Reviewer: James Pinto,
If you are a marketing person (in the automation business which does very little real marketing) read this book. “Bungee Jumping & Cocoons: The Dual Nature of the Industrial Marketplace” by John Kenworthy.
This is an entertaining and instructive review of markets - primarily the industrial arena, which is where the author has experience. He writes in an amusing narrative style, replete with wonderful examples and verbal illustrations. His theme separates people (and companies) that hide in “cocoons” waiting for a return to “the good old days”, from the bold and daring that are willing to do “bungee jumping” to succeed.
John Kenworthy illustrates how these opposing styles play out in the marketplace. His discussions include Walt Disney, Barnes & Noble, Allen-Bradley, among others. He reviews some failed attempts to develop industry-based e-commerce. His commentary and insights are provided without bias against any specific products, systems or companies; just good, marketing wisdom. And he suggests how companies can move beyond current barriers of business maturity, economic transition and societal change.
John Kenworthy has a good knowledge of the subject. He writes well, with examples which are clear and accurate, and yet amusing, to make several very insightful marketing points. His wonderful colloquialisms will confuse anyone's spell-checker, but he gives good marketing advice to an industry that sorely needs it.
This is an entertaining & thought-provoking book. Read it!
Reviewer: Gary Mintchell,
“Bungee Jumping & Cocoons” is an apt title for a book on marketing—it gets you thinking about what it could mean. It describes two types of behavior and extrapolates to industrial marketing. Bungee jumping is taken as the example of the need for “extreme.” Cocooning is another lifestyle metaphor. I think he forces the cocooning metaphor, but it does provide an alternative to bungee jumpers.
Bungee jumping describes the behavior of industrial companies to develop partnerships, cost reduction programs, outsourcing, and other cost slashing/productivity boosting activities usually grouped under Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma.
Cocooning, on the other hand, is used to describe how engineers and other professionals can get almost all the information and education right at their desks, so they don’t get out much. Kenworthy uses this metaphor to describe the demise of traditional trade shows. This is a trend that must be addressed by manufacturers.
The book is a light read, and I would have preferred more industrial examples. If you are involved in industrial marketing, this book will make you think about how you’re approaching today’s engineering buyer. That’s a good thing.