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Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future Hardcover – January 24, 2006

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From Publishers Weekly

Positing that "a brand is a belief system," Hanlon, founder and CEO of "primal branding" company Thinktopia, throws a reverse spin on the 12-step addiction recovery program to trumpet his 7 steps (called "key factors") to inspire consumer addiction. His formula has vaguely mythic qualities: successful brands, he argues, come with a creation story, a creed, rituals, icons, sacred words, non-believers and a leader who's overcome stiff opposition. The similarities to religion (Hanlon prefers "culture of belief") will pique the thoughtful reader, but Hanlon's recounting of familiar business success stories (UPS's story, Lou Gerstner's turnaround of IBM) seems at odds with a book blurbed as "not the same old branding B.S." Though much of the book is the simple recasting of age-old branding tenets (Hanlon's "creed" is interchangeable with "slogan"; "icon" with "logo"), Hanlon's energetic case for thinking differently about common practices makes for a rousing read.
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"Primal branding takes you deep into branding territory, to a place that other so-called branding experts haven't even imagined. This innovative presentation is credible, incredible, and curiously compelling. It's a deep dive into a new design culture, one that is sure to resonate with today's consumers." -- Robyn Waters, founder, author of "Trendmaster's Guide, " and former VP Trend, Design, and Product Development, Target

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Printing edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074327797X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743277976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mindi Rosser on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Length: 3:16 Mins
Wondering how to build your brand for your business? If you are searching for a history of successful companies, large and small, then Primal Branding delivers an insider's perspective. Author Patrick Hanlon, an avid journalist, spent years penetrating the barriers surrounding marketing secrets of thriving businesses.

I am a pre-published author seeking to establish myself in the thriller genre as a professional with both a vision and a quality product. Primal Branding provided a series of steps to guide me through this process.

Here are the seven components to the Primal Code, plus one sentence I learned about each.

Creation Story - each brand must tell the story of their beginnings. It must answer the question, "Where do you come from?" Example: the "about" section of a company)
The Creed - this is the spine which supports the whole brand. This should project the vision of what you want the company to become. Example: the tagline for a company)
The Icons - these are the images or sensory products that are instantly identified with your brand. They should be recognizable and distinct enough to leave an impression on the consumer. Examples: logos, themes, and products)
The Rituals - the interactions that your consumer has with your company and products. The goal is to maximize the number of positive occurrences your customer has with your company. Example: online shopping or browsing)
The Pagans - these are the opponents to what defines your company. It's as important to identify your "unbelievers" as it is to define who you are. Example: Pepsi Cola versus Aquafina.)
The Sacred Words - the specialized jargon that only the insiders know. Every belief system has its own informal dictionary to distinguish itself from outsiders.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tom Messner on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Formula: author looks at successful examples of branding and back-engineers to tell you why they were successful.

I can tell you 30 books that do this (I read them all.)

This book presents, instead, a coherent theory that projects to future cases, and thus is worth imitating. Nothing wrong with stealing someone's theory if you've bought his book.

In this case, you can actually take what the author lays out and apply it your business whether is a chain of funeral parlors or
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Primal Branding goes much deeper than most books on branding. It is not just about logos and tag lines but about the seven crucial components which must be present to creating a brand that connects.

The seven attributes are the creation story, the creed, icons, rituals, sacred words, pagans (the opposite or those opposed to the brand) and leaders. Primal branding is not about "building a church, but creating a religion."

"Primal Branding has broken down the elements that help people feel better about a brand." All marketers are searching for ways to stand out from the crowd, to get attention, to connect. Hanlon has given us the blueprint to do just that. But as he says, "If all we needed were a recipe, everyone would be a great chef." He gives us the blueprint, but there is still the need to create the story, to make sure it resonates with everyone, the employees, the vendors and the customers. Branding is still part science, part art and a good deal of luck.

The book is well written, easy to read and filled with many examples of very successful brands - from coca-cola to lego to U2. Hanlon goes behind the scenes to uncover what made the brands successful. He gives great insight into the things we must do to make our own brands successful.

While we have the essential steps to brand our products or services, we still need to bring the emotional connection into the process. That of course is where the art and luck comes in.

If you are responsible for marketing your services, you really need to read this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robin Steele on January 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is no "me, too" marketing book. "Primal Branding" understands and develops its theories on branding from a truly unique new perspective. The author explores how successful brands put a real value behind their companies and their products, making them matter in meaningful ways.

Stripped of the cynical, manipulative message of so many books on the marketing shelf, this is real anthropology - getting down into the roots of our general humanity, figuring out why we do or don't identify with bits of our complex surroundings. This book is clear, concise, moving, and in the end deeply enlightening.

From the discovery of "Lucy" to LegoLand, the author invites us to dig with him through a treasure chest of anecdotes, insights and looks at the "primal codes" to which we all answer. The emotional content of a business transaction - what draws us in, or what alienates us - is at the heart of all commerce, because it's at the heart of all life.

Mr. Hanlon has written a fun-to-read book that is not just about branding or marketing. It's about how societies work - how we know who we are - and the uses and perils of primal identity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joel Warady on June 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have spent quite a bit of time lately explaining to our clients the importance of story telling. Create a great story, and you will be able to create great zealots for your brand. That is the essence of this book. As the author states early on, "The creation story is the crucial first step in providing answers to why people should care about you, or your product or service."

The book, like many other books on branding, reiterates a lot of common sense theories that cause the reader to say, "Well of course, that makes sense." That's okay! It is worth being reminded once in awhile why the basics work. That being said, this book does utilize current brand examples that help prove the theories correct. This is a book that I would recommend if you were looking for a good basic book on branding in theory and practice. It's worth the money.
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