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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Book Review: Badass: Making Users Awesome


I read a lot of books, but very few produce such significant (and multiple) “ah-ha” moments that I recommend (read: force) my entire team to read it. I’ll usually take a few key points and share them with my team or maybe recommend the book to one or two of them to read. But Badass is an exception from the usual.

Badass: Making Users Awesome
by Kathy Sierra

badassThe overall concept of Badass is one that you’d¬†recognize: Sell the sizzle, not the steak; write about the benefits, not the features, answer “what’s in it for me?,” etc. But it’s not the concept here that will blow you away. It’s the way Kathy Sierra has taken that concept, put it on steroids and amplified it exponentially.

Badass is less about making your customers feel great about what you do for them than it is about helping them feel incredibly awesome at doing the things that you help them do. See? It’s really all about them.

As a web marketer, I want my customers to love what my company does for them. While this approach works at building our brand, what works even better is when we make our customers feel like they are web marketing experts themselves. We do the work, but they get the credit.

It’s a strange idea.¬†We all want credit for our work, but it’s when we make our users feel awesome that we truly prove our value. And this concept applies to just about any product and any industry. When people feel awesome about something, they will remain loyal to the company that helps them feel awesome . . . and tell their friends, family and colleagues. It’s when customers don’t feel awesome that you know there is (or will be) a problem.

Badass isn’t your typical book, so take a peek at the pages inside. Each page only has a paragraph or two of text with the rest of the content handled with illustrations. These help the reader better understand the concept in real-life application while making the idea easy to understand and digest. Five stars.

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