Reviewing like a rock star – Mack Collier’s Think Like a Rockstar

Rockstar
Many of my readers may know Mack Collier as the host of #blogchat, one of, if not the biggest Twitter Chat in the social network. However, Mack has recently written and published a book about his experiences in brand management and social media marketing.

In Think Like a Rock Star, Mack Collier offers a bridge between the world of rock stars and fans, and the world of business and customers. He argues that businesses and brands shouldn’t focus so much on getting new customers, but rather focusing on making current customers fans of the brand. In doing so, Mack states that these customers will become fans, or brand advocates, telling others to purchase products and services from the brand. Mack offers several strategies for turning these customers into loyal fans.

Bear in mind that Mack uses the term “Rock Star” loosely. Many of the people he provides as examples are not musicians or performers of the rock genre. For the purposes of this review, I will be using this loose interpretation as well.

Mack gives out several examples of what rock stars have done for their fans, such as when Jewel offered a free concert for people who were subscribed to her fan club’s email list, so long as they chose the venue and organized the concert. He also points out examples such as Lady GaGa’s references to her Little Monsters, or who could be considered her greatest fans.

What I like

One concern I had for this book going into is was concerning the actual customer base of the business. Specifically, what happens if you’re a business that does not have a strong customer base, such as a brand new business, or a business that isn’t doing very well. Thankfully, Mack has indeed offered advice to those businesses. Without spoiling his advice, I’ve learned that there’s more than one way to reach out to people in a niche to make them loyal brand advocates, even if they have never heard of your brand.

The example stories are also really interesting. You hear how Dell created ways for its customers to check back with the company, and offered rewards to its brand ambassadors such as 30 minutes with Michael Dell. We also hear about Maker’s Mark, a kind of bourbon that was relatively unknown until it recruited brand ambassadors to spread its bourbon across the country. Mack then explains how brands can take these ideas and put them to use themselves.

What could be improved

One thing to take into consideration is audience. Who are you writing for? Are you writing for a businessperson interested in social media? Or an experienced consultant looking for another way to manage a project? Could I use this book as an argument to a superior to start a branding campaign?  These are things I’d like to see clarified, as I’m not quite sure who Mack intended this book for, someone starting out in social media, or an experienced consultant? Or maybe the CEO of a company.   (Although it is clear that the book was written for the fans of the brand.)

Bear in mind that marketing people may need to make a case to give its customers/fans the trust required to perform many of the things Mack says they can do. I’d like to see a section with a case for giving trust to the customers to form customer panels, as it may take a lot of convincing for executives to allow it to happen.

If I were Mack, I’d get started on a workbook to complement Think Like a Rock Star. This can help brands figure out things like customer advisory boards faster, and help put pen to paper when it comes to a plan. That way, when the brand has questions, they can simply refer to the content they filled out.

The bottom line

Think Like a Rock Star earns my recommendation for businesses that already have a decent amount of customers. If you need that one little push to make your brand a household name, this is the book for you. In terms of expertise, this is not a beginner’s social media book; you may wish to pursue another book to teach you the basics of social media.

And if you don’t trust your customers, or you’re not willing to consider it, don’t pick this book up at all. Also, give serious thought as to how your customers view you, because chances are they don’t trust you either.

Think Like a Rockstar gets four stars out of 5.

Disclaimer

The writer of this post received a copy of Think Like a Rock Star for free in exchange for writing a review on Amazon.com as well as promotion on his social networks. This review on his own site is of his free volition. Furthermore, no request for bias was given, either directly or informally; this review and any other concerning the book is the 100% true opinion of the author. Also, affiliate links are present in this review.

7 comments

  1. I’m going to have to get @mackcollier ‘s book because I’m a huge fan of his #blogchat twitter parties. Sundays at 9pm EST ! :)

  2. Hey James, thanks for the review of Think Like a Rock Star, glad you enjoyed it!  As for the confusion over the intended audience, I’m sorry for that.  All of the case studies involve larger brands, and much of the content in the final 5 chapters are geared toward larger brands that have more resources that can develop things like a brand ambassador program, etc.  Brand marketers and CMOs for larger companies are the primary audience because 1 – I think they need the most help :)  and 2 – I think they have more resources to implement the programs and initiatives I talk about in the book.  Smaller businesses and companies can definitely benefit from the book, and I tried to structure the majority of the advice so that it could be scaled based on the company’s resources and customer base.  
    As for the workbook, that’s a good idea and I’ve begun thinking on those same lines, thanks for the tip!
    Thanks again for reading Think Like a Rock Star and taking the time for such a thoughtful review!

      1. audaciouslady MackCollier I think so, but I am biased ;)  As I told James I aimed the book at primarily larger brands but the advice, especially in the first half of the book, is geared toward any company that has NOT started connecting with the fans.  So it starts at Step One and moves you forward from that point.  It builds on each step as you move through the book as well, what was discussed in Chapter 3 is build on in Chapter 4, etc.

      2. audaciouslady MackCollier BTW another thing that would help you is in the book I talk about how to determine the ‘identity’ of your fans.  That’s a fascinating topic that could probably be its own book.  But I give you some advice on how to determine WHY your fans like your brand.  What is it that draws them to you?  When you have determined this, then connecting with them becomes much easier.

    1. MackCollier Maybe one thing you could do for the second edition is split it into things that would work for small businesses, and another for larger brands. Even better, you can write another version of the book that specializes in small business. I believe Likeable Media did that with their new book…

  3. I like the review James and look forward to reading the book when it hits general distribution. I especially appreciate how you included the stuff you like, as well as areas where it can be improved or augmented.

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