Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty

Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty

Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty

Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty

Synopsis

Selected by "Strategy+Business" as One of the Best Business Books for 2012

Excerpt

If branding began as a way to mark cattle and claim ownership, today it is a way to mark minds and claim “mindshare.” When it works, it is quite powerful. The trouble is that many marketers aren’t clear on what a brand actually is, which is why we are in a dangerous state of overbranding. In a recent advertisement for a leading smart phone, I counted no less than twelve features of the phone that were branded with clever names or graphic symbols. Including the brand name and identity for the phone itself, that means this one product embodied thirteen brands. During a stay at a popular hotel chain I was surprised to see that my bed, my shower, the room service option, and even the air in the room were all marketed with unique brand names. This penchant for elevating ordinary things—and often their subparts as well—with shamelessly clever brand identities threatens to dilute the value of all brands.

One reason I decided to write this book was to clarify the relationship between brand behavior (what brands do and why it matters) and brand identity (how the brand looks and feels). Though there are many brands that own beautiful logos and distinctive names—think of the mythological symbolism of the Starbucks logo or the clever repurposing of the word . . .

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