Today’s best companies get it. From Costco® to Commerce Bank, Wegmans to Whole Foods®: they’re becoming the ultimate value creators. They’re generating every form of value that matters: emotional, experiential, social, and financial. And they’re doing it for all their stakeholders. Not because it’s “politically correct”: because it’s the only path to long-term competitive advantage. These are the Firms of Endearment. Companies people love doing business with. Love partnering with. Love working for. Love investing in. Companies for whom “loyalty” isn’t just real: it’s palpable, and driving unbeatable advantages in everything from marketing to recruitment. You need to become one of those companies. This book will show you how. You’ll find specific, practical guidance on transforming every relationship you have: with customers, associates, partners, investors, and society. If you want to be great—truly great—this is your blueprint.
We’re entering an Age of Transcendence, as people increasingly search for higher meaning in their lives, not just more possessions. This is transforming the marketplace, the workplace, the very soul of capitalism. Increasingly, today’s most successful companies are bringing love, joy, authenticity, empathy, and soulfulness into their businesses: they are delivering emotional, experiential, and social value–not just profits. Firms of Endearment illuminates this, the most fundamental transformation in capitalism since Adam Smith. It’s not about “corporate social responsibility”: it’s about building companies that can sustain success in a radically new era. It’s about great companies like IDEO and IKEA®, Commerce Bank and Costco®, Wegmans and Whole Foods®: how they earn the powerful loyalty and affection that enables truly breathtaking performance.
This book is about gaining “share of heart,” not just share of wallet. It’s about aligning stakeholders’ interests, not just juggling them. It’s about building companies that leave the world a better place. Most of all, it’s about why you must do all this, or risk being left in the dust... and how to get there from wherever you are now.
About the Authors Rajendra S. Sisodia Raj is professor of marketing and founding director of the Center for Marketing Technology at Bentley College. He has a Ph.D. in marketing and business policy from Columbia University. He has published nearly 100 articles in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Strategy, Journal of Business Research, and many others. He also writes frequently for the wall street journal. His research, teaching, and consulting expertise spans the areas of strategic marketing, marketing productivity, marketing ethics, and stakeholder-based marketing. In 2003, he was cited as one of “50 Leading Marketing Thinkers” by the U.K.-based Chartered Institute of Marketing. Raj consults with and provides executive seminars for companies in various industries. Clients have included Sprint, Volvo, and IBM, to name a few. He coauthored The Rule of Three (Free Press, 2002) with Jag Sheth. Other recent books include Tectonic Shift: The Geoeconomic Realignment of Globalizing Markets (Sage Publications, 2006) and Does Marketing Need Reform? (M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2006), both with Jag Sheth. Forthcoming books include The 4A’s of Marketing and Marketing Management (John Wiley & Sons), also with Jag Sheth.
David B. Wolfe David is an internationally recognized customer behavior expert in middle-age and older markets. He is the author of Serving the Ageless Market (McGraw-Hill, 1990) and more recently Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Connecting with the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority (Dearborn Publishing, 2003). David’s consulting assignments have taken him to Asia, Africa, Europe, and throughout North America. He is widely published in publications in the United States and abroad. He has consulted to numerous Fortune 100 companies, including American Express, AT&T, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Hartford Insurance, Marriott, MetLife, Prudential Securities, and Textron.
Jagdish N. Sheth Jag is the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He has published 26 books, more than 200 articles, and is nationally and internationally known for his scholarly contributions in consumer behavior, relationship marketing, competitive strategy, and geopolitical analysis. His book The Rule of Three (Free Press, 2002), coauthored with Raj Sisodia, has altered current notions on competition in business. This book has been translated into five languages and was the subject of a seven-part television series by CNBC Asia. Jag’s list of consulting clients around the world is long and impressive, including AT&T, GE, Motorola, Whirlpool, and 3M, to name just a few. He is frequently quoted and interviewed by the wall street journal, New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, and radio shows and television networks such as CNN, Lou Dobbs, and more. He is also on the board of directors of several public companies. In 2004, he was honored with the two highest awards bestowed by the American Marketing Association: the Richard D. Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award.
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