RENOVATE BEFORE YOU INNOVATE: Why Doing the New Thing Might Not Be the Right Thing

Sergio Zyman, Author, Armin A. Brott, With with Armin A. Brott. Penguin/Portfolio $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59184-054-1

In his 1999 bestseller, The End of Marketing as We Know It , business guru Zyman argued that Madison Avenue–style marketing campaigns were done for: the purpose of marketing was to get more customers to buy more products, not to amuse people with arty ads. In his new book, Zyman drops another bucket on the marketing world: innovation, the designing and branding of new products, is a waste of time and money. "Only one of every 58 new product introductions succeeds," he points out, and those that do may end up cannibalizing a company's existing brands. Renovation, he says, is a better way for companies to spend their resources. Using a steady stream of large-scale examples (Coke, P&G, etc.) and statistics, Zyman drives home the need for executives to retain customers, to think in terms of what customers want (not in terms of what they can be sold) and to require dollar-based accountability from marketing strategies. General readers may stumble over terms like "value proposition" or "top-line" vs. "bottom-line" growth—a glossary would have broadened this book's audience. But Zyman already has a legion of fans, and these will be eager to snap up his tips on how to leave a company's "essence intact [while] giving it new vigor." Agent, James Levine. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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