After reading Big Magic focusing on my creative side I thought it would be great to get my head back into marketing. One of my favourite parts of marketing is branding so I thought Brand Management In A Week would be worth a read.
Brand Management In A Week: How To Be A Successful Brand Manager In Seven Simple Steps suggests that you can “lean in a week, what the experts learn in a lifetime”.
The book is broken down into the following chapters:
- Determine your brand strategy
- Define your brand strategy
- Express your brand through its identity
- Evolve your brand culture
- Build your employer brand
- The importance of design
- Sustaining the brand
Every company in the world needs to consider it’s brand. “It’s impossible to avoid creating a brand; people will make up their mind about you one way or another”. A company needs to take an active role to ensure customers are being promoted the correct brand image. Branding is important and benefits a company with differentiation, connecting with people and adding value.
Right at the beginning the book addresses the idea that a brand is a logo. Paul and Julia state that “The logo is not the brand; it is a signpost to the brand experience”.
Storytelling is a major part of branding and the book discusses the “12 brand archetypes”, which form the bases for all stories. These archetypes are: the transformer, the rule breaker, the fun maker, the romantic, the friend, the homemaker, the leader, the craftsman, the optimist, the expert, the challenger, the adventurer.
When creating a brand strategy, you need to include the following
- Mission Statement
Then when creating the brand identity you need to consider
One thing I had never considered is tp apply all of the sense to a brand. The idea is to identify how a brand would look, feel, sound, taste and smell. So often the focus is predominately on the look and sound may be considered whilst thinking about the tone of voice. But I have never considered how a brand would feel, taste and smell.
Once a brand is creating a company needs to ensure that the brand is rolled-out and maintained. A brand lives through brand champions; brand ambassadors and employees.
The book discusses how design should not be an add on as it’s “success depends on its involvement from the beginning”.
Once a brand is up and running, you have to sustain a brand. Part of this will involve how the brand guardian is able to provide guidelines for all of those who are producing materials for a customer touchpoint. Again, there is another list to show you what should be included in a brand book.
Often when thinking about branding the focus is on how (potential) customers will see a brand. Whereas, the book also discusses “the employer brand proposition”. This is how the brand is perceived by potential employees. The book suggests that “the employer brand proposition is the main point of different between your employer brand and other businesses competing for the same candidates in the jobs market”. Therefore, as a brand manager you need to consider how the brand is being projected as a provider and an employer.
OVERALL, the book is filled with list and checklists. There is a fast-check section at the end of every chapter. The problem with a book that attempts you teach you EVERYTHING in a week is that it just skims the surface. After reading this book you would have the building blocks for managing a brand, but it would take a very confident individual to then go and say they could manage a brand. Especially as this book discusses branding in relation to large companies. At that level the amount you need to thoroughly understand branding is even more important, so seems odd that they were pitching it at that level. I particularly thought the conversation around employer brand was aimed at the larger companies.