Insightful, but not Groundbreaking: A Review of Obviously Awesome by April Dunford

As a marketing professional (yep, that’s right; I don’t spend every day only reading and/or writing), I’ve had multiple opportunities to work on product positioning. It is, in fact, one of the things I like most about (and in) marketing. But, there is always something new to learn in any profession. Which is why I picked up April Dunford’s Obviously Awesome. It had some really good stuff and some that was not-so-good. Read on to know what to expect from this book.

Genre: 

Business, Marketing (Non-fiction)

Length: 

202 pages

Blurb:

April Dunford is a positioning expert who has successfully led the activity for numerous B2C and B2B companies. In Obviously Awesome, she talks about the need, details, and challenges of positioning. She also delves into a step-by-step process that she’s put together on how one can go about this activity.

Overall Rating:

6 out of 10

Writing Style:

8 out of 10, for its clarity of thought, and easy-to-follow flow and explanations.

Part of a Series: 

No.

Highlighted Takeaway:

There are a lot of tips, suggestions, and recommendations in Obviously Awesome. At the same time, you don’t necessarily have to use its teachings in a “take it all or take nothing” style. While a lot of the information was not new for me, I still found a few interesting points to be new (or differently approached). And the fact that it allows for anyone to do that, I felt, was the highlight of this book.

What I Liked:

April Dunford offers a structured, well-rounded approach not only to the activity of positioning, but also to the importance and need of it. This wasn’t the first time I’ve read about positioning, but I found it highly relatable to tech B2B products, which is something I’ve found missing in other content on the topic.

What I Didn’t Like:

A significant portion of the book (especially the first few chapters) is focused entirely on April Dunford talking about how awesome she is. I get it – no one will read your book on a specific topic unless you establish that your experience has equipped you to be a thought leader on it. But sharing this experience, at some point, turned into April Dunford just boasting about herself. It was quite a turn-off and takes some effort to push beyond it, until you get to the stuff that you can actually learn and apply.

Who Should Read It:

Any (tech) startup CEO working with a small team (whether pitching to investors or launching in the market, Obviously Awesome has some great tips and ideas on how to ensure that your product is best-placed), marketing professionals (digital, strategy, and content-focused; the book has tips that can help the entire function), and anyone who holds an integral position at a startup (positioning is, after all, a team effort).

Who Should Avoid:

Anyone looking for information on marketing for B2C products. It’s not that April Dunford’s tips won’t work, but it will take a lot of adapting. It would be better for someone interested in B2C positioning to turn to the works of another marketing expert, because April Dunford focuses almost exclusively on B2B.

Read It For:

A fresh understanding of positioning and how you can go about it (and why you should) if it’s a new concept to you, and a refresher (with some interesting tips) if you’re already in the marketing function.

This is one of the few business books I’ve started and actually finished. Possibly because it was lighter, less jargon-y, and shorter than those I’ve picked up before. (And because it focuses directly on one of the topics I like.) But if you’re hesitant to pick up Obviously Awesome because you’ve struggled to get through other business books, I will highlight that you probably won’t run into that problem. And if you’re attempting to broaden your interests and are looking at business books, this is an interesting one to start with.

Coming up next – a review of Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R. Tolkien.

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading my review! 🙂

– Rishika

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