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Marketing A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa

My life’s work has been pretty ironic. You know the old saying – “Never say never,” cuz when you do – what you said “never” about always ends up coming true?

Well, that happened to me. 

To this day, I remember exactly where I was – in the basement office of my college campus. I was the managing editor for the college yearbook. I was moaning about the advertising class I was taking because we had to go and sell ads for the college newspaper. I hated sales, I mean vehemently. To the degree that I said aloud, “After I graduate, I will NEVER be in sales.”

Yeah, that did it. Soon after college, I worked for a college publishing company (Random House), visiting college campuses across Louisiana and Mississippi and selling textbooks to professors – cold calling, no less!

Right about now, you might be asking yourself — “What in the heck does this have to do with this book review?

Well, during my early years of selling books on college campuses, I fell in love with marketing. I was in awe when a marketing manager would fly down and help me close a big sale. I so wanted to do that.

That began my long and illustrious career in marketing – which to me, was the beginning of MY love story with marketing. 

When I picked up Bernadette Jiwa’s, Marketing A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers, I felt a definite kinship with her and all the concepts in this book. To the degree that I was living and breathing them already with my clients for the past 16 years…

What I LOVE about Jiwa’s book is it’s so simple yet has deep roots in questioning marketing as we know it – “What if marketing was intrinsic – not something to hand off, but rather something to bake in?” And my personal favorite – “What if marketing was less about promotion or coercion and more about reaching out to people and helping them to solve problems?” Yes, yes, and triple, yes!

This is one of my favorite books on marketing, which totally aligns with the principles of Soulful Marketing (and the name of my company and what I teach entrepreneurs) – It’s about authenticity, transparency, and integrity marketing. And it’s about developing lasting relationships with your dream clients/customers and showing how much you care about their struggles and challenges and how you can help them. It’s not about making a quick buck and pulling the wool over your customers…

A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!

Quick Summary:  If you’re struggling with sales and are interested in discovering how you can turn it around – Jiwa’s book will totally fit the bill. The book’s title ensures that this book is all about how you can get your dream client/customers to fall in love with you. And how to look at marketing from this angle – you’re creating a love story for your customers. It’s all about focusing on your dream client/customer’s needs and wants rather than being about your product or service. And it’s about building connections instead of just chasing quick wins or analytics. You’ll see much better results in the long run. Mic drop, please!

And one of the many powerful tools she shares with you is how to use storytelling to create an emotional connection with your dream clients/customers. She’s actually written eight books on the topic. It’s a collection of short but super impactful blog posts from her website,

Who Ought to Read this Book: If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner looking for another way to market to dream clients/customers that are incredibly more effective for long-term growth, please click the link below to BUY this book NOW!  I promise you, her strategies in the book actually work. I’ve been using a good number of these tools before this book came out, and I can tell you – building relationships with storytelling and being authentic, transparent, honest, and genuine is huge when it comes to attaining and maintaining your dream clients/customers. 

Things You Will Discover:

The impact your business will have when you realize that marketing is a means of building authentic, meaningful connections with your dream clients/customers. Jiwa argues that traditional marketing approaches focus on selling products and services and are no longer effective in today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace.

What’s happening in marketing is that because more and more markets are becoming saturated with so much noise (aka ads and more), dream clients/customers are becoming more sophisticated. So how do you stand out from the crowd? 

By taking, as Jiwa describes – a more human-centered approach to marketing that focuses on creating authentic connections with customers and building relationships based on mutual trust and respect. 

She offers practical advice and real-world examples of companies that are successfully using this approach to grow their businesses and build loyalty with their customers.

Some of the Best Tools From the Book Include:

Emphasizing Empathy: Jiwa highlights the importance of empathy in marketing, urging you to put yourself in your dream clients’/customers’ shoes and understand their needs and desires.

Focus On Your Dream Clients/Customers: The emphasis is on the importance of focusing on the customer’s needs rather than the product or service being sold. Jiwa suggests marketers continually ask, “What’s in it for them?” when developing marketing messages for their dream clients/customers.

Storytelling: The book argues that storytelling is a powerful tool in marketing, as it can help to create a deeper emotional connection with your dream clients/customers. Jiwa encourages you to tell stories that resonate with your dream clients/customers on an emotional level rather than relying on generic placating marketing messages. Plus – It’s NOT ABOUT YOU, YOUR COMPANY, or your course, product, service, etc. It’s ABOUT YOUR DREAM CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS!

Being Authentic: Jiwa emphasizes the importance of authenticity in marketing. She argues that customers are more likely to connect with honest and transparent brands rather than those that try to present a false image. This is one of my favorite “love story” tools, perfectly aligned with my business Soulful Marketing. It’s about being honest, being the real you, being transparent, and having integrity. 

