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Customer Review

on February 10, 2013
This book feels like a rough draft, not quite polished enough for a final edition in Amazon. The content is good and delivers what it promises (good information about branding and story telling), but the book suffers from a few problems.

First of all the writing style is hard to read. I sometimes had to read a sentence 3 times to understand what he was trying to say. It was caused by the words he used and the way he used them. It made for slow reading.

The second problem is the bad artwork. Seriously it looks like real cheesy clip-art from 1995. I found it very distracting to the content. I would turn the page and see the artwork and immediately get distracted by the strange and childish artwork on the page. It made it hard to take the content seriously. I found it strange that a book about "branding" had such terrible artwork that doesn't match the nature of the content. The book content is a subject for leaders of companies, but it was loaded with childish artwork. The "branding" of the book itself needs an overhaul. How could the publishers let that one slip?

I was going to give it a 4, but as I got toward the end of the book, I let it slip to a 3 out of frustration. One confusing thing is early in the book he says the core values of a company are something the company decides by themselves. It's what the company believes in and stands for. It is not determined by the marketing department or talking to customers. Then later in the book, he gives an example of doing story-branding for a fictitious laundry detergent, and he gives 3 core-value possibilities and says you should do long surveys on customers to find out which one matches the customer's inner core values the most. Huh? Well which one is it? Why would you do customer surveys on the core branding of a company if it's something that the company is all about? This is an example of the frustration I had with this book.

I may have misunderstood something in the book, but this goes back to the confusing writing style which was my first problem with the book. I have been reading this book carefully, taking notes, and seeing how I can apply it to my business. I'm not just glossing over the chapters. A better writing style would certainly help get his ideas across to the reader.

EDIT: After thinking it over I may have been a little harsh on my criticism of the writing style. It's not as bad as I was thinking. The only trouble I had with the book (other than the distracting artwork) was about the archetypes and how they apply to a product not a company. I decided to just not worry about that part of the book.

My purpose for reading the book was to understand branding and how a company can tell a story with it's branding. I didn't learn so much about the story-telling part because the archetypes confuse me, but I did learn what branding was and how it's the transfer of what the company believes in, not just pushing a logo with advertising. I was able to come up with some great branding for our small business.
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