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BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World [Paperback]

Allen P. Adamson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 2009
In the quickly evolving digital marketplace, the basic principles of branding have not changed, but rather are more important than ever. In BrandDigital, Allen Adamson discusses the impact of rapid globalization on the digital brand, as well as the importance of social initiatives and the opinions of newly web-based preteens and teens. He explains how to harness the multiple functions of social networking, digital word-of-mouth, consumer-generated ideas, "green" branding, and new technologies such as the Blackberry and iPhone, while sticking to a simple, compelling, and credible brand promise. The book includes over 100 interviews with top branding professionals at Ameriprise, Burger King, General Mills, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and others, providing numerous case studies of successful branding strategies in our age of global technological acceleration.



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BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World + BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed + The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Adamson (BrandSimple) explores the new digital branding landscape, its plethora of choices and new terminology, citing corporations such as Nike, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever to demonstrate how the best marketers are using digital tools to build and manage their brands. Adamson surveys the gamut of new technologies and methods, presenting how social sites like Facebook and MySpace can be used as part of the branding mix, whether companies can get a better return on the development costs of television ads if they reformat them for YouTube, how to keep digital promotion integrated with traditional outreach and how to determine which technology to use to reach one audience versus another. In addition to providing a list of new terms all branding professionals should thoroughly understand, he covers such relevant topics as digitally watching consumers in action, organic content on company Web sites and spiders, and establishing a clear brand voice. Informative and engagingly written, this book will guide marketers and executives through the rapidly changing digital landscape and help them make informed decisions regarding the most effective branding opportunities available for their companies. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Bringing the tried and true successful branding practices into the 21st century in business language - not high tech jargon.”-Clive Chajet, Chairman of Chajet Consultancy LLC
"As the digital world rapidly advances, so must our branding practices. Allen's latest book provides profound and practical advice to help set a clear through this branding quagmire. A must for any brand practitioner."-Ed Faruolo, VP Brand Development, Lincoln Financial 
"Informative and engagingly written, this book will guide marketers and executives through the rapidly changing digital landscape and help them make informed decisions regarding the most effective branding opportunities available for their companies."--Publishers Weekly
"BrandDigital is an excellent handbook for the 21st Century brand manager. It is a modern worldview still true to time honored, immutable brand management concepts."-Russ Klein, President of Global Marketing, Strategy, Innovation, Burger King
"This is one of most enjoyable behind the scene discussions of the best lessons in digital marketing.  Readers can immediately take advantage of what is revealed here.  Some of the best, most sage advice on the subject."-Gary Elliott, Vice President of Corporate and Brand Marketing, Hewlett-Packard

"Virtually every marketing campaign – no matter how large or how small – should have some kind of online component. Once again, Allen Adamson has done a truly remarkable job making sense out of an extremely complex and often confusing topic.”-Kevin Lane Keller, Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

"As the pace of digital technology increases, the job of a marketer simultaneously gets more complicated and more exciting.  But as Allen Adamson points out so powerfully in BrandDigital, the basic rules of brand building still apply. He shows how authentic storytelling and relevance become even more powerful for those who harness digital."-Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, GE

 "Allen Adamson is the perfect guide for how we should think about branding in the digital age. BrandDigital is the first book that shows how to build a brand collaboratively with consumers who are engaged, connected and ready to participate."-Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills

“Adamson's book reminds us that brands are more important than ever, and their stewards have a more challenging and potentially rewarding mandate in the multidimensional world the digital revolution has created."-Becky Saeger, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Charles Schwab

"As Allen Adamson suggests, the principles behind building a successful brand are the same regardless of the industry.  BrandDigital will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics governing consumers' relationship to brands, whether online or offline."-Bob Pittman, Founding Member, Pilot Group, Co-Founder of MTV and former COO of America Online and AOL Time Warner

