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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Branding Cheat Sheet - An "Elements of Style" for Brand Builders, April 1, 2011
This review is from: Brand Atlas: Branding Intelligence Made Visible (Hardcover)
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Brand Atlas comes in a slim volume but like a good roadmap it has everything you need for mapping out the journey of your brand. Throw away those heavy tomes on branding, this little book has all you need for a great brainstorming session for your brand. All the great brand building ideas have been distilled into simple but powerful frameworks in this book. It's brevity and simplicity will help generate some incisive thinking. The principles are universal and applicable to products or services in public or private sectors.

The book is divided into 4 parts - Brand Landscape (Dynamics), Brand Basics (Intelligence), Brand Management (Drive) and Details.

The first section gives an insight into marketplace trends and the changing brand environment due to technology shifts and the evolving consumer. Topics range from Global Sourcing to Transparency to Sustainability and Free-conomics. Each topic gets 2 pages, on the left the concept is defined and there are quotes from some well known thinkers and organizations. On the right, there is a visual image or framework that explains the concept.

The second section gives succinct definitions of the basic concepts of branding like Brand as identity, Positioning, Big Idea, Brand Extensions. In my opinion, this is really where the book shines. The concepts are explained with great brevity yet amazing clarity and the quotes act as true thought starters. There is a question or a thought starter below every definition followed by a framework on the right page. For example, Brand Perception definition starts with "Brands connect to the mind and the heart. Brand identity is tangible and appeals to the senses. Consumers want brands that understand them." The first 3 sentences alone are so powerful that one can spend time thinking about them in the context of their brand! The to-do under the definition is "Research why customers select your brand. Investigate the layers of competitive advantage that are subtle, emotional and perceptual..." Again these are carefully chosen words designed to make you think and act. The framework on the right of this definition shows 3 nested circles starting from Perception in the inner circle to Behavior and Outcomes is the outermost circle. Very powerful tool to brainstorm how your brand is perceived by consumers or even your associates. This is just one example.

The third section is about Brand Management. Brand building activities like Culture, Competencies, Perceptual mapping are discussed. The last section is Details which lays out action plans and processes like Branding Process, Big Idea Process.

This is indeed a unique book on branding that does not only lay out the roadmap of a branding journey but also provides thoughts and ideas that act as a branding GPS to take you to your final goal. The frameworks provided in book are really valuable, usually you would find these ideas scattered over several books. And then when you find them you would have to dive into text and examples to arrive at the same framework that is already laid out in this book to trigger your thinking.

Recommended as a must have book for anyone who has anything to do with building a brand.
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ZenWoman
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Location: WA, USA

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