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How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding Hardcover – November 1, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Holt is assistant professor in the department of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578517745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578517749
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By NK78 on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am very surprised with the rave reviews of this book here. I decided to purchase it for two reasons. First, I trusted the reviews here and decided it would be important to own this book. Second, I am familiar with Douglas Holt's academic work, and have read his articles in academic journals. I thought this book will be very interesting to read.

I am dissapointed mainly because I find that the book does not tell me something original. Instead what Douglas Holt keeps saying in this book is that building an iconic brand is possible by focusing on culture not products. His argument is not convincing, especially when he tries to disprove other forms of brand building: tradition, cultural and emotional. If I have a brand new product, can I still build an icon? Is it advantageous to have an iconic brand? What are the downside of it? These are not talked about in the book.

Another problem is that he keeps repeating the same argument again and again. It gets very boring after a few pages only.

What a disappointment!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm no business-head. I find modern consumerism more disturbing than exciting. But I read this book as part of a study on public relations and I must say Holt's passion for the subject is contagious.

First of all, his writing style is superb. He alternates nicely between anecdotes, charts and philosophy, allowing all sorts of minds to grasp just what he's saying. His ideas were bold and insightful, and he helped me to understand what a craft marketing really is.

I sometimes felt his connections were just that - his connections - but a lot of his ideas rang true, and for the most part his evidence was well, evident.

What I found most impressive was his aknowledgement of all the sexism in marketing. Perhaps it's a bit of sexism on my part, but I hadn't expected a man to pick up on all the overt and covert misogyny inherent in the advertising world. Holt not only saw it, he understood how it connected with the greater social and political environment surrounding it.

How Brands Become Icons should be required reading for every high school student in the country. And that's the first time I've said that. Holt's grasp of the subject goes beyond branding, into the heart of American culture, into the minds of the American people. This is not just a how-to book. It's an important book of why.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book! Douglas B. Holt gives a cultural perspective to branding which is not that trivial to all managers. The book also presents historical analyses on brands like Mountain Dew, Corona, Volkswagen, and many others. The clear message is that iconic brands can't be created through conventional branding strategies, instead there is a need for a cultural perspectice to branding.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a total waste of time. Think Like A Rock Star is the best book out there on marketing. This man still teaches at Harvard? I tried hard to get into this book but it was not possible. Sorry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a serious book for marketers who want to understand the intersection of culture and branding. Brands that become icons speak into a cultural conversation in a relevant way and take on meaning beyond their categories. This book shows how brands like Mountain Dew, Corona, and Coke did it. A very readable and insightful book.

Carol Phillips
[...]
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Format: Hardcover
The author points out correctly in my opinion how culture matters. In other words, in order for a brand to be relevant it must have social currency...which means cultural relevancy.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great read (skim the overdone examples) but read for the structures Holt puts in place and the comparisons he makes to previous branding POVs.
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