Sunday, March 8, 2009

REVIEW: Rubies In The Orchard by Lynda Resnick

Rubies in the Orchard cover
Genre: Business/Marketing
Pub Date: 2009, Doubleday
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received and my opinions are my own.
POM Wonderful. FIJI Water. Teleflora. The Franklin Mint. Lynda Resnick's marketing triumphs read like an encyclopedia of branding. She is the smartest and hardest-working marketing brain in the business - the kind of marketer who can sell "ice sculptures to Eskimos." But her brilliant ideas aren't simply the result of random inspiration; they're the products of a systematic approach to marketing that any company -- large or small -- can adapt to achieve success. In RUBIES IN THE ORCHARD, she divulges her secrets for creating some of the world's most memorable and iconic brands, and the bull's-eye strategies to sell them.

Resnick believes that every company can find "rubies" in its orchard, elements of intrinsic value that consumers will desire. Here, she shows how every successful marketing campaign begins with uncovering these hidden gems, and communicating their value honestly and transparently to the consumer.
Through Resnick's behind-the-scenes narrative, we learn the secrets of her extraordinary successes, including: POM Wonderful, the wildly popular 100% pomegranate juice that created an entirely new product category out of a fickle and obscure fruit; and FIJI Water, a fledgling brand she transformed into the #1 premium bottled water in America, with sales that have increased 300% since 2004.
A born marketer, Resnick shares tales from a remarkable life, from opening her own ad agency at age 19 to the time she famously overpaid for Jackie Kennedy's pearls at auction, then transformed her "mistake" into tens of millions in sales for the Franklin Mint. Here for the first time, Resnick reveals her systematic approach tobreaking through marketplace clutter and consumer cynicism, and creating blockbuster brands with true staying power.


I was actually contacted by an employee of POM Wonderful regarding this book and jumped at the chance to read it. I do try to keep up with marketing books (and other business titles) when I can, looking for insight not just for myself and my blog, but also for my full-time job. But ideally, I am storing all this marketing information away for the day when I can work for myself and start my own venture, whatever that may be.

For a business marketing book, I appreciated the fact that Rubies in the Orchard was interesting and easy to read. Unfortunately there are many dull, sleep-inducing books on marketing out there and happily this is not one of them. Lynda Resnick relates her experiences and insights in the marketing world using her own real-life examples, but sometimes this had a tendency to read more like an autobiography than a book on marketing. 

Sprinkled throughout, and often highlighted, are tips and "gems" to hold onto when marketing your own brands. Some ideas are better than others. At the same time, I also felt like Resnick was trying to sell me her brands (heavily at times) while occasionally bashing the competition (though the negativity was subtle). Another aspect that I thought was odd was that the book seems to sell a definite agenda and lays the author's politics out for all to see--does that really belong in a book about marketing? Regardless of whether or not you happen to agree with Resnick's agenda and politics? 

I will say this--Lynda Resnick is quite probably a marketing genius, as you learn from reading about all of her experiences. I appreciated that she included some of her failures and what she learned from them, rather than focus solely on her many successes. She shares many good insights and ideas in this book, though nothing too earth-shattering. Unfortunately, Rubies in the Orchard also has a tendency to come across as a big advertisement for all of her brands. (I will admit I'm guilty for now wanting to try POM Wonderful juice, though!)

 3 stars


  1. I just got this for review too. I've bought Fiji water in all its overpriced goodness many a time, so yeah, Lynda's a marketing genious!

  2. Hi,
    I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have bookmarked it to check out new stuff you post.

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