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Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People Paperback – February 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
After an Introduction ("Emotional Branding: Fuel for Success in the Twenty-first Century"), Gobe presents his material within four Sections and then provides a Conclusion in which he acknowledges that branding is not for everyone while asserting that branding is about cultural relevance and emotional connection, not hype. For those who are responsible for devising, launching, and then managing a successful, emotionalized brand, he suggests three "essential" ideas: 1. "Brands have life cycles. The future of a brand is defined by its relevance at any given time and by how well it can protect the values that made it great. 2. Brands are elected every day based on their emotional relevance with the public and its commitment to quality. 3. Real brands are about meaning and truth." Here are some of the questions to which Gobe responds:
1. How can a brand engage people on the level of their senses and emotions?
2. Which brands have done so most effectively? How?
3. What is the biggest misconception in branding strategies? Why?
4. What are "The Ten Commandments of Emotional Branding"?
5. Which values are unique to Baby Boomer (born 1946-64), Gen X (born 1965-76), and Gen Y (born 1977-94) consumers? So what?
6. Which values are unique to African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, Gay, and Lesbian consumers? So what?
7. Why are Women "The New Shoppers in Chief"?
8. Why are sensorial experiences (i.e. sight, sound, touch, taste, feel, and smell) "the uncharted territory of branding"?
9. Which branding strategies based on sensorial experiences have proven most effective? Why?
10. What are the "Key Trends for the New Millennium"? Why?
These questions correctly suggest the scope and depth of Gobe's perspectives on emotional branding. Throughout the book, he cites and discusses examples of branding initiatives which either succeeded or failed. I am also grateful for the inclusion of highly innovative graphics which illustrate "thinking out of the box" while creating an advertising campaign. (See the Introduction to Section III.) Gobe concludes his book with this observation: "To get people interested in a long-term relationship, keep your ear to the ground and always be ready for any market changes. Change is good, but predicting change is better -- the answer is within people's hearts." In this remarkable book, Gobe does indeed offer a new paradigm for connecting brands to people.
Those who share my high regard for Emotional Branding are strongly urged to check out Levitt's The Marketing Imagination, Ries and Trout's Positioning (NOT the sequel, The New Positioning), Brands: The New Wealth Creators edited by Hart and Murphy, Schmitt's Experiential Marketing, and Pine and Gilmore's The Experience Economy. For those who wish to explore the subject in even greater depth, I highly recommend Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence and his more recently published Working with Emotional Intelligence.
So why did I purchase this book? Well, given I was called in by an agency to look at the EQ side of one of their projects; I wanted to know what others had written on the topic. After reading Aaker's book I understand I fell in a trap called "brand extension". This works as follows: if you want to launch a new product, look for an existing brand which is available and which you can extend to cover your new product. In this case, the "product" probably is Marc Gobé's brand creation firm and we all know that emotional intelligence is a label that sells well since Goleman put it on the map in 1996.
The problem is that many products sold under the label "emotional intelligence" aren't much related with that, and certainly do not help to raise your EQ. For me this is the case for this book. While it contains some useful messages around making sure your product is loved, that customers like the experience of using it (it should be engaging, fulfilling the customer's desire) and that you have to build a relationship with the customer. The body of the book then shows how there is an emotional link between several marketing aspects and the customer. Unfortunately, that wasn't really "new" to me, and what's worse, there isn't much "how to" in this book. In other words, while it may help to raise the awareness of some readers that the emotional aspect is important, that's all it does: it doesn't give you the tools to deal with this. I suppose Marc Gobé prefers you'd contact his branding agency rather than sharing some of its secrets.
In short, even if Aaker's book I mentioned in the introduction of this review is over 10 years old, it remains much more useful than "modern" books like this one.
Patrick Merlevede - author of "7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1) The book does not live up to the promise of its title.