I won a book! Coming from someone that rarely wins anything, it was indeed exciting news to learn I had won. This was through my participation on the Society of Word of Mouth (SWOM), which is a social network for those interested in word of mouth marketing.
The brand new, signed, hardcover book I won is David Vinjamuri's Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands. What hooked me is his fantastic Chapter 2, which was offered as a free pdf download on SWOM. In this chapter, David presents six rules successful branders and entrepreneurs tend to utilize on a consistent basis.
Seven remaining chapters of the book each detail a success story that supports these six rules, and they are case studies of familiar/well-known brands like J. Peterman, craigslist, Burt's Bees, and more. One of the best aspects of this book is its easy readability. This book isn't a dry textbook style read, but rather reads almost biographical. David really gets in to what makes these entrepreneurs tick, and presents it in an enjoyable manner.
While I don't feel like I have come away with insight that will necessarily take my career to its next level, I do think that the information introduced is plausible and practical, and I recommend this book to anyone interested in marketing or branding.