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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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Top Customer Reviews
The Brand Gap is also quaintly outdated. At one point the author talks about how most websites are poorly designed and shows an example of something ala 1998. Well...A LOT has changed since this book was published (2006) and there are numerous examples of gorgeous, and useful websites on the market today. Granted, there's lots of bad design out there, but things have, and are, getting better.
A particularly embarrassing example is the author's use of Amazon's market share to elucidate his point about creating a focused brand. He gloats about Amazon losing 30% of it's market share after extending it's repertoire beyond books. Well guess what...the joke is on us now. Amazon magically broke the curse of expansion and their sales have risen 219% to $34.2 billion between 2006 and 2010. This NEEDS to be addressed in the book, otherwise the author's use Amazon's statistics is simply misinformation. It takes away a lot of the books credibility.
And speaking of credibility...For a book that stresses the importance of design and aesthetics, it needs to take a look in the mirror. The typesetting in the book is "horsey" and wouldn't even be acceptable in a first-semester graphic design course. Sure, I'm splitting hairs here, and most people wouldn't notice the typographic nuances, but a book that is half about design needs to take things like this seriously. It's ironic that the author claims that aesthetics build trust, however his own book leaves a lot of aesthetic loose ends.
The book is littered with many "a-ha" moments and interesting tidbits, but I don't feel like I have much more of an understanding of branding than I did before I read the book. It's a fun read, but nothing I would say anyone absolutely had to read.
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.