Rubies in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick

“Take a hike with me. Follow your dreams.” (Page XX)

Lynda Resnick’s Rubies in the Orchard is one part marketing strategy, one part personal story, and one part how-to formula. Resnick is a woman of direct experience in the rough-and-tumble world of advertising and marketing, and her chops shine through in this nonfiction book. She and her husband have successfully resurrected Fiji Water, Teleflora, and The Franklin Mint, but one of their best successes—POM–blossomed from a group of pomegranate orchards her husband bought years before.

Rubies in the orchard are the intrinsic value of products, and these are the values that must be communicated to customers, says Resnick. Following each marketing anecdote–from her days as a small business owner amidst scandal to her very profitable empire of companies–Resnick offers sage marketing advice that can be used not only in the boardroom and executive offices, but at home too. For example, she says, “You get a lot further in life by showing what you don’t know and asking for help than you do pretending you know it all” (Page 24).

Throughout this delightful book, Resnick boxes out the main points she is trying to hit home with readers, and these little reminders keep her examples fresh in mind. Readers will be particularly astonished about how a set of fake pearls worth $34 at the time of purchase ended up being auctioned off for more than $200,000, and how those pearls became integral to Resnick’s success at The Franklin Mint.

Marketing and advertising could be viewed as boring by some readers, but Resnick’s wit shines through in this success story.

“He had a habit of making the financials look rosier than they actually were. . . . but the poor chap was so accustomed to manufacturing crooked numbers each quarter. . . If he had exhibited a drinking or substance abuse problem, we could have sent him to rehab, but where do you send a recidivist hooked on funny financials?” (Page 76)

While some aspects of Rubies in the Orchard may come off as preachy, particularly for conservatives not sold on the reality of global warming, she does make a viable points about why businesses should go green. Readers who are interested in an autobiography or learning more about the marketing world would be pleased with this fast read.

If you are interested in this book, I’m giving away my copy to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below.

Deadline is July 24, 2009