A being from the future saves a company from infighting and inertia in this engaging business parable.
Leider’s debut follows a path set by Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? (1998) with a fictional tale of a kitchenware company confronting its internal politics, misconceptions and understanding of its role in the marketplace. Brandon Strong suddenly appears in the CEO’s office and announces that he’s a visitor from 2030. He leads the company’s senior executives on a journey of corporate self-discovery, challenging their business practices and teaching them to think of the company’s brand whenever they interact with current and potential customers. Strong offers plenty of advice, repeatedly stressing the importance of an all-encompassing definition of “Brand” (always spelled with a capital B in this book) and the need for company departments to work together. Many characters’ names (including Brandon Strong’s) involve wordplay related to their roles in the company, such as head of production Manny Factura, designer Desi Concepcion and finance whiz Ben Counter. Head of marketing Mark Selisman is the closest thing to a villain in this book, though after a night of soul-searching, even he has a chance at redemption. Leider clearly means for his characters to be types, not fully rounded individuals, but he provides them with enough personal issues and quirks to keep the story engaging throughout. Overall, the book offers an upbeat, can-do message that readers assessing their own brands will likely embrace.
An intriguing alternative to traditional business books, with a compelling, relevant message.