The Fortune Cookie Principle Book Summary - The Fortune Cookie Principle Book explained in key points
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The Fortune Cookie Principle summary

Bernadette Jiwa

The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One

4 (54 ratings)
11 mins

Brief summary

The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa is a marketing book that emphasizes that brand success is about creating a unique, inspiring story. It guides readers on crafting a strong brand message that resonates with audiences and builds a loyal customer base.

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    The Fortune Cookie Principle
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    Think of your brand as a fortune cookie.

    Imagine you’ve invented a totally awesome product like a convenient online subscription service for razors. How can you get the attention of potential customers and sustain your fledgling business?

    Well, marketing is no longer a simple matter of selling bigger and better commodities. You can bet that there will always be someone waiting to compete with you. This means that if you just aim to sell a product, like razors, your business is likely to fail. You need a whole lot more than a glitzy product to succeed.

    After all, it’s extremely likely that someone else will come out with an even cooler razor the next day. If your business is entirely based on having the coolest product, you’ll be overtaken just like that.

    That’s why you need something to set yourself apart from the pack, which means creating a brand based on a story. You can think of such a narrative as a fortune cookie that contains two parts: the cookie and the fortune.

    In this metaphor, the cookie is your product or service. It’s a tangible thing with a constant value.

    The fortune, on the other hand, is something intangible. It’s a story that captures your values, purpose and vision while touching customers in a way that makes them adopt your story as a part of themselves. Simply put, the fortune is a narrative that fosters a connection between your customers and your product.

    Just take Apple, a successful fortune cookie company. Apple doesn’t only give its customers a device that lets them listen to music. It puts thousands of hits right in their pockets, just a click away.

    But how can you make your company a fortune cookie business? By adhering to the key points necessary to forge a brand story that’ll create a bond between your customers and your products. Together, these points form the Fortune Cookie Principle, and you’ll learn all about them in the following blinks.

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    Key ideas in The Fortune Cookie Principle

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    What is The Fortune Cookie Principle about?

    The Fortune Cookie Principle (2013) is a practical guide to building a successful brand through powerful storytelling, a compelling vision and a clear purpose. These blinks explain how to tie your product to the meaning that potential customers seek.

    The Fortune Cookie Principle Review

    The Fortune Cookie Principle (2013) explores the power of storytelling in building successful brands and creating meaningful connections with customers. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Insightful case studies and real-life examples demonstrate how effective storytelling can differentiate a brand, making it relatable and memorable.
    • With its practical tips and actionable advice, the book provides a roadmap for crafting compelling brand narratives that resonate with target audiences.
    • The book's emphasis on the psychology of consumer behavior helps readers understand the importance of storytelling in driving customer loyalty and engagement.

    Best quote from The Fortune Cookie Principle

    Marketers spend most of their time selling the cookie, when what they should be doing is finding a way to create a better fortune.

    —Bernadette Jiwa
    example alt text

    Who should read The Fortune Cookie Principle?

    • Entrepreneurs and business owners
    • Marketing and communications strategists

    About the Author

    Bernadette Jiwa is an Australian brand storytelling and marketing expert. She has written a number of bestselling books including Make Your Idea Matter and Marketing: A Love Story and blogs at

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    The Fortune Cookie Principle FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Fortune Cookie Principle?

    The main message of The Fortune Cookie Principle is the power of storytelling in building successful brands.

    How long does it take to read The Fortune Cookie Principle?

    The reading time for The Fortune Cookie Principle varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is The Fortune Cookie Principle a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Fortune Cookie Principle is worth reading as it reveals how storytelling can enhance brand success. A valuable read for marketers and entrepreneurs.

    Who is the author of The Fortune Cookie Principle?

    The author of The Fortune Cookie Principle is Bernadette Jiwa.

    What to read after The Fortune Cookie Principle?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Fortune Cookie Principle, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Disruptive Branding by Jacob Benbunan
    • The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries
    • Branding Between the Ears by Sandeep Dayal
    • Meaningful by Bernadette Jiwa
    • The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
    • Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
    • Quick Confidence by Selena Rezvani
    • Marriage Be Hard by Kevin and Melissa Fredericks
    • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
    • Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff