Thousands of companies now recognize that brand names are their most valuable assets, but too often branding is merely a tactical decision, almost an afterthought. In this thought-provoking work, Jean-Noel Kapferer, an international authority on brand management and marketing, provides the most comprehensive model for strategic brand management to date. With hundreds of examples and case studies of brands throughout the world, Kapferer deals with the very essence and culture of branding and provides an overall philosophy for every aspect of brand management.
At the heart of the book is Kapferer's concept of the brand as a pyramid with three levels: the apex is the "kernel" or core identity; the middle is the style or personality; and at the bases are the underlying themes and advertising programs. A brand, Kapferer argues, is not a product, but the product's essence, its meaning, and its direction. Strategic brand management starts with a holistic understanding of this "gestalt" rather than its component parts: the brand name, logo, design or packaging, and image. This "gestalt" must be "managed," not just in marketing, but throughout the entire company.
The most successful brand managers, Kapferer explains, search for new opportunities and new markets through the explosive phenomenon of global branding. Kapferer takes the reader through a comprehensive list of benefits, dangers, and pitfalls, and also step-by-step through each of the globalization phases -- from name transitions to maintaining consistency. He describes the conditions under which global branding works best, and the appropriateness of a multi-domestic marketing mix as opposed to a global mix. He also dealswith the corporate barriers to having global brands and the structural changes that corporations may have to undergo if they are to fully maximize the benefits of global branding. This hook, already a standard reference in Europe, brings branding in the U.S. into the 1990s.