From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Brand guru Aaker (Building Strong Brands) explains how companies can keep their brand relevant through innovation and the creation of new categories or subcategories that they can "own" in the minds of consumers. While plenty of books emphasize the need for constant innovation, Aaker dives deeper; customers determine brand relevance and companies as diverse as Japanese beer maker Asahi, Xerox, IKEA, Zappos, and Apple have each carved out a unique market niche, a niche that must be protected through the creation of barriers for competitors, Aaker argues. Postmortem evaluations of epic failures like the Segway, Nabisco's Snackwells product line, and Apple's Newton digital assistant will help brand managers avoid costly and high-profile marketing missteps. Those familiar with the author's work will recognize his textbook approach. His clear prose and honest assessments will resonate with small business owners or brand managers and should be required reading for anyone with a vested interest in keeping their company on the tip of their consumers' tongues. (Jan.)
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From the Inside Flap
This ground-breaking book clearly defines the concept of brand relevance and shows what it takes to channel innovation and manage the competitive arena so that competition is reduced or eliminated.
Throughout the book, branding guru David Aaker explains how brand relevance drives market dynamics using dozens of illustrative case studies involving brands such as Asahi Beer, Prius, Whole Foods Market, Hyundai, Zappos, Wheaties Fuel, Zipcar, Muji, Cafe Steamers, GE, SalesForce.com, and Apple. He reveals how brand teams have turned away from destructive brand preference competition by making other brands irrelevant.
Adopting Aaker's brand relevance model—in which innovative offerings form categories and subcategories—provides dramatic opportunities for brand teams with insight and the ability to lead the market. As Aaker explains, successful brand relevance competition involves four vital tasks: concept generation, concept evaluation, creating barriers to the competition and, critically, actively defining and managing the new category or subcategory. It also involves being on top of the market, the competition, and the technology so that they get the timing right, a crucial element of a successful brand relevance strategy.
Brand relevance is a threat as well as an opportunity to firms facing dynamic markets. Aaker shows how to avoid having a brand go into decline because people no longer consider it relevant.
Brands that can create and manage new categories or subcategories making competitors irrelevant will prosper while others will be mired in debilitating marketplace battles or will be losing relevance and market position.