In one of the most original books of its kind ever written, Patrick Hanlon explains how the most powerful brands create a community of believers around the brand, revealing the seven components that will help every company and marketer capture the public imagination -- and seize a bigger slice of the pie.
What is the magic glue that adheres consumers to Google, Mini Cooper, and Oprah, but not to others? Why do many brands with great product innovation, perfect locations, terrific customer experiences, even breakthrough advertising fail to get the same visceral traction in the marketplace that brands like Apple, Starbucks, or Nike have? After years of working with famous brands like Absolut, Ford Motor Company, LEGO, Disney, Montblanc, Sara Lee, and others, Patrick Hanlon, senior advertising executive and founder of Thinktopia, decided to find the answers. His search revealed seven definable assets that together construct the belief system that lies behind every successful brand, whether it's a product, service, city, personality, social cause, or movement.
In Primal branding, Hanlon explores those seven components, known as the primal code, and shows how to use and combine them to create a community of believers in which the consumer develops a powerful emotional attachment to the brand. These techniques work for everyone involved in creating and selling an image -- from marketing managers to social advocates to business leaders seeking to increase customer preference for new or existing products. Primal branding presents a world of new possibility for everyone trying to spark public appeal -- and the opportunity to move from being just another product on the shelf to becoming a desired and necessary part of the culture.
Positing that "a brand is a belief system," Hanlon, founder and CEO of "primal branding" company Thinktopia, throws a reverse spin on the 12-step addiction recovery program to trumpet his 7 steps (called "key factors") to inspire consumer addiction. His formula has vaguely mythic qualities: successful brands, he argues, come with a creation story, a creed, rituals, icons, sacred words, non-believers and a leader who's overcome stiff opposition. The similarities to religion (Hanlon prefers "culture of belief") will pique the thoughtful reader, but Hanlon's recounting of familiar business success stories (UPS's story, Lou Gerstner's turnaround of IBM) seems at odds with a book blurbed as "not the same old branding B.S." Though much of the book is the simple recasting of age-old branding tenets (Hanlon's "creed" is interchangeable with "slogan"; "icon" with "logo"), Hanlon's energetic case for thinking differently about common practices makes for a rousing read.
Just do it! Give it a read
Very engaging read, good for inspiration when you’re starting a new venture or project especially when it’s something close to the heart.