AspireUp News

We recommend these resources on branding, innovation, and marketing written by our AspireUp team members.

Kellogg on Branding

Kellogg on Branding by Alice M. Tybout and Tim Calkins

Kellogg on Branding in a Hyper-Connected World offers authoritative guidance on building new brands, revitalizing existing brands, and managing brand portfolios in the rapidly-evolving modern marketplace. Integrating academic theories with practical experience, this book covers fundamental branding concepts, strategies, and effective implementation techniques as applied to today’s consumer, today’s competition, and the wealth of media at your disposal. In-depth discussion highlights the field’s ever-increasing connectivity, with practical guidance on brand design and storytelling, social media marketing, branding in the service sector, monitoring brand health, and more. Authored by faculty at the world’s most respected school of management and marketing, this invaluable resource includes expert contributions on the financial value of brands, internal branding, building global brands, and other critical topics that play a central role in real-world branding and marketing scenarios.

Click here to buy on Amazon.


How to Wash a Chicken: Mastering the Business Presentation by Tim Calkins

How to Wash a Chicken is not a book about public speaking (or chickens), it’s a comprehensive playbook for business leaders and people on their way up to give the best presentations of their lives, and embark on a circle of presentation success.

All too often, the best intentions and most innovative ideas get lost in a poorly executed presentation. Author Tim Calkins understands the power of a compelling presentation and the difficulty in accomplishing one. The brand strategist, professor and author has been giving presentations since he was eight, when he delivered his first official presentation with an uncooperative chicken at a 4-H competition. From business updates to project recommendations to marketing plans, Calkins has given more than five thousand presentations to date.

Click here to buy on Amazon.


Market Leadership Strategies for Service Companies by Craig Terrill and Arthur Middlebrooks

Market Leadership Strategies for Service Companies reveals the key strategies for creating and sustaining a market leadership position for any service business. Service industry experts Craig A. Terrill and Arthur G. Middlebrooks affirm that in order to become a dominant market leader, a service company must find ways to:

  • Define their service business and the benefits customers receive
  • Reveal the intangible aspects of the service experience
  • Move in a different direction from competitors by addressing new, intense, and unmet customer needs
  • Put people back into the equation, not just automate and reengineer to increase operational efficiency
  • Find ways to move away from the parity battles (i.e., fights over the perceived equality of the same type of service from different companies) in their particular industry.

Click here to buy on Amazon.


Customer Understanding by Annette Franz

Prioritizing customer retention is critical. But you can’t just throw technology at it, give it some lip service, and call it a day. Retention is hard work! You’ve got to understand who your customers are and what problems they are trying to solve or what jobs they are trying to do. Then you’ve got to use that understanding to design an experience that helps customers achieve their goals. That’s the key to putting the customer in customer experience!

In this book, I cover the three approaches to customer understanding: surveys and data, personas, and journey mapping. I could’ve written the whole book about journey mapping, but there’s so much more to building a customer-centric business than journey mapping. The culture must first be deliberately designed to put the customer at the heart of the business. And all foundational elements of a CX transformation must be in place to make that happen.

Click here to buy on Amazon.


Breakthrough Marketing Plans by Tim Calkins

Almost every company creates a marketing plan each year, and many spend hundreds of employee hours researching, preparing, and presenting their tomes to senior executives. But most marketing plans are a waste of time; they are too long, too complicated, and too dense. They end up sitting on a shelf, unread, and unrealized.
Breakthrough Marketing Plans is an essential tool for people who create marketing plans and people who review them. The book provides simple, clear frameworks that are easy to apply, and highlights why marketing plans matter, where they go wrong and how to create a powerful plan that will help build a strong, profitable business.

Click here to buy on Amazon.


Defending Your Brand by Tim Calkins

We live in a world of intense competition; companies face threats from all parts of the globe. The more profitable your business, the greater the chance you will soon encounter a new competitor.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a plumbing business, promoting a brand of deodorant, operating a neighborhood café, or leading a small charitable organization or church. Anyone responsible for managing an enterprise has to think about defense, because the world is full of competition, and with the rise of globalization, competition is only going to increase in the years ahead.
This book will help you fight back.

In Defending Your Brand, Tim Calkins reviews why defensive strategy is so important and explains how a company can meet a competitive threat with a strong and effective defense plan.

Click Here to buy on Amazon.


Innovating the Corporation by Thomas Kuczmarski, Arthur Middlebrooks, and Jeffrey Swaddling

Your company can innovate–if you’re ready to rethink the way you do business. Innovating the Corporation debunks the myths, misconceptions, and mind blocks and offers a seven-step plan for achieving growth through innovation. Included are dozens of examples of well-known companies that have enjoyed success through bold new product launches, positive restructuring, and bend-over-backward customer service. This dynamic, hands-on guide explains how to:

  • Build an innovation “platoon”–a unique group whose ultimate allegiance is to its mission and its members
  • Understand and cultivate an innovation vision
  • Measure the success of an innovation plan
  • Prioritize innovation from the executive level on down
  • Create “innovation champions,” whose enthusiasm and leadership makes innovation a reality

Click here to buy on Amazon.


Leadership Hero Code by Kristen Hemingway

High-performing leaders tend to deplete two precious commodities: energy and time.

You are in trouble if you’re finding yourself:

·      Trying to keep up with constantly changing corporate initiatives
·      Addressing unexpected fire drills
·      Over-negotiating the political landscape
·      Working harder and longer hours
·      Micromanaging your team
·      Fighting the urge to completely disengage!

The time is now for a new way of doing business as usual!

Click here to buy on Amazon.

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