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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smart and thorough
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...
Published on November 6, 1999

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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Academic Drivel
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...
Published on July 13, 2000


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smart and thorough, November 6, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (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
1.0 out of 5 stars Academic Drivel, July 13, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Branding Touchstone, January 19, 2009
By 
Dan Wallace (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Building Strong Brands (Paperback)
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.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future
Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rehashed, Recycled. Nothing new here., November 11, 2004
By 
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny, December 9, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good brand classic!, September 13, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (Hardcover)
This book is a comprehensive and holistic approach to brand , although a but out-dated. For more updated concepts I reccommend 60-Minute Brand Strategist by Idris Mootee. The author presents an expanded view of the meaning and role of brands and gives a new dimension, deeper than the single, limited conceptualization of a brand as a product. The role of the organizational associations, of the culture values and the emotional imput is very well integrated to understand the multidimensional meaning of a brand. Both books will help brand, marketing and/or commercialization managers to best leverage their corporate, range and product brands. Additionally, the insights presented to understand brand and company valuations are very well explained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent foundation for marketers and entrepreneurs, December 26, 2009
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This review is from: Building Strong Brands (Paperback)
Brands = relationships which means they're multifaceted, complex, and dynamic. Aaker offers 10 guidelines for building stronger brands and uses his brand identity model (and specific examples!) to help you get there. I read Aaker's book for a brand strategy course Scott Galloway (NY Times board member and founder of Red Envelope) teaches to NYU MBA students and I believe it's a must-read for every marketer and entrepreneur.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, February 24, 2006
By 
Tomas Hrivnak (Roztoky u Prahy, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (Hardcover)
One of the few substabtial texts about brand building. More often than not you'll find little more than rethoric in books about assessing and planning your brand. The line between actual brand management knowledge and shameless PR has become so thin that one has to be thankful for Aaker's orthodoxy. In the post-whatever era it is reassuring to hear that brand is still a relatively graspable albeit complex concept and that marketers still can hope for planning the identities of their brands. You may disagree with Aaker but not before you've read this classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I felt like the book was more for branding big corporations, October 6, 2014
By 
Miss Jena (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Building Strong Brands (Hardcover)
Purchased to help secure a job in Interior Design market development. It seems more text book offering theories and ideas, but great concepts. The Brand Personality Scale was the most interesting to me in terms of how to narrow down my company niche and brand concept into just one of the five ideas. In general I felt like the book was more for branding big corporations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars branding must read, December 14, 2013
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It's a great book, that explain the essencials of branding in an easy and intersting way. I recommend this book for those who are introducing to the world of branding.
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Building Strong Brands
Building Strong Brands by David A. Aaker (Hardcover - December 12, 1995)
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