The dynamics of marketing are changing every minute and as marketers, we face new problems and challenges every day. For logical problems, we have analytics in place, which makes our life easier. But we need to be equally good at creative thinking and solving problems with creativity.
We need new inspiration and food for thought every day. I read books to satisfy this hunger for new inspiration. Therefore, in this blog, I am sharing 5 books which have helped me in creative thinking.
1. Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom
This book has many neuroscience experiments and their results. The book stands true to its tag line, which is “How everything we believe about why we buy is wrong”. It has the famous Coke-Pepsi study, the results of which shocked marketers across the world.
The book informs us about various interesting features/ parts of the brain which make us do what we do or make us think what and how we think. For instance, do you know that we have mirror neurons in our brain? Mirror neurons are responsible for why we often unwittingly imitate other people’s behaviour.
This book is full of such amazing observations and studies about our brain, especially the subconscious part. It would be fun to know some of these interesting facts and implement them in our work.
2. Alchemy – the surprising power of ideas that don’t make sense by Rory Sutherland
Rory Sutherland is the vice-president of Ogilvy UK. He starts this book by sharing a list of interesting rules for becoming an alchemist (in the field of marketing). Few of the rules are:
- The opposite of a good idea can also be a good idea
- Don’t design for average
- It doesn’t pay to be logical if everyone else is being logical
- The problem with logic is that it kills the magic
- A good guess which stands up to observation is still science
- Test counterintuitive things because no one else will
In this book, he not only gives ideas which have not been thought of or implemented by anyone but also guides us to think of such ideas. My biggest take away from this book was the fact that we think we are rational creatures, but we are not. And hence to be brilliant we have to be irrational.
3. The Curious Marketer by Harish Bhat
The name of this book clearly suggests that it is for marketers who are always eager to learn something. Harish Bhat shares what he learned by being curious while travelling, celebrating festivals, looking at old products etc.
His expeditions from New York where he visits the Big Apple Store, Tiffany, Trump Tower etc. tell us a lot about learning by observing things. Understanding the why, what and how about things by observing them gives us the ability to learn every minute of our life.
In one of the chapters, where he shares his experience of visiting Mumbai’s oldest museum, the Dr Bhauji Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, located in Byculla. He says museums are very good at the art of storytelling and hence by sharing his experience, he guides us on how to visit a museum and learn from it.
4. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
This book is about how we can transform our business by being remarkable. The basic idea here is to understand that the dynamics of marketing are changing. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Anything remarkable is worth sharing and is interesting to talk about. Boring stuff is invisible it’s a brown cow.
Seth suggests that ideas that spread are ideas that win. Such ideas are called ideaviruses which can be shared by sneezers (people who like to talk about new things and spread the word). Hence advising us to stop advertising and start innovating.
One line from the book which stayed with me – Ask, “why not?”, almost everything you don’t do has no good reason for it. Almost everything you don’t do is the result of fear or inertia or a historical lack of someone asking, “why not?”.
Read this book if you want to understand this interesting take on marketing. It covers the why, the what and the how of making your brand remarkable.
5. From Ideas to Iconic Brands by Giles Lury
This book has inspiring stories of 101 amazing brands that changed the world. It is always amazing to learn about a brand which grew because of creative thinking. This book has stories where brands did something out of the box which led them to success.
One of the stories is about the famous Micheline Guide.
Micheline Guide was initially published because the founders of Micheline wanted people to take more road trips and as a result, buy more tyres. This was the time when no one knew about mobiles or the internet. The guide included information about restaurants and car repair shops on highways. It was only after a few years, that the guide started rating restaurants and giving them stars. Today, we know the value of Micheline Stars. This led to the creation of a different brand property for Micheline which was completely different from their industry.
Giles Lury successfully captures various stories in this book which can initiate creative thinking.