Creating a Sense of Belonging: The book suggests that creating a sense of community and belonging can be a powerful way to connect with customers. Jiwa encourages you to create experiences and messages that make your dream clients/customers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. (I discuss this more in-depth in my book review of The Culting of Brands.)

Overall, Marketing a Love Story emphasizes the importance of creating a deeper emotional connection with customers by focusing on empathy, storytelling, authenticity, and a sense of belonging.

Other Powerful Tools She Shares:

Jiwa breaks the book up the book into three sections: Strategy, Context, And Story

Some Chapters that I thought were truly impactful:

  • The One-Page Marketing Plan
  • How to Write a Mission Statement
  • What Your Customers Believe Is Your Competitive Advantage
  • Six Ways to Become Part Of Your Customer’s Story
  • Thirty Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Answer
  • Ditch The Business Plan and Write A Letter To Your Future Customer
  • How to Disrupt Marketing
  • The Competition Isn’t Your Competition
  • Why People Pay And Why That Matters
  • Success Is How Your Customers Feel
  • Stop Selling Stuff. Start Selling Stories
  • Become Part of The Story

Best Questions to Ask Yourself – Your Business:

  • What if you optimized your business for relationships first, then results?
  • What if you focused less on creating awareness and more on generating trust?
  • What if you traded quick wins for loyalty?
  • What if you looked up from your clipboards or analytics and connected with your customers?
  • What if you stopped trying to be seen and learned how to see instead?
  • What might the real gains be, then?


Your Mission Statement:
“Your Mission statement should describe your key market and your contribution. It should explain why your product or service is unique, setting our reasons why a prospective client would, or should, choose you.”

Bringing Your Dream Clients/Customers Joy:
“The better strategy might be to determine how to punctuate the right person’s day and deliver one moment of anticipated joy or a welcome interruption.”

There’s No One Way to Create Success?
“No one told Jobs or Wozniak how to build a computer company, let alone how to make it one of the most loved brands in the world, and Howard Schultz didn’t get the Starbucks magic from a manual.”

It’s About Content:
“Great content changes how people feel by being either useful, entertaining, or inspiring.”

I Will Click AFTER You Make Me Care:
“Don’t make me click. Make me care.”

Create Members, Customers & Advocates:
“Your website needs to make people feel like they belong. When they do, they want to return and to become members, customers, and advocates.”

It’s Not About Selling More:
“The alternative is to be the marketer who bakes growth into his business by delighting customers, giving them a story they to tell )and want to share it).”

Market For Long-Term Growth:
“When we market for long-term growth and not just sales, we adopt a different posture. We’re in the business of doing the right by every customer over time, and we begin each day by asking a different set of questions.”

There’s No Formula for This Strategy:
“…something that’s harder to cultivate than attention. Something that there is no formula for getting. Something that can’t be captured but has to be nurtured instead. That something is a feeling of connection and belonging.”

Your Customer’s Just Want to Matter:
“It seems that hardly anyone takes the time to properly pay attention anymore, to do just one thing. Your customers want to be the one thing. They want to feel like they matter. If you don’t make them feel that way when they walk through the door, what’s the point of opening the door in the first place?”

What Is Marketing Really? 
“Buying is no longer about getting things we need. It’s about reinforcing a set of beliefs we hold and share. Marketing is not about finding new ways to sell more of something. It’s about affinity more than it’s about price- feeling more than facts… Marketing is about becoming part of people’s stories.” 

Marketing Is All About…
“Shift your focus from marketing to relationships.” 

Shortcuts Won’t Deliver More Customers:
“If you’re in this for the long haul, you don’t need the shortcuts that you’re hoping will magically deliver more people to your door today. … There is no shortcut to mattering to your customers.” 

This Is The Shortcut to Success:
“…finding ways to delight and get closer to our customers is actually the shortcut to success. 

Optimizing Your Business For Success:
“What if we optimized our businesses, our organizations, and our cultures for relationships first and results second?”

Coercion vs. Solving Your Dream Client’s/Customer’s Problems:
“What if marketing was less about promotion or coercion and more about reaching out to people and helping them to solve problems?”

About the Author – Bernadette Jiwa:

Bernadette Jiwa was born into a house with no books and a home full of stories in Dublin, Ireland. Never went to college, became a writing apprentice in her mid-40s, and wrote ten non-fiction books in a decade. This year, she published her debut novel, The Making of Her. She is the creator and leader of The Story Skills Workshop — a program that has taught thousands of people to harness the power of their everyday stories.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:
Marketing A Love Story: How to Matter To Your Customers by Bernadette Jiwa

Id also recommend:

Story Driven: You Don’t Need to Compete When You Know Who You Are by Bernadette Jiwa

The Right Story by Bernadette Jiwa

The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One by Bernadette Jiwa

A Compass For The Heart: Let Your Stories Guide You A 90-Day Journal by Bernadette Jiwa

Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling  by Matthew Dicks

The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

Previous Book Review

Marketing a love story

Marketing A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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