Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brand Warfare: 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand

Brand Warfare: 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand
Author: David F. D'Alessandro with Michelle Owens
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 007-139850-3

The Big Deal

Author D'Alessandro observes that American corporations treat brand decisions as mere questions of advertising. However, as the corporation's every decision reflects on the brand, the brand should be the primary consideration for every corporate decision.

The reason this is not happening is that corporations are full of people who think it's their job to keep the brand down; this includes financial types who resent every dollar spent on brand-building, lawyers who slow down the company's crisis response due to concerns over short-term liabilities and clerks who allow scandls to brew because they don't see the point in reporting suspicious things they uncover.

Thus, asserts D'Alessandro, brand builders are faced with two simultaneous battles: externally, with competing brands, and internally, with the obstacles presented by other entities in the organization. To equip brand builders to do battle on both fronts, D'Alessandro provides 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand:

  1. It's the Brand, Stupid.
  2. Codependency can be beautiful - Consumers need good brands as much as good brands need them.
  3. A great brand message is like a bucking Bronco - once you get on, don't let go.
  4. If you want great advertising, be prepared to fight for it.
  5. When it comes to sponsorships, there's a sucker born every 30 seconds.
  6. Do not confuse sponsorship with a spectator sport.
  7. Do not allow scandal to destroy in 30 days a brand took 100 years to build.
  8. Make your disributors slaves to your brand.
  9. Use your brand to lead your people to the promised land
  10. Ultimately, the brand is he CEO's responsibility - and everyone else's too.

Why Read It?

The 10 Rules provide a concise guide for newbie marketers or even veterans who seek a fresh perspective of their work. D'Alessandro draws upon his experiences in the marketing field and provides real-life examples to illustrate these rules, guiding his readers on a highly informative yet entertaining journey into the world of brand building. His rules are common-sense: strive for brand consistency, communicate the right message to your consumers, act quickly during times of crisis. get the best people to work for you, etc. He drives these points home with insightful anecdotes and observations.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
(How to be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace)
Authors: Al Ries and Jack Trout
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-137358-6

The Big Deal

In author Jack Trout's preface to the book, he describes positioning a being all about "understanding the psychology of the mind and how you can manipulate perceptions to make whatever you're selling more attractive." Given that today's consumers are overly exposed to marketing messages and have therefore developed ways to tune them out, positioning provides a way to break through the clutter and own a spot in the consumers' mind.

Why Read It?

This book is considered a classic for a reason. It makes a revolutionary (at the time it was published) assertion that in developing marketing communications, one should not focus on the product but on the consumer, particularly, the place the product holds in the consumer's mind. Prior to the introduction of this concept, marketers tend to have unrealistic expectations of their marketing communications. For example, marketers used to set out to "educate the market" on a particular product, ignoring the fact that the human mind rejects information that does not match its prior experience. So communications touting that one's product is "the best" will only be ignored by the consumer's whose experience with the product does not match what the communications say. Now, two decades after its first publication, the book's premise is still being studied and has graduated from a buzzword to becoming an established rule.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Introduction to Doodler Reviews

What can I say? I love books, even ones on business. Whether I read them for additional knowledge or entertainment, I find myself scouring bookstore shelves whenever I have time or money.

I've amassed quite a collection. The problem is that sometime after reading these books, I find myself struggling to remember salient points.

I've heard that writing about something helps you in understanding and remembering it better. So when I was thinking of starting a new blog, I decided to dedicate it to business book reviews. It's my way of organizing my thoughts and impressions about these books. Plus, friends or random visitors thinking of buying these books will have an additional opinion (my humble one) to guide their decision.