- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (September 30, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321426770
- ISBN-13: 978-0321426772
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands 1st Edition
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“Each of [Neumeier’s] books is excellent, but ZAG is revolutionary.”
—JACK COVERT AND TODD SATTERSTEN, FROM THE 100 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF ALL TIME
“You already know that this book has the best title of any marketing book in a generation. What you don’t know is the details of the Intrusiveness Death Spiral and what to do about it. This little book ought to help. A lot.”
—SETH GODIN, AUTHOR OF SMALL IS THE NEW BIG
“Here’s a practical field guide on how to create and grow a world-class brand, so no more excuses—read it now and start zagging.”
—KIP KNIGHT, MARKETING VICE PRESIDENT, EBAY
“The revolution needs passion, imagination, and a dangerous handbook. Here
it is, born in the trenches yet written with enough verve and imagination to get you out of them—fast.”
—BRIAN COLLINS, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, OGILVY
“A big idea surrounded by 17 practical steps and presented in a delightful style. The presentation alone is worth the price of the book.”
—DAVID A. AAKER, VICE CHAIRMAN, PROPHET, AUTHOR OF BRAND PORTFOLIO STRATEGY
“Awesome book—even better than THE BRAND GAP. It arrived at my desk like a familiar but new friend.”
—ROD SWANSON, DIRECTOR OF BRAND INTEGRATION, ELECTRONIC ARTS
“There are two strategy choices: Do what everyone else is doing, only better, cheaper, or faster. Or do something different and truly distinctive. Marty Neumeier offers essential insights into how to do the latter.”
—PROF. RON SANCHEZ, COPENHAGEN BUSINESS SCHOOL, CO-AUTHOR OF THE NEW STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
"ZAG is the new GPS for marketers. Clear, crisp directions for building strong brands and keeping them fresh and relevant. Read it before your competition does and stay one zag ahead.”
—GARY ELLIOTT, VP BRAND MARKETING, HEWLETT-PACKARD
“Never has one author jammed so many good ideas into so few pages as Marty Neumeier has.”
—AL RIES, AUTHOR OF THE ORIGIN OF BRANDS
"It is part manifesto, part practical handbook, and you can read it between LaGuardia and Logan.”
From the Back Cover
"When everybody zigs, zag," says Marty Neumeier in this fresh view of brand strategy. ZAG follows the ultra-clear "whiteboard overview" style of the author's first book, THE BRAND GAP, but drills deeper into the question of how brands can harness the power of differentiation. The author argues that in an extremely cluttered marketplace, traditional differentiation is no longer enough-today companies need "radical differentiation" to create lasting value for their shareholders and customers. In an entertaining 3-hour read you'll learn:
- why me-too brands are doomed to fail
- how to "read" customer feedback on new products and messages
- the 17 steps for designing "difference" into your brand
- how to turn your brand's "onliness" into a "trueline" to drive synergy
- the secrets of naming products, services, and companies
- the four deadly dangers faced by brand portfolios
- how to "stretch" your brand without breaking it
- how to succeed at all three stages of the competition cycle
From the back cover:
In an age of me-too products and instant communications, keeping up with the competition is no longer a winning strategy. Today you have to out-position, out-maneuver, and out-design the competition. The new rule? When everybody zigs, zag. In his first book, THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier showed companies how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design. In ZAG, he illustrates the number-one strategy of high-performance brands-radical differentiation.
"ZAG "is an AIGA Design Press book, published under Peachpit's New Riders imprint in partnership with AIGA. For a quick peek inside ZAG, go to www.zagbook.com.
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Top customer reviews
This is a must have reference book for all business people whether connected to marketing or not. Every job in any business is in some way connected to the success of a product.
Such is the nature of writing about a topic where 1) the author makes his money selling branding services; 2) he doesn't believe in hard numbers to prove points, harboring the predictable anti-research position that is both a great strength and weakness of this book and books like this (i.e. Blink). It also may be the most acceptable way to write a book that is not so dry and academic that nobody would want to read it.
But the story being told is a great one and it is really well told. Neumeier needs to get a lot of credit for presenting ideas simply (not simplistically) which many other authors would make very complicated. The book is also just really well thought out so that it is thoroughly enjoyable to read even as you get into some pretty important topics that others might get bogged down in jargon or overly long explanations. The book also gets high markst for not only discussing what a "zag" is but also showing you how you can get there if you follow his clearly outlined process.
So while the book is clearly a campaign for what he believes versus an objective look at branding, it is great read and I would recommend it for anyone working in marketing/branding that wants a refresher or reminder about what you should be thinking about in our ever-changing world.
Initially, he observes that the human mind deals with clutter the best way it can: by blocking it out. As a result, "the newest barriers to competition are the mental walls that customers erect to keep out clutter. For the first time in history, the most powerful barriers to competition are not controlled by companies, but by customers. Those little boxes they build in their minds determine the boundaries of brands." (Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck also have much of value to say about these boundaries and barriers in The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business.) In his latest book, Neumeier explains how to overcome these barriers with radical innovation - "the engine for a high performance brand" - that requires mastery of four disciplines:
1. Finding your zag
2. Designing your zag
3. Building your zag
4. Renewing your zag
Everything begins with identifying the zag. That is, offering something that combines the qualities of both good and different. "When focus is paired with differentiation, supported by a trend, and surrounded by compelling communications, you have the basic ingredients of a zag."
OK, but how to do that? Neumeier provides a design process that consists of 17 checkpoints, each formulated as a question. He explains how to answer each of them correctly (i.e. an answer most appropriate to the given organization) by proceeding through a sequence of 17 checkpoints, each of which evokes a question to be answered correctly (i.e. appropriate to the given organization), with the first two previously posed as a trilogy in The Brand Gap: "Who are you?" and "What do you do?" Responding to them may prove far more difficult than it may first seem and a correct (i.e. appropriate) answer to each is essential to achieving radical innovation. The third question posed previously, "Why should I care?" creates an even greater challenge. Fortunately, a correct (i.e. appropriate) answer to that question will be revealed by carefully proceeding through the remaining 15 checkpoints.
It is truly remarkable how much substance and how many thought-provoking questions Neumeier provides within a narrative of less than 200 pages. With both rigor and eloquence, he explains how radical innovation can break through ever-increasing clutter in a competitive marketplace, whatever and wherever it may be. Special note should also be made of the book's production values. All of his core concepts, checklists, key points, observations, and recommendations are presented within a visually appealing context. The last time I checked, there are about 34,000 business books on the general subject of brands. Neumeier has written two of the most valuable among them. Bravo!
The author purposely made the book a short read and I appreciate it. It takes out a lot of extra useless information and retains exactly what is needed. Great examples, great references for further study and letting you, the reader know, that your business strategy needs to be sharp and focused like a sword.
There are concepts in this book for all businesses from established brands looking to innovate to businesses looking to grow and for the entrepreneur.
If your interested in learning more about brand identity and strategy, this is the perfect book as a starting point for all.