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Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty

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Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty [Hardcover]

Laurence Vincent
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 28, 2012

Companies are forever being more creative in their branding strategies, building identities ranging from the warm-and-fuzzy to the ultra-cool and edgy. But it seems that many of these enterprises forgot that a brand, at its heart, is a promise to deliver. If the brand experience does not live up to that promise, customers will take their business elsewhere.

Brand Real is a business strategy guide for making a brand’s promise stand up at every customer touch point. Packed with proven, repeatable management practices, the book shows how to establish a clean brand architecture while avoiding the needless complexity that has tripped up many promising companies.

Author Laurence Vincent presents cautionary tales of supposed brand superstars as well as instructive case studies of genuine brand giants like American Express, Apple, Cisco, Google, Qualcomm, Virgin, and others. Readers will learn how to connect the outward-facing elements of their brands—logos, advertising, imagery, communications—directly to the core elements of business strategy and forge a powerful and lasting connection with their customers.


Selected by Strategy+Business as One of the Best Business Books for 2012

Frequently Bought Together

Brand Real: How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty + Paid, Owned, Earned: Maximizing Marketing Returns in a Socially Connected World + Brand Aid: A Quick Reference Guide to Solving Your Branding Problems and Strengthening Your Market Position
Price for all three: $63.68

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Editorial Reviews


“…it’s time you picked up this book and found out how to create a brand identity that will… make your customers loyal for life.” --SMTonline

“For anyone looking to brand or re-brand their company Brand Real is the book for you. This is the branding bible.”

--Actionable Books

“…if you have any interest in branding and reputation management, check out Brand Real -- it is well worth your time.”

--Genuine Curiosity

“This book will place your brand on the right track for building a real brand that is memorable and powerful in the marketplace.” --Blog Business World

“It’s instructive, including back-to-basics on how to make your brand memorable and accessible, and consistent across all the places it touches a customer."

“…dives deep into the elements that can make a brand real…shows the how and why behind the successes and missteps of familiar brands.” --Jim Pawlak, Biz Books Columnist

Selected by Strategy+Business as One of the Best Business Books for 2012

“…Vincent reminds us that branding is first and foremost a strategic act…that’s why Brand Real is as relevant to the CEO as it is to the CMO.” --Strategy+Business

From the Inside Flap

Your brand is obviously more than a catchy logo or striking website. But often the concept of a “brand” gets stuck in this visual playland, removed from the realities of what truly makes a business successful and sustainable.

Brands stand for value. An aesthetically pleas­ing logo might identify the brand (think Apple), but great brands aren’t always stylish (think Google). At its core, branding is far deeper, richer, and more integral to the health of an enterprise than design. It is a promise to deliver results at every interaction with the customer: through your product, customer service, outward communications, and even internal relationships with employees and stakeholders.

Seasoned brand strategist Larry Vincent gives organizations a fresh and compelling way to think about branding and powerful new tools for connecting businesses to people. In Brand Real he explores “the simplicity principle,” which asserts that while the brand might reduce a complex array of expectations and experiences into a simple logo as an identifier, it is those expectations and experiences that matter most.

Brand Real uncovers real world strategies for creating positive, lasting memories that build loyalty, as well as examples highlighting the fine points of branding from heavyweights such as Facebook, Walmart, Dove, The Body Shop, Microsoft, the Twilight franchise, and dozens more. It helps you focus your own efforts fine-tuning your message, clarifying your benefits, cultivating your markets, and devel­op­ing a real brand that starts on the inside and infuses every customer touch point.

You’ll learn how to:

• Build specificity, repetition, and consistency into your branding and win the memory game

• Narrow your message into one of six themes that provide a brand’s reason for being accessibility, functionality, approach to qual­ity, personality, lifestyle, or cause

• Create a brand architecture the purposeful organization of brands and sub brands that provides room for growth, without sacrificing the customer bond

• Understand how people use brands to validate their sense of self, and put your insights to work building a brand that elicits attachment

• Use the power of storytelling, voice, and simple messages to bind real brands with people.

• And much more!

Great branding lies at the heart of every great business. It is a strategic discipline that simplifies how people think about your organization, and an operating system that informs every action of your people. Brand Real helps you align your branding with your business practices—a critical juncture for connecting with your customer to build lasting success.

Laurence Vincent has developed strategies for some of the world’s most beloved brands, including Disney, Master­Card, Microsoft, the National Football League, Sony Play­Station, Southwest Airlines, Four Seasons, and Vitamin­Water. He is head of The Brand Studio at United Talent Agency and lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (March 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123739462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123739469
  • ASIN: 0814416764
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the ingredient list March 22, 2012
I love Branding. Brand to a company is like reputation is to a person. Like reputation - it can be invaluable and like reputation, it can be easily destroyed.

Reputation requires consistency. Brand does also.

I liked the cover "Ingredients of Success Hype 0%, Trendiness 0%, Gimmicks 0%, authenticity 100% and Experience 100%"

Vincent talks about brand identity (how the brand looks and feels - like logo, color, name, slogan etc) and brand behavior (what brands do and why it matters). Many people who think brand think about the former but it is the latter that really matters.

"Real brands make promises that they keep". And this is why we pay more for trusted brands. We like consistency and good brands (like many franchises) deliver that comfort. Consistency in many cases is worth more than being great.

I like to think I am a sophisticated consumer who is not influenced by marketing and brand. Not true. I will often buy from someplace I know will treat me fairly even without trying somewhere else.

I liked the chapter on "Brand Inside - Why People are the Key to your Branding Strategy". It is the people but it is also to training, coaching, mentoring, tools and processes that are in place to make the people great and consistent with the brand.

The gist of the book - work on what your brand really stands for.

Good book - worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read that helped me as an investor March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I work for a large corporation with thankfully a great brand name and I also try to invest in companies that are brand leaders. This book is a great read for investors and also for small business owners who want to help build their brand. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the start to finish and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the benefits of a great brand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The book jacket characterizes Brand Real as a "business strategy guide," which pretty much defines what I did (and did not) like about the book.

Laurence Vincent knows his stuff. The book is a terrific primer on how to think about branding, what's involved in developing and nurturing a successful brand, and the many things to think about along the way.

This is a good book if you're looking to dive into the branding process. It's not terribly useful if you are looking for takeaways for rethinking how your brand can better connect with your customer base. As a business owner, I would have liked to have seen more examples and case studies that illustrate the material. I would also have liked to have had pull-out boxes to give the reader guidance on where to start and where to go next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The right book for Living the Brand March 30, 2012
By Dave K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a brand consultant myself, the main aspect of this book that I find invaluable is the focus on a company "Living the Brand", or "walk the walk" as well as "talk the talk". If you are not familiar with this any of this brand concept, then this book is critical for you.

Larry's writing style is very engaging - much more entertaining and easy read compared to many other dry brand books.

Another specific aspect of this book I liked is the organization of the categories of brand positioning options - there are many ways to do this but Larry's approach in Brand Real is easy to grasp and implement.
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