My Amazon Review
While this review is not stellar, I DID find some excellent nuggets of information in this book. Still a worthwhile read or reference.
The Babble Continues
Authors Schultz and Schultz start with a solid premise: making sense of the cacophony in the marketplace regarding branding. And while they do a reasonable job of outlining some of branding’s ills and shining a light on branding’s charlatans and self-proclaimed gurus, I found Brand Babble strangely unsatisfying. With a few exceptions, the authors left me hanging by explaining all that is wrong with current brand-think but failing to provide alternative answers or solutions to all the babbling. That said, I was able to extract a dozen or so nuggets of fresh thinking from the work, so it certainly wasn’t a total loss.
Brand Babble: Sense and Nonsense about Branding is about both the "good news" and the "bad news" of branding. And, it’s vitally important to the success of your business. As long-time branding authors, educators, and investigators, the Schultz’s explode an array of myths that have been passing and passed on as "branding wisdom." They show that a brand will not rescue a flawed business concept, is not owned by one group or individual, nor does it depend on "media-by-the-ton" spending. The authors show how every successful brand is the sum of relationships between buyer and seller and explain how marketers best communicate with their customers through an integrated approach that reflects the nature of that relationship. Those approaches sets the stage for value-based branding that delivers the best value proposition to customers and increases the bottom-line, financial value of the brand to the organization and its owners and shareholders. That, today, is the "currency" of value-based branding. Getting to it is merely a matter of cutting through all the Brand Babble, all the nonsense about brands and branding that is posing as new marketing insight. This book will be the essential ingredient in more insightful, easier, and, most important, more profitable branding work for both your company and your customers.
Don and Heidi have done it again. Here, they deploy all of their worldly wisdom and communication skills in making branding accessible. Practitioners and students will be grateful for their robust approach to a subject that needs to be understood by everyone in business.
Finally, a book that points out all of the gibberish being spouted about branding. The Schultzes are candid and insightful, but also entertaining, in clearing the air on this topic. Anyone involved in brand-building should read their book now--before investing another nickel on anything else about branding.
Another great book by Don & Heidi Schultz, which cuts through the ‘brand babble’ and gets straight to the point. Interesting, insightful and full of useful analogies. A goldmine of helpful information and a must for all marketers bookshelves.
Brand Babble is another Don Schultz straight-talking, no-nonsense piece that brilliantly cuts through advertising hype to reveal the common sense of branding. It’s full of great examples and solid business propositions. It will ruffle a few feathers as it logically demonstrates that brands must have a meaningful value proposition. If you want to understand brand building, you have to read this book.
Don and Heidi have done a masterful job of cutting through all the clutter and noise to give us a thoughtful, pragmatic and user-friendly look at the branding world as it exists today and--more importantly--how it should look tomorrow.
My Notes From Brand Babble
The people delivering the brand experience—the front-line (non-brand-trained) employees—are the ones that can make the biggest difference to your brand. They are the ones driving sales and profits in your small business. These folks bring the brand to life—anthropomorphize the brand by adding their experiences and commitment to the brand, shaping it and delivering it directly to your customers. So it’s not so much about how “creative” your advertising is, or how charismatic the CEO is. It’s about giving your brand character and personality through the experience your employees—the ones that serve your customers every day—that give your brand that distinctive quality.
“Brands are things marketing organizations [that’s your small business] use to try and make more money. Brands are investments for sure. But they need to pay some returns to the owners. Creating nifty, complex, complicated advertising concepts generally doesn’t make any money for anyone other than the babbler.”
Branding is not a business model or a business plan. “Brands can only build relationships with people who have a need for the basic value proposition the brand offers. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking branding is the solution to all your business problems. It isn’t.”
“Today, brands must stand for something—something inherently relevant and compelling to the customer. Not something borrowed or stolen from a competitor. Not something that registers just because it jars or violates sensitivities or damages the ear drum. Brands must stand for something and that something must be something that will endure, not just fly high and then crash with a thud.”
“Brand messages must be incredibly short. Incredibly clear. Incredibly easy to understand.” Altoids: curiously strong. Evian: mountains and clear, sparking water. Make sure your product can back up your value proposition. If Altoids tasted like Tic-Tacs, their promise of “curiously strong” will fall short.
Three questions to ask yourself to make sure your marketing and communications efforts are brand-driven—not just “creative.”
Reputation + Trust = Brand Loyalty
“Integrated marketing communications or IMC is the concept of developing a sound, consistent, customer-focused brand strategy and then implementing that strategy with consistent, coordinated, customer-focused marketing communications activities. Not just advertising. Not just PR. Not just interactive or on line. A total, complete approach to building relationships with customers and prospects across all possible points of relevant brand contact.”
The sum is definitely greater than the parts.
Brand definition: “The brand is nothing more than an ongoing relationship in which a customer exchanges financial value with the marketing organization [your small business] for the use of the benefits the brand provides.”
How a brand can make money (ROI) for your small business: