Most people don't know it yet, but branding is dead.
Sure, we need to know about the stuff we want to buy, but the billions of dollars spent on logos, sponsorships, and jingles have little, if anything, to do with actual consumer behavior. For example:
-Dinosaur-headed execs in Microsoft ads didn't help sell software.
-Citibank's artsy "live richly" billboards didn't prompt a single new account.
-United Airlines' animated TV commercials didn't fill more seats on airplanes.
As branding guru Jonathan Baskin reveals, modern consumers are harder to find, more difficult to convince, and near-impossible to retain. They make decisions based on experience - so what matters isn't how creative, cool, or memorable the advertising is, but how companies can directly target consumer behavior.
Pretty pictures and funny taglines should be an after-thought: brands must target what consumers actually do. How companies affect behavior - whether via marketing communications, distribution strategies, or customer service - is how branding is being reborn. This book will be the essential guide to understanding and thriving on this new branding dynamic.
Branding expert Baskin plays the merry iconoclast in this witty guide that marshals the latest research and a good serving of common sense to debunk branding's many myths. The author's claim that branding is a waste of money is likely to be controversial, but his research is sound and persuasive: he covers the failure of the Gap's Red campaign, the useless Burger King mascot, why Starbucks' success has nothing to do with branding, and he revisits Coke and Pepsi's rivalry, which culminated in their multimillion-dollar dueling ads featuring Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera that had scant effect on sales. Baskin's understanding of consumer behavior is nuanced and sophisticated, as are his explanations for why branding myths have so perniciously persisted (he draws parallels between the longevity of outmoded marketing strategies and that of Ptolemy's geocentric concept of the universe). Baskin is impatient with the resources and energy poured into branding, and readers will be, too, when they realize how little it influences consumer choices and his well-reasoned, well-written book will garner him a wide and appreciative audience.