BrandDigital makes it clear that successfully building, managing and nurturing a brand in a digital age requires participating in a conversation with your customer every day.  Mr. Adamson illustrates how building a brand isn't a campaign or a department, it's everything you do to create a compelling, differentiated customer experience and to look at each customer touch point as a "brand moment".  By weaving together the proven principles of great brand marketing with the new opportunities and realities of digital media, this book creates the path forward for all marketers, regardless of the industry.”-Allen Olivo, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing, Yahoo

“Adamson makes an important contribution to both the literatures of branding and interactive marketing -- namely, that the two disciplines have become one in the same.  And -- good news for marketing veterans -- he reminds us that the fundamentals of brand-building have not changed as the world has gone digital, merely the tactics and technologies at our disposal to converse with customers.”-Chas Edwards, Publisher & Chief Revenue Officer, Federated Media

BrandDigital articulates the central role which story-telling and consumer inspiration play for every successful business.  Building and sustaining brand power is even tougher in our new digital age, when speed and competition raises the bar for all brand marketers.  Allen Adamson uses insightful and illustrative examples to challenge every reader to move to the next level.  Game on!”-Jeffrey Bell, Corporate Vice President, Xbox Global Marketing, Microsoft

“The idea of simplicity in a digital world is both refreshing and in great demand. Allen Adamson shares engaging stories and case studies that will enlighten and entertain those who are new to the digital marketing space as well as those who simply have become overwhelmed with it.  In a marketing environment that is increasingly siloed between the digital and the non-digital, this book offers terrific thinking for those with their eye on the bigger picture - the "brand ball".  In a world where one-size does NOT fit all, Adamson offers insights that allow marketers to master the digital world without forgetting everything else.”-Julie Roehm, Founder/Marketing Consultant, Backslash Meta, LLC

“A brand is not just a promise, but a promise delivered. BrandDigital promises to show marketers and their value-chain partners how to navigate the ever-expanding opportunities presented by digital media – and it delivers a set of well-argued principles, illustrated by compelling cases. Brand guru Allen Adamson is a brand to watch.”-Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau

"This is a very necessary - and very successful - attempt to bridge the two words of conventional brand marketing and new media thinking. It's an extremely welcome read for those of us who believe you can change your bathwater without losing the baby."-Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK, London

“In BrandSimple, Allen Adamson provided a straightforward, jargon-free explanation of how the best brands are built and why they continue to succeed. In BrandDigital he uses the same simple, jargon-free approach to demystify how the best brands are built in the world of personal, portable, digital communications. Filled with fascinating examples and practical advice and exercises, Adamson clearly demonstrates how the most powerful brands today use digital technology to their advantage – and for the benefit of their customers.”-Eric Kessler, Co-President, HBO

“While many think the rules of branding have changed as a result of digital technology, in BrandDigital Allen Adamson proves that these rules have not changed at all, but rather, have been magnified. Digital technology makes it both easier and more critical to gain great insights about our customers, to communicate with them in a way that is relevant to their needs, and to deliver on our brands’ promises. Everything we know to be true about building a good brand is still true - even more so - and Adamson shows and tells why.”-Cleve Langton, Author of New Business Lessons From Madison Avenue

“The digital experience has radically transformed how brands are connecting with consumers. This book contains the recipe for success in today’s dynamic and fluid marketplace.”-Shelley Zalis, CEO and Founder, OTX Research

"One of the things that makes CPG Marketing a phenomenal adventure is the constant change in the consumer conversation... to stand still, to rely on the same vehicles year after year is to pronounce death upon a brand. In BrandDigital, Adamson examines ways in which marketers have evolved the conversation and deepened brand relationships.  It's an in-depth look at the role of new digital tools to keep timeless brands fresh, relevant and compelling for consumers of today!"-Bridgette Heller, President of Global Baby, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

“There is no denying that we are in the era of the digital age. The array of tools available to marketers in this static medium is infinite, and most importantly, ripe with possibilities for more direct customer interaction than ever before. However, as Allen Adamson notes, just as we can see consumers with more clarity, they can see brands with equal clarity. BrandDigital is a clear and concise resource that enables marketers to better understand these endless possibilities and think about how to navigate this technological frontier to build brands to be even better.”-Betsy Olum, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sephora

