Best. Business book. Evar! (apologies for 5-years-out-of-date Internet joke)
Scott Bedbury built two of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world during the late 80s and throughout the 90s – Nike (he was part of the “Just Do It,” team) and Starbucks (during its late 90s golden age), and this book gets into the down and dirty of how he helped build these brands, and goes into great detail about why branding works in general, why these particular brands work so well, and how to apply these principals to other businesses.
It confirmed and systemitized my own instincts regarding what a brand is, how and why they work, and why even the smallest businesses should pay attention to them. It’s organized into 8 principals, and while I generally think how-to books (business books in general) are mind-numbingly dull, Bedbury (or his ghost writer) crafted an engaging book.
Timeless principles, quaint references.
The book is a decade old now and occasionally shows its age (in the intro he talks about how forward-thinking Visor/Handspring is). But despite the odd lapse into quaintness, the book returns to several themes repeatedly that are just as pertinent today as ever. These themes helped solidify my own thinking about the uses, value, and techniques of branding moving forward.
- The need for brands to be agile in the 21st century
- Consistency and the idea that your brand encompasses every aspect of your business
- The related ideas that your brand can and should evolve into the organizing principal of your business, and that “awareness,” is only the beginning when it comes to building a brand with gravitas and longevity
- Commodities vs. Premiums and why you would want your product to be viewed as one or the other
Liveblogging the Brandpocolypse!
So here’s how this is gonna go. I’m re-reading this book after almost 10 years, and you, Dear Reader, will be playing along at home as I summarize, analyze, and snarkify. Yes I’m liveblogging. If I was really hip, I’d be liveTweeting or liveTumbling, or something even more nonsensical, but instead, we’ll be using ye olde fashioned blogging technology.
Have you read this? Did you love it? hate it?