A New Brand World
Having headed the advertising and marketing divisions at Starbucks and Nike, Scott Bedbury has had a major hand in shaping two superbrands. In A New Brand World, Bedbury draws from his extensive experience providing practical advice and sage wisdom in how to develop brands to their full potential and build lasting value.
Included within the eight principles are how to define and protect your own brand's DNA, how to establish lasting emotional ties with your customers that transcend your product or service, how to become a protagonist for something timeless and valuable, and how to make your brand values pervasive in your organisation. The book is peppered with anecdotes from his time with Nike and Starbucks, illustrating with authenticity the challenges of building brands. He also shares his observations of other notable brands, analysing why some brands succeed where others fail.
The authors personable writing style makes this an exceptionally easy-to-digest guide to branding. The book should resonate with real-world brand builders in that it presents both the complexity and perplexing nature of branding and at the same time attempts to demystify it with an authorative and common-sense approach. It demonstrates building great brands isn't easy, but it proves it can be done - by one who knows.
Buy this book.
Following review by Kristen Jacks
If books like "Winning Marketing Strategies" have you stuck in the narrow debate of best practices and techniques, then Scott Bedbury's "A New Brand World" is your opportunity to join a higher and more satisfying discussion. What are the abiding principles that produce powerful brands?
In his first book since engineering the enviable brand strength of Nike and Starbucks, Bedbury challenges all of us to get out of the tactics ghetto and think deeper. Having seen the promised land - a world where two commodities (sneakers and coffee) could be turned into meaningful, differentiated and top-selling products - Bedbury wants us to join him there.
And you'll want to join him. Bedbury's lively and passionate account of brand building at Nike and Starbucks is the perfect antidote to budget meetings, performance reviews, status reports or any of the myriad corporate activities that put even the best marketer in a funk.
Yet be forewarned. Bedbury's enthusiasm and hilarious anecdotes are sugar used to mask the potent medicine he wants you to take. That medicine is nothing less than Bedbury's demand that we all conduct our craft with more dignity, seriousness, long-view thinking and sensitivity. Though sub-titled "8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century," none of Bedbury's "principles" are of the quick-fix variety, and adherence to some may be impossible if your company does not support brand stewardship.
For example, Bedbury's 5th principle is "everything matters." Since brands are sponges for content, images and feelings, marketers must "chaperone" their brand wherever it goes and dress it before it leaves the house (i.e., the 7th principle: "All brands need good parents").
Such exhortations are bad news for marketers in companies where the marketing department is just one silo expected to operate independent of other critical silos like customer service, new product development and sales.
Still, be assured that "A New Brand World" is a compelling and relevant read. Bedbury adeptly addresses all of the threats leading to "product parity," and tells us how to build relationships with customers that result in brand resilience. In an economy where almost every investor will endure a bad experience when her year-end statement arrives, brand resilience is the difference between a customer thinking "I need to be in bonds" versus "I need to be at a different investment company."
Finally, Bedbury's book is a solid rebuttal to Al Ries' "The Fall of Advertising and Rise of PR." Both books comment on the same phenomenon - the astronomical ad spending by dot.coms during the boom -- yet arrive at different conclusions. While Ries argues that so many ad dollars yielding so anemic a result means that advertising is ineffective, Bedbury simply points out that no amount of advertising can build or save a shallow brand. Advertising is the megaphone, not the message.
Reviewed by Kristen Jacks, 34, president of Bank Street Marketing, an ad sales marketing firm that specializes in helping consumer magazines win financial services advertising. Prior to launching Bank Street Marketing, Ms. Jacks was the marketing director of Mutual Funds Magazine and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Ms. Jacks began her career at U.S. News & World Report where she held a variety of new business development positions including general manager of the magazine's television production unit. She has a B.A. degree in psychology from Duke University.