"BrandDigital wonderfully frames, and helps makes sense of the ever-dynamic digital landscape. Allen Adamson underscores that for all the new possibilities digital advancements provide, they ultimately exist to serve the larger needs of marketers, brands, and most importantly consumers, the truest 'brand owners.'"-John Partilla, President, Time Warner Global Media Group

“Digital marketing has changed the marketing and media landscape in a profound and dramatic way. It has opened the door for new innovations in marketing, enabling companies to reach their target consumers more efficiently and effectively than ever before. And yet, the core principles for building enduring brands remain the same. Allen does a super job explaining how digital marketing is, and will continue to revolutionize marketing. A must read.”-Deepak Advani, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP, eCommerce

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023061762X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230617629
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,112,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Allen Adamson is author of The Edge: 50 Tips from Brands that Lead Including Apple, Zappos, GE, P&G, and even Justin Bieber; BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed; and BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World. Allen is also managing director of the New York office of Landor Associates, a global strategic branding and design firm.

A noted expert in the areas of branding and advertising, Allen is a sought-after industry commentator and writes a bimonthly column for He is frequently quoted in publications such as Advertising Age, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CNBC's Squawk Box and Closing Bell, and on the Fox Business Network. He is also a regular lecturer at national universities and business schools.

At Landor, Allen is responsible for all management and operations of the New York office, and overseeing branding efforts for a broad spectrum of corporate and consumer brands in industries ranging from technology to health care to fashion. Under Allen's leadership, the office partners with a wide array of clients, including Citi, Dell, Diageo, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, New York Life, Pfizer, and Verizon. Additionally, he provides brand guidance for non-profit organizations including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Children's Oncology Group, Council on Foreign Relations, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Allen received a BS from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Digitial Survival Guide for the Current Recession October 29, 2008
At a time when recession promises another culling of the on-line business world, Brand Digital offers both a survival guide for brands at risk and a consolidation guide for strong brands seeking to exploit weaker competitors.

Grounded in interviews with over 100 industry leaders, this book provides valuable context for the shift we have seen from the internet as a transactional medium to its new role as a relationship medium. In many industries the internet is now the primary medium for interacting with customers. Adamson walks the reader through the many levels of customer relationships the digital world offers for your business and brand. His first piece of advice is the digital equivalent of "Get out of the office and into the field talking to customers" (my phrasing not his). Adamson gives sound practical examples of the many ways managers in various industries are using the internet to engage with and learn from their customers outside of the transaction process.

Adamson then walks the reader through techniques for how to take what they learn on-line from customers and use it to hone product or service strategy, surrounding information services, brand image, and marketing strategies. He explores how to process the stream of customer information and make the trade-offs required for a focused, clear product strategy and brand image. Finally, he gives practical advice on making customer learning and product/brand refinement a continuous, evolving process. Many concrete examples from various industries keep the theorizing limited and the simple, practical ideas front and center.

The only shortcoming is that one would normally expect more visual content (charts, pictures, etc.) in a book about the visually-intensive digital world.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatic, Useful Counsel from a Pro's Pro October 28, 2008
I did not expect to like this book. Most marketing books suck and I thought Allen's last book, Brand Simple, was a little TOO simple, so I opened this book with some nervousness. But I found BD extremely useful The ideas are good and pragmatic (not surprising, since Adamson has a rep in the marketing world as being a no hype, ultra-effective pro's pro.) The writing is clear, crisp and easily digested. And best of all, Allen really has a great ear for the telling quote or illustrative anecdote. Although different in tone, this book really reminded me of Tom Peter's best stuff--real nuggets from experienced practioners that drive home the message and lock it into your memory. So my rec? Buy this book if you're a front line marketer or a manager of front line marketers, especially if you don't or only sort of understand on line marketing. Don't buy it if you're looking for 3-D conceptual frameworks or elegant theoretical arguments around information acquisition theory. Adamson lives and works in the marketing trenches (although I suspect the trenches at Landor have espresso machines) and his advice is pitched at others who face the hard questions around where to put next year's marketing budget.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book presents important insights that should become a must read for anyone in either the worlds of brands or the digital space, and by anyone interested in how ideas and brands play in the digital world.

