Lars Wallentin : My list of useful books...
Lars est l’homme qui connaît le mieux les packagings et logos du monde entier. Pour le compte de Nestlé il est sans cesse dans les avions et TGV de toutes sortes pour tenter de coordonner, de motiver les troupes, de donner un sens à ces milliers de produits. Alors pensez donc, ses conseils de lecture c’est du précieux et du vécu ! Et, comme il dit :
... I have a little bit of knowledge...
Nestlé has given me several marketing courses which have taught me a lot. Nestlé has also given me a lot of chances to learn from DOING, in my case, some 10 000 to 15 000 packaging design. So, I think I have a little bit of knowledge.
What has however taught me the most in the sense that I could immediatly make use of it, not only within marketing but also iin "live of general", as there is no way that one can be useful to a company only with business knowledge.
I have therefore read quite a lot on my sofa or in my bed, in airplanes, in hôtel rooms, etc. as the company has sent me to the most places in the planet.
To help younger marketing colleagues on their way in life in general and business life in particular, here is my list of useful books by authors who all give clear messages.
Edward de ßono "Lateral thinking", as well as his latest book "Simplicity".
Anything by De ßono is worth reading, as well as anything by Charles Handy. I had great pleasure from "The new alchemists", but the best of all his books are "The empty raincoat" and "the elephant and the flea".
Lee Iacocca "talking straight" taught me a lot on Big Business in general, and so did Jan Carlzon "Moments of thruth", which is the story of how he changed the philosophy of Scandinavian Airlines into "the businessmen’s airline", giving responsabilities low down in an organization.
David Firth "How to make work fun" is important in order to understand that in business one has to be serious in what one does, but not necessarily in doing it.
Al Ries & Jack Trout "The 22 immutable laws of marketing" is obviously a must.
For the person who wants to get the right EXECUTION of his printed words, (Colin Wheildon " Type & lay out " is the book.It is a bible on how typography and design can get your message across...or get it in the way.
Kim Aitchison "Cutting edge advertising" on how to create the world’s best print for brands in the 21st century is another bible.
Well, no marketing man or woman can succeed without passion, and it is therefore essential to read Anita Roddick "Business as unusual". Someone once said Body Shop isn’t just a shop ; it is an arena of education.
If you want to learn "howto talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere", read Larry King’s book with the same title. He gives us quite a lot of advices on the secrets of "good communication".
Jeffrey J. Fox’s book "How to become CEO" is a must for anyone who would like to rise higher in any organization.
"The emotional nature of a brand" by (José Souza Martins tells us about the real value of a brand, and Sergio Zyman’s "The end of marketing as we know it " about the importance of seeing maketing as a sale activity.
The book I have personaly used most often is by far Roget’s thesaurus "Complete & unabridged 4th edition" with over 250 000 words and phrases.
If you wish to learn in a very condensed way what business is all about and how to act, Charles Robert Lightfoot’s "Handbook of Business quotations" is very usefull. It contains choice words of business wisdom for successful speeches, reports, letters, papers and behaviour.