- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: AMACOM (January 18, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814473334
- ASIN: B008SLSWF8
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,982,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do to Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 18, 2007
From Publishers Weekly
Martin, a former public relations v-p at AT&T, argues, "America's declining reputation has less to do with what people think of America than how they feel about it." Drawing on international surveys, comments by academics and journalists, and colorful marketing and PR examples, he declares that the U.S. faces a branding problem in the growing wave of anti-Americanism abroad. Though Martin sees a serious threat to American business's long-term interests, he believes that as corporations expand their global reach, they can play a crucial role in rebuilding America's reputation by respecting and responding to local cultures. He also encourages corporate leaders to engage in political lobbying directed at restoring America's brand equity, concluding the book with a 10-point prescription for political reform. But this highly specific foray into governmental policy sits uneasily with Martin's emphasis on branding and public relations. Similarly, discussions of Tocqueville and Bernard-Henri Lévy, as well as American immigration and visa policies, dilute the clarity of his approach. Still, Martin's marketing expertise allows him to illuminate an issue of serious concern for political and business leaders. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A well-written book that examines a serious issue of concern for not only political, but also business leaders.”
"... A blueprint for American business leaders so they can help reverse the tide of anti-Americanism.”
-O'Dwyer's Public Relations News
“In Rebuilding Brand America, author Dick Martin has provided a blueprint for American business leaders so they can help reverse the tide of anti-Americanism that has spread throughout most of the world.”
-O'Dwyer's Public Relations News
Dick Martin shows us that by rebuilding the American brand we're not just "spinning" a story.
-Daily News Tribune (Waltham, MA)
Martin appears to have read everything and talked to most people concerned with the issue.
-Online Public Relations Thoughts
"[Martin] is not a foreign policy expert—and in fact it is his outsider perspective that is so valuable. In a nutshell, he applies his 30 years of experience in the advertising world to the problem of America’s recent credibility issue. The use of branding and marketing techniques in public diplomacy is controversial. I must admit I have also been skeptical about the marketing world’s potential for facilitating and informing US public diplomacy efforts. But to my surprise Martin showed his audience that, in fact, Madison Avenue can teach us a thing or two about public diplomacy."
Foreign Policy Association U.S. Diplomacy blog
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Brilliantly researched, gracefully written and compellingly argued, Dick Martin's latest book taps a lifetime of experience in communications and attitudes to present a crisp summary of what went wrong, what's under way, and what might yet work. Throughout it all, Martin underscores the central point that this is more than an issue for pollsters and pundits. American business bears a significant responsibility for today's condition and faces a largely untapped opportunity for positive action.
While the author plainly states he is not an economist or political insider, his background as the former Vice President of Public Relations at A&T shines through every word. Clearly he was privy to major players, including politicians, who attempted to build a shining star called America that people around the world would adore. Citing opinion pollsters such as Zogby International, Mr. Martin underscores the unfortunate timing of several endeavors, such as Charlotte Beers who was named by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to head up a global PR campaign to improve international opinion about `hard-hearted' America. Unfortunately, just as her tenure was getting underway in 2001, the terrorist attacks on the world Trade Center and the Pentagon sealed her early demise. Mr. Martin describes in great detail about her brave attempt to rebuild America's brand as the right PR gal at the wrong time.
Halfway through the book, we learn that anti-Americanism is not unique to the 21st Century. In fact, citing de Tocqueville and others, Mr. Martin makes the case that negative public opinion about America's choices has long been woven into the fabric of its existence. Globalization and the McDonaldization of virtually every country on the planet have led to contemporary feelings of ambivalence at best and hatred at the very worst. Interestingly, Mr. Martin points out how the French may despise Americans, yet they won't boycott burgers and fries. He investigates the psychology behind this distinction. McDonalds, for instance, has `glocalized' their franchise to include local tastes on the menu. Instead of beef burgers in India, they serve alternative meats. Nonetheless, the kitchen layout and work processes remain the same worldwide. According to Mr. Martin, such consistent messaging is an enormous achievement from which the purveyors of Brand America can learn.
The most compelling part of his book is his treatment of storytelling. A great part of public relations work centers around grand storytelling to evoke emotions and unforgettable associations with the brand you're trying to promote. King Arthur and the Round table, which undoubtedly pervades British mythology, stand for chivalry and honor. Levi's became an emblem of untenable freedom in Eastern Europe up until the early 90's It symbolized the Gold Rush, attaining wealth through sweat equity. We all know the Nike swoosh conveys the go-for-it athleticism that makes even seventy-year-olds Olympic champions. Why? It's all in the branding.
Brands make us a part of something larger than ourselves. It guarantees us an experience of unity, a connection with the Divine Spirit of the Good Life. It casts light into the shadows, grants hope to the hopeless, and builds a framework around which we create meaning in our lives. Dick Martin's book, Rebuilding Brand America, is an excellent treatise on what is good about America, on what we can do to improve our actions, and how to dismantle the one-way mirror so we can finally peer beyond the looking glass to see ourselves as others see us, too.
Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of Sahm I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe, is an American expat writer and PR consultant living near Munich, Germany with her husband and two children.