analyticalQ book reviews
Review by Ian Ferguson-Brown,
managing director of BrandBand.Com
published in 2000 when the Internet still seemed so new and different to all the
other normal rules of business, Rob Frankel's book targets principally web site
and brand building virgins.
Rob, who modestly claims to be the most widely
read branding expert on the planet, not only successfully sells and brands his
own consultancy throughout the book but does for the most part succeed in his
simple conversational tone to help his readers go beyond the wishful throwing
of a logo onto a site to a rather more sophisticated yet practical approach to
He falls down in a couple of areas--the excuse for the book is
the premise that somehow the Internet has changed media for ever by giving power
to the masses and more critically that brand building is somehow different on
the net to any other media.
As with all new media, this may have had brief
validation in the first months of consumer fascination with the medium and certainly
ad agencies and others with great TV brand building skills failed dismally to
However branding is needed because consumers everywhere have a choice,
emotional and practical, and the same skill set to influence that choice is needed
everywhere whether it be in a supermarket with 70000 items, a week's TV viewing
of 2000 ads or just one magazine with 70 ads or editorials in it. The numbers
on the internet and method of selection changes nothing.
therefore needs to be so consistent that no matter where and how you hear, see
or interact you get the same message.
Rob argues (and even trademarks)
the fact that "branding is not about getting your prospects to choose
you over your competition: its about getting your prospects to see you as the
only solution to their problem."
Few would argue with that though
it's hardly news but a brand's relevance changes over time -- these days, over
A brand needs a core value which differentiates and makes it relevant
long term and then very often an ever evolving reason why or proof that makes
it the only solution to your current problem.
Seems like a detail but it's
making that ever changing current reason to buy consistent with core brand values
that seems beyond most marketers, be they the branding virgins that Rob addresses
so well in The Revenge of Brand X or the multinational clients and agencies that
he enjoyably lambasts throughout (despite his own origins in the same companies).