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Building Strong Brands Hardcover – December 12, 1995

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Building Strong Brands + Managing Brand Equity + Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (December 12, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 002900151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029001516
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aaker (marketing, Univ. of California- Berkeley) has written a sequel to his Managing Brand Equity (Free Pr., 1991). In this latest offering he tells how to deal with the fragmentation of markets by building brand identity, creating brand personality, and managing a brand system. With extensive case studies and illustrations of companies' ads, he emphasizes positioning a brand personality to match that of the consumer being targeted. Kingsford, known for its charcoal, tried to move into a line of foods but failed, unable to shake its charcoal image. Healthy Choice created the perception that healthy foods can taste good. Saturn developed from a new company in an old industry and had to "sell the company, not the car." Aaker's well-written book is for specialists in the field of marketing. Recommended for large business collections.
Joel Jones, Kansas Cty. P.L., Mo.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Although the author's credentials (he's a University of California at Berkeley business professor) might seem to exclude average readers, that is, those outside the marketing profession, there's a great deal of interesting general information packed into these pages. Far from being an ethereal dissertation on brands, brand equity, and brand identity, Aaker's book presents case examples to which anyone can relate. It is edifying to peruse the sections on past brand strategies and on the making of the Saturn automobile brand, among other topics. Barbara Jacobs

More About the Author

My passion is understanding brands and helping firms build brands and brand portfolios. My first brand book, Managing Brand Equity defined brand equity and set forth its value to a firm and its customers. The second, Building Strong Brands, described the "brand identity" model that many firms use to manage their brands and also introduced the Brand Equity Ten measurement structure. The third, Brand Leadership extended the brand identity model and adding material on brand building programs. The fourth, Brand Portfolio Strategy, introduces models and concepts that allow a firm to sort out the complexities of brand portfolios and the priorities and relationships that define them. The fifth, Spanning Silos presents research showing the problems that product and country silos organizations pose to those who would build brands and create effective marketing and what some firms have done to create cooperation and communication to break down the silo barriers.

My latest book, not counting my autobiography, is Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant that shows success in dynamic markets involves creating offerings so innovative that they create new categories or subcategories making competitors irrelevant.

I am a part of Prophet, a global brand and marketing consulting company that is on the forefront of branding issues, professor emeritus of the Haas School at UC Berkeley, and an advisor to Denstu. I also blog on Aaker on Brands ( I live in Orinda, California near my three daughters and seven grandchildren and try to do a lot of biking and just enough golfing.

There follows the formal career summary.

David A. Aaker is the Vice-Chairman of Prophet Brand Strategy, Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and an advisor to Dentsu Inc. The winner of three career awards for contributions to the science of marketing (the Paul D. Converse Award), marketing strategy (the Vijay Mahajan Award) and the theory and practice of marketing (the Buck Weaver Award), he has published over 100 articles and 14 books including Strategic Market Management, Managing Brand Equity, Building Strong Brands, Brand Leadership (co-authored with Erich Joachimsthaler) Brand Portfolio Strategy, From Fargo to the World of Brands, Spanning Silos and his latest book, Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant. His books have been translated into eighteen languages with sales well over one million. Named as one of the top five most important marketing/business gurus in 2007, Professor Aaker has won awards for the best article in the California Management Review and (twice) in the Journal of Marketing. A recognized authority on brand equity and brand strategy, he has been an active consultant and speaker throughout the world and is on the Board of Directors of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties.

Customer Reviews

This book was very interesting.
T. D. Lanier
From startups to stabilised companies, the knowledge presented in this book by one of the fathers of branding is well presented and organised.
Patrick Silveira
I recommend this book for those who are introducing to the world of branding.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The single most useful book I've found on brand development. Aaker presents a thorough, but easy to read exploration of the many branding complexities. Giving the reader a framework of inter-related concepts, he gels the essence of each point with useful examples. You immediately understand the idea and move comfortably on to the next - quite an accomplishment for such a complex subject.
If I have one frustration, it's that even with his flowcharts and figures, I suspect there is a comprehensive diagram to be had which would tie all the branding issues and dimensions into a single profile. After reading the book I found myself trying to flowchart it all to better see the relationships involved. It would have been helpful if the author had done it for us.
Even so, I value the book highly and it will become a central reference for my entire staff.
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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be poorly organized, over-articulated mush. As someone who has worked on several extremely successful brands including Sony and the "Virginia is for Lovers" campaign, I would be shocked to see that this book had received high marks from anyone who actually worked in advertising, marketing or brand management. Yes, Aaker has some decent insights into brand management in his case studies -- hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, they're difficult to find, since his writing is extremely repetitive and verbose. One gets the impression he is more interested in communicating how intelligent he is, than actual information on brand equity. There are a few bits of good information buried in the middle of the book, but it is not worth the long, painful journey to get to them. Read it only if you are having trouble falling asleep.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan Wallace on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor David Aaker is a contemporary pioneer in brand management, and this book is a touchstone. The text can be professorial and theoretical, but it provides useful food for thought.

In general, I find his analysis the most interesting. He divides brand assets into: 1) Name Awareness; 2) Loyalty; 3) Perceived Quality; 4) Brand Associations. He further divides brands into corporate brands, endorser brands, ingredient brands, brand extensions, and sub-brands. His Brand Identity Planning model is another useful division of brand concepts.

As a marketing practitioner, the most useful model in the book is this Brand Personality Scale which categorizes five brand personalities: 1) Sincerity; 2) Excitement; 3) Competence; 4) Sophistication; 5) Ruggedness. I heard that this model is the result of a well structured and comprehensive study, and that 95% of all brand personalities fit into this taxonomy. It makes intuitive sense, and I use this model frequently.

The book does not focus on customer experience, innovation, social media, or bottom-up marketing. (Although Aakers' firm, Prophet, does.) Building Strong Brands assumes a traditional top-down, message driven, big corporate approach to branding. This question is: Are brands the result of something corporations does to customers, or are brands the result of something customers do to corporations?

For more recent ideas on brand building, I suggest Clued In, Primal Branding, and Blue Ocean Strategy.

...Read more ›
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful By jojo on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is more of the same rehashed, recycled, repurposed content from the authors. Much of this material is available in any basic marketing text. In fact, this book reads strikingly similar to just about any training manual on the basics of branding. If you've worked at any of the big agencies: McCann, JWT, Y&R, you learn the contents of this book on your first day in about a hour. All the cases cited in this book are stale and extremely weak. The "editorial reviews" listed above are shill quotes from clients who are cited as "cases" in the book.

Remember this before you buy: the author, and the firm for whom he works, use this book as nothing more than a lead-generation tool--it's called "thought leadership", a nebulous term used by company to propagate its own way of thinking. Save your money. Don't become a victim of Prophet's propoganda. Buy something with substance like Jean Noel Kapferer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1997
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to be a brand manager or advertising person to appreciate the value of David Aaker's Brand Equity. As both a sales person and one who routinely works with branded grocery product companies, I truly appreciate Aaker's depth of knowledge, insights and practical examples contained in Managing Brand Equity. Whether you believe it or not, we're all in the business of building a brand-ourselves. Use Aaker's insights to help you better position yourself in the minds of your customers, potential customers, co-workers and supervisors.
You'll be richer for it, both financially and personally.
Managing Brand Equity is easy to read, understand and use. Its a must for anyone concerned about better developing what they sell and how they sell it in this very competitive global economy.
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