Jeetendr Sehdev debuted a book on the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list today at # 5 (April 1-2, p. C10). If we ever present it at the First Friday Book Synopsis, it will be a shameless selection, only to draw a curious audience. I do not find this, a priori, to be a strong selection for business aficionados. Of course, I will admit, I haven’t read the book yet!
The book, The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (and How to Do it Right) (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017).
On Amazon.com, we read the following description:
“How do social media stars attract such obsessive attention-even more than the Hollywood A-list? And what can they teach us about making our own ideas, products and services break through? The world’s leading authority on celebrity branding, Jeetendr Sehdev, whom Variety calls “the best in the business,” tackles these questions head on.
“Sehdev shows why successful images today-the most famous being Kim Kardashian-are not photoshopped to perfection, but flawed, vulnerable, and in-your-face. This total transparency generates a level of authenticity and intimacy with audiences that traditional marketing tactics just can’t touch.
“The KIM KARDASHIAN PRINCIPLE reveals the people, products and brands that do it best-from YouTube sensations like Jenna Marbles to billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk-and proves why the old strategies aren’t working. After all, in a world where a big booty can break the internet, and the President-Elect is a reality TV star, self-obsession is a must-have. No posturing, no apologies, and no shying away from the spotlight.”
“THE KIM KARDASHIAN PRINCIPLE is a fresh, provocative and eye-opening guide to understanding why only the boldest and baddest ideas will survive-and how to make sure yours is one of them.”
If you have never heard of this author, join the club. But, his credentials are impressive. This was taken from his website – http://jeetendr.com/bio/:
“Celebrity Branding Authority and Professor of Marketing at the University of
Southern California. Prized in Hollywood and Madison Avenue for pioneering a scientific, research-based approach to quantity celebrity influence, Jeetendr has been critical to the success of countless brand launches from world-class copmanies. Jeetendr’s groundbreaking research continues to disrupt the industry and make world news, as he exposes the power of YouTube celebrities to influence American teens, reveals Jay Z’s lack of authenticity among Millennials and unearths misconceptions of which celebrities best influence the multicultural audience.
“An in-demand speaker, Jeetendr is called on by broadcast networks such as The Today Show, CNN, Access Hollywood, Fox News and Bloomberg TV to provide expert insight on the world of high-gloss celebrity. He regularly pens opinion pieces for publications ranging from Adweek to Fast Company to The Guardian. A graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School, Jeetendr is a British national who resides in Los Angeles.”
I think it is interesting that the cover does not feature Kardashian. So that you do not get mad at me, and never read my blog again, here she is. I won’t pass judgment until I read the book. But, I predict that you won’t see it at the First Friday Book Synopsis.
The August 13 edition of the New York Times included an informative article by Neal Gabler entitled “The Elusive Big Idea.” Gabler is the author of a book about Walt Disney and a senior fellow at the Annenberg Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California.
His thesis in the article is that we are drowning in information, with neither the time, nor the desire to process it.
Think about this for a moment. Just 15 years ago, you would not be doing what you are doing right now – reading a blog. There were no blogs. Your phone would not beep when a new development in the news occurred. Everyone has knowledge to share, and everyone has the capability to access it. But, in what ways are you processing, implementing, or transforming what you know?
As a result of all this access to knowledge, your big idea is easily lost. As Gabler says, “If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forbears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world – a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t be instantly monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are diseeminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passe.”
He goes on to say that in the past, “we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful…[now] we prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends and our cohort. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information.”
And much of that information is personal – where you are going, what you are doing, who are you meeting with, and so forth. The early days of Twitter popularized this method of sharing personal knowledge.
The problem is that we now have fewer thinkers, and fewer people who transform the way we think and live. We have no shortage of information. We know more than we ever have before. The question is what are we doing with it?
Gabler’s article suggests that we won’t be thinking about what we know. “What the future portends is more and more information – everests of it. There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.”
So, he ends by saying, “think about that.”
I don’t believe many people will think about it. They will just turn to the next blog entry, the next page, the next news channel, and so forth, filling themselves with short-term knowledge.
What do you think? Let’s talk about this really soon!