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Jul 07, 2010

July/August 2010 Issue

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Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Tony Hsieh
Business Plus
Hardcover
$23.99

The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success.

Pay new employees $2,000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the No. 1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too.

Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at Zappos.com, the online retailer that's making more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year.

In 1998, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an advisor and investor and eventually became the company's CEO.

In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine's top 25 companies to work for. It was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at more than $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

In his first book, Hsieh shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life.

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
John Jantsch
Portfolio Hardcover
Hardcover
$25.95

The power of glitzy advertising and elaborate marketing campaigns is on the wane; word-of-mouth referrals are what drive business today. People trust the recommendation of friends, family members, colleagues, or even strangers with similar tastes over anything thrust at them by a faceless company.

Most business owners believe that whether or not customers refer them to others is entirely out of their hands. But science shows that people can’t help recommending products and services to their friends—it’s an instinct wired deep in the brain. And smart businesses can tap into that hard-wired desire.

Marketing expert John Jantsch offers practical techniques for harnessing the power of referrals to ensure a steady flow of new customers. Keep those customers happy, and they will refer your business to even more customers.

The secret to generating referrals lies in understanding the “Customer Referral Cycle”—the way customers refer others to your company who, in turn, generate even more referrals. Businesses can ensure a healthy referral cycle by moving customers and prospects along the path of Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, and Refer. If everyone in an organization keeps this sequence in mind,
Jantsch argues, your business will generate referrals like a well-oiled machine.

This practical, smart, and original guide is essential reading for any company looking to grow without a fat marketing budget.

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
Youngme Moon
Crown Business
Hardcover
$26

If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it’s the absolute importance of “competing like crazy.” Moon’s message is simply, “Get off this treadmill that’s taking you nowhere. Going tit for tat and adding features, augmentations, and gimmicks to beat the competition has the perverse result of making you like everyone else.” Different provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different—different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive.

Moon identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts—the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of a more adventurous approach. Some are even “hostile,” almost daring you to buy what they are selling. The MINI Cooper was launched with fearless abandon: “Worried that this car is too small? Look here. It’s even smaller than you think.”

These are players that strike a genuine chord with even the most jaded consumers. In fact, almost every success story of the past 2 decades has been an exception to the rule.

Different shows us how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns … but exceptions rule.

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