I just finished BrandSimple by Allen P. Adamson and I thought it was a fairly valuable read. The thesis is really simple. To create a strong brand you must find a simple idea that is differentiated and relevant. You then build the brand by focusing on specific points in the customer journey, and craft the brand interactions to send signals that will shape the perceptions of the consumer.
The weak parts of the book were that some of the ideas seemed too simple or obvious, and it was repetitive at times. I loved the analogy which compared the mind to a computer desktop and brands to computer files. The more associations and images you have of the brand, the larger the file appears when you click on it. The brand must say something relevant and meaningful to get you to save as.
The coolest thing I learned was that all the pencils at BP are made out of recycled plastic coffe cups, which I didn’t know was possible. Overall it is a good book to read if you are interested in the fundamentals of building a brand.
Here are my key takeaways from the book:
-Knowledge of a brand rather than awareness provides a better indicator of brand strength.
-A strong brand has high levels of differentiation and relevance.
-The first step is to make sure begin with a genuinely different and relevant idea that people care about.
-Branding signals should be in sync with the brand idea and business strategy.
-The lightning fast speed Google turns up the answer to your query is a brand signal.
-80 percent of advertising fails before pen is put to paper because it’s not based on a powerful idea- Martin Puris
-Look for unacceptable practices that people have come to accept without thinking.
-Look for profound truths in very ordinary things like Jerry Seinfield.
-When pitching to a client it is critical you demonstrate you understand their business and their core audience.
-Good positioning is the art of sacrifice.
-Black and Decker tools lost credibility with their contractor market because they didn’t want to be using power tools that carried the same name as their kid’s toaster.
-Nothing kills a brand faster than not delivering on your promise.
-Engage your employees to understand the brand idea so they are trained to make brand decisions that will send the desired brand signals.
-Stay in touch with your primary users.
-Everything about a product sends brand signals to consumers. The advertising, the packaging, the customer service, the design, all communicate a message to the consumer.
-Power signals are expressions that shape how people see and experience your brand.
-Draw a map of the customer journey and identify points to create powerful signals.
-The brand driver is the essence of the idea that drives your brand.
-Differentiation and relevance are more important than awareness.