Book Review: Authenticity – What Consumers Really Want by James Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II

Perhaps Variety would describe Authenticity as "Aficionados of Academic Books will Savor The Approach"
Perhaps Variety would describe Authenticity as “Aficionados of Academic Books will Savor The Approach”

Authenticity by Gilmore and Pine has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com, from 27 reviewers. I found it dull, boring and purely academic.

In 1999 I went to the cinema with my wife to watch the award-winning “The Thin Red Line”. I like war films, especially about the Second Word War. After a while we walked out of the cinema because we were both bored and thought there were better things to do. 15 years later, it now has a rating of 7.8 out of 10 by 121,086 users on IMDb. Perhaps we missed something from the film.

Perhaps Big Data can show a correlation between The Thin Red Line and Authenticity. At least with the film I think we saw about an hour before leaving. With the book, I left it on page 27 (out of 251). And that was on my third attempt – I trudged through a few pages, left it for weeks and tried returning.

I found myself arguing against examples provided in the book, such as the Guinness Storehouse – the museum at the Guinness Factory in Dublin, Ireland where the author describes the experience’s success and then claims it’s to do with being authentic.

I’ve been to the Storehouse and like the other four million visitors, I went because it’s marketed really well as a tourist attraction, and Guinness is probably one of the best known Irish brands. Plus, I like the drink (which helps). After reading the example in the book I didn’t relate to my visit as ‘authentic’. It’s a visitor attraction and not a real factory tour. If you want an authentic factory tour, go to the Lotus factory where you will really see a production line.

If you are at University, this book is targeted towards you and I wish you well. At least a second-hand copy on Amazon.co.uk will only cost you £1.87.

If you liked the book, or The Thin Red Line, please let me know what I’m doing wrong.

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