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2010 Berry-AMA Book Prize Podcast (click to listen)

For Immediate Release
Jason Oleniczak
(312) 542-9041

CHICAGO, IL — October 30, 2010 -- The American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) announces The Distribution Trap: Keeping Your Innovations from Becoming Commodities (Praeger) as the recipient of the 2010 Berry-AMA Book Prize for the best book in marketing.

The Distribution Trap, by Andrew R. Thomas, Ph.D. and Timothy J. Wilkinson, Ph.D. explains that it is time for U.S. companies to wake up to the destructive mass-marketing theories that have cut their profits, diminished their reputations, and sent American jobs overseas.  Current marketing and distribution notions, the authors contend, have wrongly convinced thousands of U.S. innovators that the sale and distribution of their products and services is better left in the hands of outside forces. By catering to the mass market, innovators are allowing mega-distributors to dilute the value of their products and services, imposing costs and changes in strategic direction and operational control.  The first section of the book explains the distribution trap, detailing how it hurts companies by forcing them to reduce costs, often by chasing cheap labor overseas. The second section details how to avoid the trap, it’s a lesson U.S. companies ignore at their own peril.

Thomas is assistant professor of international business at The University of Akron, Akron, OH.  He is a New York Times bestselling writer who has authored, coauthored, or edited 15 books.  Wilkinson is professor of marketing and interim dean at Montana State University Billings, Billings, MT.  His work has appeared in MIT Sloan Management Review, the Journal of International Business Studies, and the Wall Street Journal.

The following books were named as finalists for the Berry-AMA Book Prize: Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think by Vijay Mahajan (Wharton School Publishing), Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman (Wiley), and The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning by Bob Gilbreath.               

The selection of the Berry-AMA Book Prize winner and finalists included a five member team of marketing experts led by Richard Lutz, J. C. Penney Professor of Marketing (University of Florida). The judging panel also included Francesca Cooley (American Marketing Association), Erik Gordon (University of Michigan), Gordon Wyner (Millward Brown Inc.), and Valarie Zeithaml (University of North Carolina).  According to Lutz, “Though it isn’t a summer beach novel, The Distribution Trap is nevertheless a real page-turner.  Building on the premise that cracking the ‘big-box’ channel is not necessarily the Holy Grail that many marketers assume, the authors make a strong case that marketers of innovations should control the channel themselves.  By so doing, they may forgo some volume, but that is more than offset by higher margins and stronger brand equity.  The Distribution Trap offers a fresh perspective on one of the original decision areas in marketing.”

The annual Berry-AMA Book Prize recognizes books whose innovative ideas have had significant impact on marketing and related fields. The prize is one of the AMAF’s programs designed to acknowledge academic and practitioner marketing excellence and is named in honor of Leonard L. Berry, a distinguished professor of marketing at Texas A&M University, and his wife Nancy F. Berry. Exceptional marketing books that have set the standard for excellence and that were published within the previous three years (2007, 2008 or 2009) were eligible for consideration to receive the 2010 Berry-AMA Book Prize. For additional information about the Berry-AMA Book Prize, please visit Berry-AMA Book Prize.