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The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters)

ISBN: 978-1-118-13466-5
224 pages
March 2012
The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters) (1118134664) cover image


Every successful brand in history is inherently unpopular with a specific demographic. Somewhere along the way, people felt they had to be popular in order to be successful, when in fact, the opposite is true. The brands playing in the space you want to dominate have already figured out the inherent power of being unpopular. In The Power of Unpopular, you'll discover the difference between flash-in-the-pan brand tactics and those designed to place you miles above the competition.
  • Brand Personality: What's yours? Explore the importance of taking a stand and why brands become road kill without a distinct personality.
  • Community: It's the number one thing that unpopular brands have figured out—learn how to build yours.
  • Brand Advocacy: It knows no scale and your fans don't care how big you are. A guide for businesses on the proper care and feeding of their biggest asset.

Erika Napoletano's irreverent yet never insincere tone takes readers on a colloquial and actionable journey, producing concepts that readers can immediately graft onto their existing business strategies. Complete with case studies of businesses from across the country, this is the book that couples theory with practice, creating pathways for business owners of any size and age. Change the way you do business and live your life—become unpopular.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Lessons Learned from a Lippy Lady on an Airplane xi

Chapter 1 Rethinking Unpopular 1

Chapter 2 Identifying Your Audience 23

Chapter 3 Personality—Pick One 47

Chapter 4 Approachability—Putting Out theWelcome Mat 75

Chapter 5 Sharability—Getting Your Audience to the Rooftops (and Letting Them Shout) 107

Chapter 6 Scalability—News Flash: You Can’t Do Everything Yourself 129

Chapter 7 Profitability—The Money’s Gotta Come from Somewhere 147

Chapter 8 Finally—They Hate Me! 165

Chapter 9 The Backyard Economy—A Bit on Nurturing What We’ve Built . . . 179

Epilogue: Shutting Up 189

Appendix A: Shit You Should Read, Who Wrote It, and Why 195

Appendix B: Getting into It—Your Guide to Resources on the Book’s Website 201

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Author Information

Erika Napoletano was never the prom queen, but that's never stopped her from doing whatever the hell she set her mind to. She's the Head Redhead at RHW Media, a digital strategies consultancy based in Denver, Colorado. The voice behind RedheadWriting.com (a destination for unpopular thoughts and blunt advice), she's also a columnist for Entrepreneur magazine and was recognized by both the Denver Post and 5280 magazine as one of Colorado's top Twitter personalities.
Learn more about her and the book at www.erikanapoletano.com and www.unpopularbook.com.
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Press Release

April 02, 2012
Why Being Unpopular Can Really Make You Popular

Somewhere along the way, business owners got the idea they had to be popular in order to be successful, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Every successful brand in history—from corporate behemoths to your neighborhood coffee shop—is vastly unpopular with a distinct demographic, yet succeeds wildly with the right audience. Isn't it time to rethink "unpopular"? In The Power of Unpopular, you'll discover what the world's greatest innovators have always known: popular is the last thing you ever want to build a business to be.

Stop focusing your brand-building on groups who will never like you and learn how to identify the audience you want to serve. The Power of Unpopular simply—and bluntly—explains concepts that you can immediately graft onto your existing business strategies:

  • Discover your brand personality and explore what you gain from taking a stand

  • Find the people who will benefit from what you have to offer, and then tell them a story that they want to hear

  • Become an approachable brand that invites conversation and a high level of customer input

  • Build your community and get your brand shared

  • Scale your brand in a way that ensures that it will survive its own growth

  • Understand profitability—in both financial and emotional terms

Featuring real businesses from across the globe, this irreverent guide couples theory with practice, blazing pathways that businesses of any size or age can follow. Becoming unpopular shows you who you are and what you have to offer—and lets you tell all the naysayers to shove it.

Change the way you do business and live your life—become unpopular.

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