5-question interview with the author of “Personality not included”

PNI_InterviewSeriesRohit Bhargava released a book today named “Personality not included – Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back”.

I enjoy reading Rohit’s marketing blog and he now took the next step and published a book. I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet but Rohit offered to answer 5 questions to each blogger about the book. He received 55 requests, so you know what he is doing today. 275 meaningful answers would make the French say ” chapeau!”.

Here is my quick interview with Rohit Bhargava. If you want to see what other people had to ask and what he had to say please click here.

1. What is the message of the 3 chicken on the cover? What is the (important) first impression you are trying to create?

Rohit: “I think the most important thing is that I was trying to do was have a cover that stands out. And I think we managed to do that. How many other marketing books have chickens on them? The secondary message is about the windup toys and how they could be seen as faceless whereas personality can be the way to stand apart.”

2. What are some of the best ways a brand, product or service can show personality in your eyes?

Rohit: “The formula I lay out for personality in the book is being unique, authentic and talkable. The best way that a brand can do all of those is by letting the people that are most passionate about what they do share their stories. This means giving employees more ability to do this, and finding the right ways to connect with customers who are passionate about your brand. The book is about how to do that.”

3. Authenticity is a big word right now. Your book is not the first one about this topic. How is it different?

Rohit: “I love this question, because it gives me a chance to talk about what I think is the most exciting thing about this book … how it differs from others that are out there. This is not a book about how to be more authentic or about how to blog. Those are simply ingredients in the bigger picture which I believe is personality. The three hottest trends in marketing today re authenticity, social media and word of mouth. Personality is at the intersection of of all three and therefore worth paying attention to. The other thing that I think makes the book different is that I focused on trying to be as useful as possible. For that reason, I tell stories in the book to make it easier to read. I have two parts, where the first is all about the strategy and theory and the second is a series of action guides designed to help you put personality into action. Hopefully, the format, topic and focus make it something different to other books you might pick up. Ultimately, it will be for readers to let me know if they think I succeeded.”

4. Are you looking at the book as a showcase of your own interactive marketing expertise?
(Is the book going to be embedded in a bigger – interactive – discussion of its own?)

Rohit: “Interestingly, I ended up with a book that is not as much about interactive marketing as it is about marketing in general. That’s not to say it won’t be useful for someone who is solely focused on using the Internet for marketing, but I learned early on that my real interest is in sharing openly great marketing ideas. It’s why I actually rebranded my personal blog last year from “Influential Interactive Marketing” to be just “Influential Marketing.” Well, that and I wanted a shorter name.”

5. To what extend do you think brands are perceived “old school” or “trendy” based on the forms of advertising they are engaging in?
(i.e. does mobile marketing make a brand more hip?)

Rohit: “I think ultimately it comes down to the real identity of the brand. I doubt very many customers today would see a brand as young and cool and hip simply because of the advertising they choose. On the other hand, for a brand that already occupies this type of position, it may seem like a discontinuity if they are not using these tools … so I suppose in some cases there is a necessity to use them if your customers are expecting it.”

I am looking forward to reading his book and will I’ll tell you more about it once I had to chance to read it.

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