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Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

Ashley Knoote-Parke. Image: Facebook
It seems almost redundant to review Brand It Purple given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself.

However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur.

Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home.

There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'.

I came across the book being sold at a discount price at a weekend market stall by my local business group a year or so ago. At the time I asked about who the author was, thinking it was probably someone local. The person on the stall said she was but was reluctant to give any detail. In hindsight I can see why but at the time I didn't think much of it.

The book itself, written around 2009 is worth getting hold of if you want to find out how to be more of a brand before we all learned how to hide behind our computers and social media. It's very relevant if you want to actually get out there and network in person, or at least want to know about how to present your best self as a confident business entrepreneur.

There's less focus on being online, as in 2009 social media was still finding its feet, but it doesn't ignore this altogether. As a result you end up with a more balanced book about being a complete brand in person and online.

Where it falls down is some of the references made to highly successful entrepreneurs. Chapter two lists five characteristics of four famously successful business people that I was supposed to recognise from the characteristics alone. Despite all four being pop culture icons when the book was written (and very much familiar to me), I got none of them right.

Those four are Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Paris Hilton. While you can't deny all four are certainly successful at personal branding, they're maybe not at the forefront of anyone's mind in terms of being people readers might identify with or model themselves upon.

Or maybe that's just me?

There was a time I liked Donald Trump, then he embraced Twitter and I swear the only smart thing he's ever done is surround himself with people smarter than him. Twitter is like a leak that his staff just can't reach.

Oprah's still very relevant, as is Richard Branson. Paris Hilton has, perhaps, taken a few steps back these days which has allowed a Kardashian or two to fill that space.

Overall, Brand It Purple could still be very relevant if it was updated to a second edition, with more updated references and a chapter or two on Social media marketing. Unfortunately that's not something that will happen anytime soon.

Despite my best efforts to discover where the author is now, she seems to have vanished with just a shell of her former life discoverable online.

Ashley's husband was involved in a scandal in 2015 that I imagine brought her life crashing down around her. I did my best internet search to find out where she is now, since all her business websites including her publishing company tish'n enigma books appear to be no more.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to uncover anything at all about her post 2016.

While the events of 2015 were likely a massive blow, I do hope Ashley is still around. It would be a shame to lose, or have lost someone like Ashley simply through events that, seemingly, were not of her making or in her control.

Especially in these so called enlightened times where women shouldn't be derailed by the failings of the people around them.


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