August 01, 2004
...for this kind review of our book Beyond-Branding
Beyond Compare… Edited by Nicholas Ind, this superb book features contributions from Sicco Van Gelder, Simon Anholt and Thomas Gad to name but a few. What unites them all is a common purpose – greater brand transparency and integrity.
With major corporate scandals and easier access to information, the public are more informed and unhappy about the power global brands wield and the way they operate than ever before. This has manifested itself in the high-profile anti-capitalist movement and boycotts of companies deemed to be operating unethically. The contributors believe that mistrust of corporate power will only intensify, causing enormous damage to individual brand reputations and brand promises everywhere. They call for brands to move beyond the narrow and short-term approach of meeting immediate shareholder demands, and move towards an approach that meets the needs of all stakeholders.
‘If branding is to have continued relevance it needs to have a wider social and economic perspective beyond the needs of individual companies and their products and services. It needs to be based on trust, value, openness and integrity. It needs to meet and fulfil the needs, wants and aspirations of people and organisations. It needs to do what it says on its tin and be completely transparent about how it is achieved. To do so the businesses, organisations and governments that create and promote brands need to operate in a new way, based on transparency of operation, the creation of trust and authenticity of purpose and delivery.’
The various authors each tackle a different aspect of brands and branding. Together they cover the importance of a human focus; brand authenticity; the role of leaders in defining and delivering the brand; the value of employee-led engagement; new approaches to valuing intangible assets; moving from seller-centric to buyer-centric marketing; creating brands through customer collaboration; and the meaning of brand sustainability.
The result is an absorbing book that really gets to grips with the challenges brands face today. Although written by different authors, the chapters sit coherently with one another, and the reader benefits from the different yet not divergent views expressed. Altogether the contributors deliver a powerful argument for brands to transform themselves and the world in which we live.
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