size sample enough to get the full meal. I hope you find more money quotes to gnaw on/over in TRIBAL KNOWLEDHE.

David ... thanks man! Super-kind words. My goal with my business writing is to take the complicated and make it simple, simple enough to act upon. Glad you get it.

Jay ... yep, over-promising and under-delivering will always bankrupt a brand. Thanks for adding two money quotes to the mix.

I still can't believe that their are companies--mine included at times, sadly--that still see customer needs as "problems" to overcome, rather than the only reason to exist.

And the idea of "marketing debits"--genius. When your marketing credibility ledger starts leaning to the negative, you're in a world of hurt.

These are great comments regarding who is the brand. My recent blog talks about the people behind the brand and their need for recognition.

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