Brand Harmony by Steve Yastrow
To most marketers, branding can mean anything from the look of the company's logo to recruiting distributors.
The problem in understanding branding comes from trying to use one word -- branding -- for several different, but overlapping, aspects of marketing:
- Brand image - Corporate logo and related graphic design elements
- Branding message - Positioning statement and related messaging such as value proposition and unique sales proposition
- Brand management - Merchandising the product through distribution channels using sales promotion techniques to push the product into the channel and pull the product through the channel
While each of these is a part of the overall branding effort, none of them completely explain what branding is or, more importantly, how a company can benefit from a comprehensive brand strategy.
If you've asked yourself, "Just what is branding?" then this book is for you.
Fortunately, Steve Yastrow has come along with an excellent "must have" book that clearly explains what branding is -- and what branding is not.
In Brand Harmony Steve looks at branding as the "brand experience" of the customer. By showing how customers develop an impression of a company, he shows that it is the customer who decides what a company's brand stands for, not the marketer.
But Brand Harmony is more than an explanation of the strategy of branding. This book includes nine specific Brand Harmony implementation steps. As Seth Godin says about Brand Harmony:
Memo to the CEO: If your marketing person won't spend the time to do the exercises in this wonderful book, it's time to replace her.
What also separates Steve's view of branding from those of other marketing consultants is that Steve is also concerned with how employees project the company's brand, too. He devotes an entire chapter to the "Be The Brand" concept popularized by his colleague Tom Peters.
Whatever your role in your company's marketing process, Brand Harmony will provide the guidance and direction needed to develop a consistent and comprehensive brand strategy.
Cliff Allen is the co-author of the book One-to-One Web Marketing; 2nd Ed., published by John Wiley & Sons, and has consulted with companies on strategic marketing for 20 years.