As we begin to take brands for granted in the digital age, Adamson wisely reigns us in and reminds us that brand is where the value of the company is stored. This idea is even more powerful in the digital space where value creation (or destruction) can happen in an instant. The author is remarkable at keeping theory relevant by using cases, brands, and the actual players to illustrate his point. BrandDigital is a very engaging read as it takes you behind the scenes giving the details of successes that are highly entertaining and informative. An excellent addition to the ever changing conversation about our rapidly changing world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glen Gilbert October 30, 2008
Adamson really appears to have done his homework in interviewing as many people as he did (all of whom know their stuff and offer interesting perspectives) and then synthesizing their input into something that's easily digested and applied. I read and liked his Brand Simple a couple of years ago, but given where the world is headed, this book is probably more relevant and important for today's marketeer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "BrandDigital" October 20, 2008
Timely. Allen Adamson's "BrandDigital" is a fantastic study of the current Digital Marketplace thru the lens of classic principles in effective brand management. In the past decade the 'traditional' language of communications has been put into a high octane blender. "BrandDigital" explains thru relevant business anecdotes how today's game changing strategies all seem to contain those same fundamental values in successful brand building. I suggest you read it once and then read it again with a pen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner August 26, 2008
By Nathan
Allen again hits the nail on the head. His insights into branding are clear and concise. He includes great lessons that I wish my MBA students would all learn.

Nathan Novemsky
Associate Professor of Marketing
Yale University
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallelujah August 22, 2008
Thank goodness - at long last, a book that helps marketers fully understand how to navigate the Internet and use it to fulfill a brand's potential. It's good for newbies, but particularly, seasoned branding professionals who didn't grow up in a digital environment. Adamson's clarity and insight is inspiring. Read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
I teach a course in branding at a university and have been struggling with finding a resource to help my students understand the importance of defining your brand differentiator... Read more
Published on December 3, 2010 by Diane Diaz
3.0 out of 5 stars too much about brand rather than digital
I'm a little bit disappointed about this book. Actually we don't need another book to tell us about "brand" or "branding". Read more
Published on October 3, 2010 by Z. Yixin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Establishing a Brand in the Digital World
I am in the process of establishing my company's brand via the digital world. After researching a few other books on this topic, I decided to read Allen Adamson's BrandDigital. Read more
Published on April 10, 2010 by D. Esposito
4.0 out of 5 stars Brand Digital - A Great Read!
This book is a great start for beginners looking to learn about how the internet, Google search engine, and social media sites have affected the way companies are doing business. Read more
Published on April 8, 2010 by Eric S. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Another Channel or Game-Changer?
This follow-up to Brand Simple is intended to capitalize on the impact of digital communications. It is divided into two sections: The Truths of Branding Magnified and Building... Read more
Published on January 27, 2010 by Jeffrey Swystun
5.0 out of 5 stars making digital simple is the hardest thing to do
"Allen is a great resource for anyone to have in their network. His books Brand Simple and Brand Digital are fantastic and deliver on their promise of simplifying the brand... Read more
Published on September 11, 2009 by Steven Diebold
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, How-to for Digital Branding
This was a simple, well-written account of what a company or individual can do to possess a successful digital brand. Read more
Published on August 6, 2009 by Kellee S. McGahey
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Once I got to this book, I was unable to put it down. It just spoke so well to me. The way Adamson is able to articulate how all aspects of the new age of digital merge together... Read more
Published on June 23, 2009 by Andrew Kirschner
5.0 out of 5 stars The best branding book I've ever read in my life!
I just loved this book... It explains topics that you see complex in your studies in a very simple way, and it is very updated. Read more
Published on April 18, 2009 by Oscar Fabra
2.0 out of 5 stars Struggle to give it 2 stars
I think if you had never ever had anything to do with digital marketing then this book would be a good basic introduction to a few themes. Read more
Published on April 7, 2009 by Rob Pyne
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