I’ve just written a little book called ‘The Special Brand’.
It’s no magnum opus or dry textbook on marketing, but more of a sensible and straightforward approach to being different by being very focussed.
It’s out as a paperback on Amazon and as an ebook. £6.95.
It is getting some nice comments from various people here and in the US.
(I’m in the Economic Times in India next month!)
I’ve included some bits below for you, plus the foreword from the fabulous Claudia Caplan in Baltimore.
At the end of the day, it’s written for the ordinary marketer, large or small, who wants to get back to the basics.
And to help get a few larger clients back on track.
“The Special Brand was not written as a book for the experts, the academics, the award winners or the almighty in advertising or marketing. But it should be read by them.
It is written for the man who is trying to make his business look different.
Or the company that has spent so much money on intelligence it has lost sight of why it is useful any more.
Or the multinational who is still using old ways and habits to try and become something new.
It’s one of those books where you spend an hour reading it and a very long time afterwards thinking about what it is telling you.”
“I worked under Mr Shanks for a couple years in Dallas - my first “real” agency experience.
While we were a small niche shop, DS ran it like we were one of the Madison Avenue big boys. He encouraged us to keep thinking, keep pushing, keep creating and keep writing. Now almost 5 years and several agencies later, we’re on different continents but I still feel his presence every time I sit down to write.
This book is a little of what it was like to work for him. Always boiling down concepts and strategy to the big idea…the brand essence. And he was always quick with an anecdote from his globe-trotting career that perfectly related to whatever we were doing.
It’s a quick read…and I see myself going to back to THE SPECIAL BRAND now and again when I reach a creative roadblock and need to clear out the cobwebs”
“In a business world constantly seduced by complexity, fads and trends, so often the casualty is the simple, important stuff that truly carries the business along.
As Steven Covey said “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
In The Special Brand, David Shanks brings us right back to the main thing… the brand… the DNA of the business.
In refreshingly simple terms, he lays out a cast-iron case for the brand being the supreme driver of the business and in equally straightforward language he tells us how to go about doing it.
The Special Brand should be an essential two hours’ reading for every Chief Executive, Marketing Manager, Product Manager and MBA student.”
” Small, yet perfectly formed.”
“An excellent, and very accessible, little book for anyone interested in promoting their brand - whatever its size. A straightforward reminder of some simple truths, often overlooked, that could quickly transform the fortunes of struggling entrepreneurs.
There are a lot of advertising and marketing books out there. Shelves of them, in fact.
And many, if not most, focus on a simple idea: “How I conquered the world of advertising and am considerably smarter than you.
” David Shanks aims to make the reader feel like the smart one. Right away, that should tell you what a clever marketing person he is.
In fact, ‘The Special Brand’ serves a number of purposes. If you’re a client, it helps you clear away all of the marketing jargon and focus on what you really should do and what that could possibly mean for your brand.
If you’re an agency person, it moves you away from just making ads to truly making a difference for your clients.
Clearly and simply, David lays out the road map to discovering the truth of your brand and why anyone should give a happy damn.
From creative director to client and back again, I’ve been in advertising longer than I’d like to admit.
And it’s tempting to say that this clever little book really doesn’t tell you anything new.
More than tempting, it’s the truth.
Because “The Special Brand” is filled with the commonsense stuff that we really do know, but just tend to forget in the heat of the meetings and the conference calls and the frighteningly meaningless things like “ideation sessions.”
But look at it this way, the Bible doesn’t tell you everything new either.
And like the Bible, this book simply reminds you of what you always should be doing.
That’s not to suggest that you’d ever confuse David Shanks with anyone’s Lord and Savior.
Though in the right situation, he and this book could save both your ass and your marketing budget.
Claudia Caplan, Chief Marketing Officer, Bethesda, Maryland, USA