As a marketing consultant, I’ve been asked quite a few times, “Well, what is a brand? What is branding?”
If you’re not sure what it is or you need to spiff up your branding efforts, have I got a book for you! Read Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles that Drive Success, by David Aaker, vice chairman of Prophet, author of six books on branding and a man who some call the “Father of Modern Branding.”
His 20 principles are very easy to digest and after reading through them, you’ll understand why branding is so important and how to improve your own branding efforts. Aaker splits the 20 principles into five sections:
- Recognize that brands are assets.
- Have a compelling brand vision.
- Bring the brand to life.
- Maintain relevance.
- Manage your brand portfolio.
You could easily skim through and find what you need, but if you’re a novice at branding, read it straight through.
Having experience building brands for companies (not that I have Aaker’s depth and breadth of experience), I can attest that pretty much all of what he’s saying rings true. Some of the examples were a bit lackluster and I did disagree on a few minor points. But the book is definitely worth the read, whether you’re experienced or not.
As a writer and editor, I was put off by the number of mistakes in the book — proofreading errors and on page 180, Aaker contrasts the yellow of DeWalt tools with the “green” of Black & Decker — a brand known for its orange and black. But for the most part, his examples do a good job of demonstrating the principles and the points he’s trying to make.
Aaker on Branding is a great book of the basics and offers terrific reminders to brand strategists and marketers to apply to their daily work.
If you have a book on branding or marketing you’d like to recommend, please add it to the comments below. Thanks!