4 out of 4 stars
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Before reading Rebranding Branding by Darren Taylor and Mark Schreiber, I would have never considered a business’s “brand” as anything other than a logo and a current marketing scheme. However, Taylor and Schreiber – a brand consultant and professional novelist, respectively – make a strong case why branding is so much more than advertising, and why a company’s brand may be as important as its accountants.
Rebranding Branding is a business book that feels personal. While the book is written by both Taylor and Schreiber, I have to assume that the bulk of the content comes from Taylor, a co-founder of the branding/marketing agency Taylor & Grace. The book is written in first-person perspective, which lends to the informal, conversational tone that is conveyed. The personality of the writers is injected into the writing and their history with past clients is used as anecdotal evidence. This personal tone helps to prevent the book from ever becoming boring or tedious, which is no simple feat when discussing business tactics. I was entertained while reading, which made turning the pages quickly that much easier.
The book takes care to discuss what a brand conveys, the differences between branding and marketing, how to build a brand, and the consequences of not having a good brand. Australian tourism campaigns and the European Union are used as case studies to investigate how good or bad branding makes a difference, even beyond company sales, and there is a history lesson on the East India Trading Company. I found these case studies interesting – they really highlight how even global affairs can be dictated by brand strategy – and I enjoyed learning about the historical basis of modern corporations. Because of the far-reaching implications of branding, this book might be useful to a range of readers beyond business owners. For example, someone interested in taking control of their personal brand on the job market, or advertising a new club or group, etc.
The main criticism I have of Rebranding Branding is that at a certain point it becomes distasteful to dwell on sales figures and advertising to costumers. Our culture is already inundated with so many pervasive advertisements, do we need to encourage more? Of course, this book is primarily focused on business brands, so this is to be expected. However, I do like how the writers address this issue. They give credit to Marxist criticism of capitalist branding as manipulation. They cite the example that Chinese factory workers likely can’t afford the iPhones they build, and how branding is paid for by the overinflated price of the products. Other chapters of the book, though, build on how branding is more than advertising and selling products. Branding is the company attitude, or culture, which employees as well as customers must embrace.
I give Rebranding Branding by Darren Taylor and Mark Schreiber 4 out of 4 stars. I found no typos or grammar errors. The book as a whole had a very professional appearance, as far as editing goes. I thought that the graffiti-like graphics before each chapter were a little distracting and not relevant to the business themed subject matter, but this style does help to distinguish this book from other nonfictions business books (emphasizing the importance of creating a brand to stand out!).
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