Book Review: The Truth About Creating Brands People Love

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: The Truth About Creating Brand People LoveCreating brands people love seems so easy, and yet creating brands people love requires more than simply love of a product and spectacularly creative advertising - it requires intelligent, strategic, and coordinated decisions in many areas of marketing. This is my review of The Truth About Creating Brands People Love by Brian Till and Donna Heckler.

Book Review: The Truth About Creating Brand People Love
"Creating brands people love seems so easy. Just look around at all the wonderful brands that we experience every day. Yet, creating brands people love requires more than simply love of a product and spectacularly creative advertising - it requires intelligent, strategic, and coordinated decisions in many areas of marketing. Packaging, promotion, advertising, positioning, distribution, and pricing are just some of the important functions that, when successfully managed, lead to profitable brands that matter to consumers."

Effective brand building is built on a foundation of principles and guidelines that run counter to our natural way of thinking. For example, building an effective brand requires not only understanding what a brand stands for, but what it doesn't stand for. Similarly, it means understanding not only who the brand is for, but who it isn't for. Such thinking is not natural as most companies want to believe that their brand appeals to everyone when in truth this is not the case. Grasping this very concept is the first step to building a successful brand that people will love.

In their book The Truth About Creating Brands People Love, authors Brian Till and Donna Heckler provide both practical and applicable branding advice, and do so while evaluating many of today's top companies across a wide range of industries. They offer concrete marketing strategies necessary for creating a sustainable brand.

Till and Heckler are leaders in brand marketing. Till is a Professor of Marketing at Saint Louis University and Heckler is the Lead Brand Strategist for Monsanto. Together, they make the perfect team. I first learned about their book through Amazon. I am continually researching and buying design and marketing related books and this happened to be one that Amazon recommended. Normally, I'm hesitant towards Amazon's recommendations, but upon further review I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

Book Review

Learning about and implementing brand strategies are among my absolute favorite tasks as a website design and marketing professional. Branding is a topic that has always captivated me. It's the simple idea of a company's perceived value being, at times, greater than its actual value that interests me. Or, that reputation can have more influencing power than price. Or, that consumers can become so passionate about a brand that they'll happily defend it at the drop of a hat.

The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is a decent read with respect to brand marketing. The book acts as toolbox for ideas, strategies, and techniques that can be used to transform a great product or company into a profitable brand people will love. Till and Heckler provide real life examples of how today's big brands have benefited from these very concepts, and even go on to mention how some brands have even been hurt by not doing so.

The very purpose of this book is to illustrate universal truths about brand management. These truths transcend context and provide highly important insights to any and all industries. In other words, the lessons learned in this book are as relevant to a marketing manager for a steel producer as for a cereal maker; as meaningful to a brand manager for coffee machines as for a ski resort; as useful to someone running an art gallery as to someone managing a high-end hotel.

My only complaint, if you want to call it that, is that a few of the later strategies/chapters get somewhat repetitive with those of earlier ones. In fact, I'd say that the book could have been trimmed down to maybe 45 chapters or so, instead of 51. However, this my opinion, and you might not agree.

Overall, at 224 pages, it's a fairly short read, and held my attention which can't be said for many other books in this category. The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is full of proven strategies that that brand managers and even small businesses can use to create a product or company brand that is worth loving. I'd certainly recommend this book to anyone tasked with creating strong brands and/or managing them effectively over the long-run.

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