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The Origin of Brands: How Product Evolution Creates Endless Possibilities for New Brands Paperback – September 27, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This father-daughter marketing team, authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, believes that evolution is a useful analogy for marketers. Throughout the book, readers are encouraged to think of Darwin's tree of life. For example, the television tree used to consist solely of the three networks, but now comprises an array of cable and satellite offerings. The "phone" tree includes cellular, picture, computer, digital and other varieties. Using many examples, the authors explore this notion: "Competition between individuals (brands) improves the species. Competition between species (categories) drives the categories further and further apart." To survive in today's competitive market where technology makes innovations much faster than in the past, companies must continue to introduce new computers, cars, phones, food, etc. However, the drawbacks of expansion and innovation mean that some products and some corporations won't be profitable. Burger King keeps trying to launch new menus, essentially to compete with McDonald's. While McDonald's has had its own fiscal troubles, it continues to dominate the fast food market because it was first and has so many outlets. Along with their entertaining perspective on advertising and marketing, the authors offer specific advice including devising a new category rather than a brand. Innovative marketers will have a triumphant product if they create a category and launch with a clever name as well, such as Starbucks did for the high-end coffee-shop category. While the book is primarily directed at readers working in marketing, advertising and related fields, managers and executives at both large and small businesses will benefit from it as well.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Illuminating examples and wry humor combine for a delightful read.” (Harvard Business Review)
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However, the fact that the authors decided to attack the concept of convergence with a vengeance made the key points in this book biased and weak. For example, the authors went on to make bold predictions that no consumers would want a device that is a gaming machine, an MP3 Player, a web browser, a email client, and a phone. Right after the book was launched the iPhone was launched. It is difficult to argue if the iPhone converge or diverge the marketplace (or which marketplace). The success of the iPhone also fundamentally challenged the concept of convergence being more important than divergence. There are other highly opinionated viewpoints that gave me the impression that the authors had tried too hard to seek for evidence and examples to only support their case.
Prior to purchasing this book (and other works by the authors), one could also visit some of the authors' blog posts to better understand their viewpoints on branding and PR, plus the overall theme of their support for divergence here[...]. I would also suggest potential buyers to look at how the authors predicted the failure of the iPhone, and how they continued to explain their views on the eventual (at least in the short term) success of the iPhone and Apple . [...]