Required Reading: Lauren Perkins

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Name: Lauren Perkins
Classes Taught: Building a Brand-Centric Business Strategy, Building an Online Community for Your Brand

Lauren Perkins is the founder and President of Perks Consulting, and is an experienced marketing and strategy expert within the health, fitness, spa and beauty industries. She began her career as a journalist in local news, and later moved into brand management and experiential marketing.

Here are the top picks from Lauren’s reading list:

  • Deep Dive by Rich HorthwathThis is my favorite book to date on strategic thinking and planning. If you’re looking for a book that will validate your intuition, and run you through different feasibility tests to determine your competitive advantage, this book is full of great gems.
  • Baked In by Alex Bogusky and John Winsor – I received this as a gift from a fellow serial entrepreneur for Christmas two years ago, after we had been talking about how more startups need to bake brand and marketing strategies right into their products. Waiting to determine those strategies until the first iteration is not only detrimental, but also won’t result in a true MVP (minimum viable product) for companies trying the lean startup methodology. Reading this book definitely reassured me that I wasn’t alone in my holistic approach to building brand and product focused businesses.
  • Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie – This is a managers guide to using your staff’s strengths, and is based off Gallup’s StrengthFinder 2.0. assessment test. The book’s basic principle is that for optimal team performance, you need to play to people’s strengths – and mitigate weaknesses by pairing together people who are complementary. To fight one’s natural ability will only deliver mediocre results.
  • Keith Ferrazzi’s newsletter and blog – Keith is an executive management consultant; he’s also the author of Never Eat Alone, and my personal favorite, Who’s Got Your Back. He’s become known for his relationship management philosophy through his books and blog. I subscribe to his newsletter for management consulting and relationship management tips – it’s one of the few newsletters that I still look forward to receiving and reading.