Summary of Beyond the Brand

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Beyond the Brand book summary


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Most marketing books discuss how marketers should relate to their customers. Some use a formal, objective approach to penetrate the wall that separates the service or product provider from the consumer. This book promotes a very different, softer "anthro-journalistic" tactic: learning consumers' desires by hearing their stories and reflecting those wishes in the product's design. This leads to giving the product its own stories to "tell" potential customers, in a mutual social network based on shared meaning. The idea borrows the power of the oral tradition from anthropology and applies it to word-of-mouth product promotion. Author John Winsor stresses listening and storytelling as ways for trained marketers to understand customers and sell to them. Although his treatise dips occasionally into slightly airy New Age sensibilities, Winsor's information on the flaws of focus groups and the importance of heartfelt, meaningful customer feedback tells a story of its own. Of course, applying a cultural anthropologist's perspective to marketing will work better for some businesses than others. thinks this book will intrigue and possibly challenge marketers who want to break out of branding buzz and explore new ideas.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How listening to your customers' stories can help you discover new marketing strategies;
  • How to tell potential customers your product's story;
  • What "anthro-journalism" is and how to use it; and
  • How to learn what consumers want by tapping into your customers' "social networks".

About the Author

In 1998 John Winsor started Radar Communications, a marketing consultancy using organic, bottom-up anthro-journalistic tools. In 1986, he founded Sports & Fitness Publishing, which he sold to Condé Nast and Emap in 1998.



The Storytellers
In 1995, Nike decided to enter the very competitive golf market with its own balls, bags, shoes and golf clubs. The company found common ground with golfers by cultivating relationships with golf pros and top players to learn what they wanted. As players began to use its...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

  • Flipped

    John Winsor

    AGATE Publishing, 2010


  • Baked In

    Alex Bogusky and John Winsor

    AGATE Publishing, 2009


Customers who read this summary also read

More by category