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Marketing Aesthetics: The Strategic Management of Brands, Identity and Image Hardcover – August 30, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0684826554 ISBN-10: 0684826550 Edition: English Language

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; English Language edition (August 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684826550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684826554
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


An original! That term is used far too much. In this (rare) case, it is fully merited. Schmitt and Simonson have written a sophisticated, readable masterpiece that reinvents the practice of marketing. And the timing--a marketplace glutted with look-alikes--could not be better. Small business or large, read this book ... NOW, and act ... NOW. -- Tom Peters, author of The Pursuit Of Wow!

David A. Aaker author of Managing Brand Equity and Building Strong Brands Visual imagery has been the neglected element of branding, usually treated in an ad hoc manner. Thanks to this pathbreaking book, we now have a more scientific knowledge of how visual imagery works to build strong brands and how it can be actively managed. -- Review

About the Author

Bernd Schmitt and Alex Simonson teach marketing courses at Columbia Business School and Georgetown University, respectively. Professor Schmitt lives in New York and Shanghai, and Professor Simonson lives in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The authors assert that, within a marketing context, a company must find "a powerful point of differentiation through the use of aesthetics to create positive overall customer impressions that depict the multifaceted personality of the company or brand." How? The book explains how. Substantial attention is devoted to the branding phase during which a symbol is strategically created, conveys a positioning, provides tangible value, and is most effectively managed on a daily basis. "Drivers" of identity are also explained as is the procedure for cross-functional coordination and other components of what should be a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective marketing program.
During the course of Marketing Aesthetics, the authors examine a number of different products for which various companies achieve "a powerful point of (aesthetics as a strategic tool); Lucent Technologies and Continental Airlines (creating identity and image through aesthetics); IBM (corporate and brand expressions); Starbucks and Gillette (styles); Pepperidge Farm Cookies (themes); The Four Seasons (overall customer impressions); LEGO and Bosch (comprehensive identity management); Godiva and Nike (retail spaces and environments); and Volkswagen, Netscape, and Yahoo! (corporate and brand identity on the Internet). Throughout Marketing Aesthetics, the focus is on real-world corporate experience which the authors carefully examine in support of their assertion that "Business processes do not provide value to customers. Core competencies do not. Even brands per se do not. Value is provided only by satisfying needs.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Schmitt and Simonson's book deserves to be read by anyone -- and I mean anyone -- who has a hand in how products are marketed. Dispensing with tired formulas and such arcana as The Four Ps, Schmitt & Simonson forge nothing less than an entirely novel approach to WHY brands mean what they do, what equity really is.
Unlike so many other academics cobbling together journal articles and anecdotes, Schmitt & Simonson's carefully-selected case studies and lapidarian, sparkling prose lay bare the fundamentals of what marketing managers really need to know about how not just to manage their brands, but to nurture them, shepherd them, keep them in the public eye and consciousness.
Having read and taught from nearly every other book in this area, this is simply one of the very best business books to have appeared this decade, and certainly the most original
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. on July 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The other reviews have done a fine job of outlining the many positive points for this book. It certainly does do a wonderful job of attempting to move the practice of 'brand equity' forward. Even if you don't agree with many of the ideas in the book, it's a valuable read. But I *do* have two main problems with the piece.
First, by the end of the book, can anyone give a decent, concise definition of what exactly aesthetics is? Of course, it's a difficult question because much of aesthetics lies in the overall whole impression created by a brand, rather than just on packaging, advertisements, and sensory data. But one major problem I had was by about halfway through the book, 'aesthetics' had come to mean just about anything. Marketing communications? Aesthetics. Packaging? Aesthetics. All sensory information given off by a product? Aesthetics. The environment the product is sold or consumed in? Aesthetics. With a definition this loose, of *course* it's critical for marketers to pay attention to aesthetics, and of course they already do to a large degree. While the emphasis of seeing all these things as part of an interrelated whole is an admirable goal, this leads to my second problem.
Second, since aesthetics is such a 'squishy/stretchy' concept, how on earth are you supposed to measure it, or know when youre doing a great job at managing it? The scenarios where a manager would make one aesthetic change, and then see quantifiable results seems rare. It would strike me as more common that aesthetic changes go hand-in-hand with strategy re-assesments and realignments.
Still, even with my general reservations on the book, I can reccomend it as one of the better practicioner-focused books on branding and brand identity to come out in recent years.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By wing-sze TAI on March 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A brand is very important to a company. It is not just a name you call the product or company. It can in fact give the overall impression of your products or company to customers that helps differentiate from its competitors.
I have read several books about brand such as "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand" and "The New Guide to Identity: Wolff Olins: How to Create and Sustain Change Through Managing Identity", which are mostly about how to well use of the power of brand or how to launch the identity program.
This book is also about brand identity. But it is totally different from what I have read before. Seldom book about brand will concern for the psychological factors of customers. But it does. Customers do not usually act rationally. Many factors, not just the product itself but a total sensory experience will affect them to make purchase decisions.
This book talks about the management of brand identity by using aesthetics, that is, to create an overall customer impressions through visual impacts. The use of symbol, styles, themes, retail spaces and environments etc can satisfy customers' experiential needs - their aesthetic needs, which creates value to customers. All these are illustrated by many great successful cases: Absolut Vodka, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Starbucks, Nike¡K¡K
Try to read this book and manage how to build brand at another angle!
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