Book Review: Relevance: Making Stuff That Matters

Relevance: Making Stuff That Matters by Tim Manners

The main idea of the book is that if a business can become relevant to consumers, then that business can thrive. I think that’s a great take on branding and was enough of a germ of an idea to get me to pick up the book. But the book never really grew from there, for me.

After some basic “problems with the business mindset” kind of stuff, Manners presents six “Relevant Solutions”. These are insights, innovation, investment, design, experience and value. Do any of these ideas sound new to you? Me either.

The book is mainly a series of “stories from the field” as various business folks relay their experiences with their brands. Of course, Apple is there and the car manufacturers. Manners did seek out Patagonia, who I thought had the most valuable insights in the book. They seem to concentrate on growing inside each sales channel, rather than chasing the Nike’s of the world. So that was cool. After many of the from-the-trenches stories the author adds a bullet point to try and sum up the story. Many of which seem kind of generic and dated.

So while, in this internet-empowered era I do think businesses must work hard to serve each and every customer and bring value to their product, in essence, become relevant, I’m hoping to find more books out there that might delve a little deeper into each of Manners “Relevant Solutions”.

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