Book Review: The Brand-You 50 (Tom Peters)

Amazingly, in all the years I’ve been writing this newsletter, I haven’t yet reviewed a book by famed management guru Tom Peters.  I’ve discovered that this is probably for the best, however, because if one reads too many of Tom’s books in a single year, he or she might have an epileptic seizure — since the information Mr. Peters presents, while excellent, is formatted in such a frenzied, exclamation-point-studded manner that it’s downright exhausting to take in, at times!

This issue aside, I’m pleased to say that this particular book did have an awful lot of insight to offer to white-collar professionals interested in the “personal branding” phenomenon.   The author not only makes the case for why all of us need to better understand our key points of differentiation, in order to stay competitive in the increasingly hyper-specialized marketplace, but also offers some very useful ideas on how the average person without marketing/branding experience can isolate the elements of their own career that really matter.  What’s more, in a refreshing moment of realism, Mr. Peters acknowledges the importance of substance and confesses that “You can’t, by and large, brand crap.” Amen.

(on that note, however, the language in the book does get a bit salty at times, so be warned!)

In conclusion, while this is the first of several self-branding books that I’m intending to plow through in the next few weeks, I feel like I’ve struck a “winner” right out of the gate and that “The Brand-You 50” is a good primer and pep talk for anybody seeking to learn more about this emerging subject.  It’s short, it’s punchy, and since it was one of the first entries ever published in this now-crowded niche, I think it deserves special recognition for providing insights that were years ahead of their time.


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