There’s no shortage of marketing books out there in the world and as a designer it can be pretty difficult to know whats worth reading and what isn’t when you’re looking to learn about marketing. However there is one book which is an excellent up to date starting point for designers who want to learn about this realm – Baked In: Creating Products and Businesses That Market Themselves by Alex Bogusky and John Windsor.
You probably noticed in the last paragraph that I said ‘up to date starting point’ and the reason for this is there are a huge amount of books out there on marketing that just don’t take into account recent developments in or views on marketing and product creation. Being a designer you need to be looking out for the latest in the space of product development so you can apply it to your practice, Baked In can certainly help.
After a shortish introduction to the current state (as well as a short history) of design, product creation, branding and what’s getting in the way of products that market themselves Alex and John jump into their 28 rules for baking the marketing right into the product.
The 28 rules like ‘knock down the walls’ or ‘broaden your definition of design’ all have a several paragraph explanation/story and then a ‘Recipe’. The ‘recipe’ is basically walking you through the rule and give you ideas and ways that you might implement it. Of course all the rules in the book are not applicable to every situation so basically you would pick and choose which ones apply to you or your company and implement those. This also means that Baked In will be an on going resource to refer back to as your company and its products change over time.
Baked In: Creating Products and Businesses That Market Themselves is a worthwhile book to read, like several of the books reviewed here it is an easy read and business focused, but will provide any designer with a knowledge injection on the topic of marketing from outside their traditional sphere. The little illustrations throughout the book are a nice touch as well.
A final note: I recently noticed, (Baked In included) that a lot of business books I have read lately are now starting to incorporate nice illustrations that often act as info graphics as well or as small memory triggers. I think its pretty great and would like to see this continue. A couple of other books that I have seen this in include: Rework and Change by Design.