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The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design Paperback – August 14, 2005
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“The surprise book of the year!”
—JOHN MOORE, EDITOR AT FAST COMPANY
“The first book on brand that seems fresh and relevant.”
—RIC GREFE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AIGA, THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR DESIGN
“A pleasure to read. THE BRAND GAP consistently provides deep, practical advice in a light, visual way. Learn about the power of imagery and the role of research in building a heavy-duty brand—without the heavy-duty reading.”
—DAVID A. AAKER, AUTHOR OF BRAND PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND BUILDING STRONG BRANDS
“Finally, a book that cuts to the heart of what brand is all about—connecting the rational and the emotional, the theoretical and the practical, the logical and the magical to create a sustainable competitive advantage.” —SUSAN ROCKRISE, WORLDWIDE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, INTEL
“A well-managed brand is the lifeblood of any successful company. Read this book before your competitors do!” —TOM KELLEY, GENERAL MANAGER, IDEO, AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE ART OF INNOVATION
“In THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier reminds us that the ultimate moment of truth for all brands is the customer experience. Customer perceptions trump our own perceptions.”
—KURT KUEHN, SENIOR VP OF WORLDWIDE MARKETING AND SALES, UPS
“This is not just another book on brand. This is the ONLY book you’ll need to read in business, engineering, and design school.”
—CLEMENT MOK, design entrepreneur
“Must-reading for anyone who wants to understand how their business strategy will succeed or fail when put to the ultimate test: ‘Do customers perceive a difference that’s desirable?’”
—STEVE HARRINGTON, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AND OPERATIONS, HEWLETT-PACKARD
“The book slices like a hot knife through all the turgid, pseudo-academic nonsense that surrounds branding. It’s now on the course list for my graduate students, and new members of my team at Ogilvy get a copy with their training materials.”
—BRIAN COLLINS, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, OGILVY
From the Back Cover
THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a "charismatic brand"-a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. In an entertaining two-hour read you'll learn:
- the new definition of brand
- the five essential disciplines of brand-building
- how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
- the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
- why collaboration is the key to brand-building
- how design determines a customer's experience
- how to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
- the importance of managing brands from the inside
- 220-word brand glossary
From the back cover:
Not since McLuhan's THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE has a book compressed so many ideas into so few pages. Using the visual language of the boardroom, Neumeier presents the first unified theory of branding-a set of five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand strategy and customer experience. Those with a grasp of branding will be inspired by the new perspectives they find here, and those who would like to understand it better will suddenly "get it." This deceptively simple book offers everyone in the company access to "the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet."
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Surprisingly, this book is about graphic design, but it is not designed very well. The text is huge, and seems like that the designer laying the book out needs to learn the fundamentals of publication design again.
However, do not make my comment about the design of the book deter you from purchasing it. I think the content of the book is still solid, and would would recommend this book to any Graphic Designer looking to brush up on Brand Design and how to effectively integrate a business model into it.
Differentiation asks certain questions for you to be able to have focus in you company, he stresses the importance of asking these three questions: 1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) Why does it matter?
Collaboration means working together and knowing that you all need one another. He claims that the best way to collaborate in today’s market is to outsource to a one stop shop and to a brand agency, also to work with the brand internally with a marketing team. Using all three of these ways creates a healthy and multi-vantage point view of how to create the best product and company.
Innovation stresses that as a company that wants to be creative it is imperative to not go with the crowd and be creative while being logical. If you’re not scaring people with your ideas, you’re not being creative enough to be innovative.
Validation is important in our very social world, we need to make space to receive feedback and let our customers know they are being heard.
Cultivation is about showing that the brand is you, is the image that you are trying to make for your company match the behavior of your company?
I loved that this book was a short and easy read; I loved the pictures and the graphs to help make a point and add some humor sometimes. I would recommend this book for anyone who is ready to jump out and ride the virtuous circle.
Neumier says that ‘a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.’ And then goes into detail to explain how we make decisions.‘Today we base our choices more on symbolic attributes. What does the product look like? Where is it being sold? What kind of people buy it? Which “tribe” will I be joining if I buy it? What does the cost say about its desirability? What are other people saying about it? And finally, who makes it?’
These types of questions speak volumes to the importance of taking ones brand serious and focusing on creating separation from others in the process. We now live in a culture where the majority of the products we invest in our strongly identical to one another. That is because many manufactures copy one another in the basic models of design. What separates the products in the mind of the buyer is the unique distinct differences decided upon by the producer. It is the little signs of customization and effective brand identity marketing that separate the companies. How well do you know your story and how can you effectively get the buyer to believe in it.
Neumier premise is to communicate how to bridge the gap between the left-brain thinking strategists who are known to be more —analytical, logical, linear, concrete, numerical, verbal and the right-brain thinking team members who tend to be known as more —intuitive, emotional, spatial, visual, and physical.
This makes logical sense that there would lye a natural gap in a branding process. I agree that both sides of the brain are needed in order to create a product that will market to both buyers as well. The overall goal is to build trust between a brand and its customers. This process does not desire to be isolated to one audience but rather be broadcast to all types.
One question I had was, is it possible that some companies and organizations intentionally create a gap in their brand? That possibly their strategy is to only connect with one side of the brain of the buying audience?
At the end of the day Neumier does a great job of stimulating creating thinking related to his intended topic. The book is easy to read and simplifies the understanding. It helps you understand how to create a charismatic brand that differentiates itself from the rest of the field. I would recommend this book to anyone hoping to learn more about the fundamentals of marketing and how it is important to see the whole process.