Top critical review
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Hard work and verbose (experienced professionals should know much of the content)
on 13 January 2014
I'm going to get one gripe off my chest at the top of this review - with the exception of a couple of people, the others that have reviewed this book (and who have given it 5 stars) have not reviewed any other products on Amazon.
With that said, I was looking forward to this book, especially as my employer had paid the best part of thirty quid for it and it had such stellar reviews. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I'm not questioning the experience of the author, who (certainly on paper) has abundance of it in the field of B2B branding. But the alarm bells started ringing after reading the 'About the author', 'Introduction' and 'Foreward'. It become very evident over the course of these initial few pages that this was going to be a long-winded book with the author (and/or his publisher) adopting a 'chummy' and 'chat in the pub' style. This works well in small doses, but over the course of 220+ pages, it's tedious and numbing. From the outset, his friend and book endorser says the author has a certain way with words and people - he can wind people and be very direct. And that personality came through in the book.
You can get away with it to an extent if the content of the book keeps readers hooked, but for me this book lacked not only structure (it wildly swings from logos, employee buy in, taglines to social media and brand execution), but any coherent takeaways. In a way, it's targeted more at people who are starting a B2B brand from scratch - for experienced professionals who work in established B2B organisations, I don't believe this book offers anything you won't already know. Adding a tagline or changing a logo is very easy to say in a book, but the reality is much much harder, if not impossible. The inertia of some (many?) brands, regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C, knows no bounds. But the book doesn't cover this.
The overall issue I had with the book was it tries to cover too much without going into any details on creating and sustaining a B2B brand. It's mostly a lot of filler with a lot of "I did this" and "I did that" from the author. If you're looking to create or develop your brand, then I'd recommend the excellent Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team.
At +20 quid, Creative B2B Branding is an expensive and laborious read.