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The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design : a Whiteboard Overview (Aiga Design Press) Paperback – 4 Aug 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (4 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321348109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321348104
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“The surprise book of the year!”
JOHN MOORE, EDITOR AT FAST COMPANY

“The first book on brand that seems fresh and relevant.”
RIC GREFE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AIGA, THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR DESIGN

“A pleasure to read. THE BRAND GAP consistently provides deep, practical advice in a light, visual way. Learn about the power of imagery and the role of research in building a heavy-duty brand—without the heavy-duty reading.”
DAVID A. AAKER, AUTHOR OF BRAND PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND BUILDING STRONG BRANDS

“Finally, a book that cuts to the heart of what brand is all about—connecting the rational and the emotional, the theoretical and the practical, the logical and the magical to create a sustainable competitive advantage.” —SUSAN ROCKRISE, WORLDWIDE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, INTEL
 
“A well-managed brand is the lifeblood of any successful company. Read this book before your competitors do!” —TOM KELLEY, GENERAL MANAGER, IDEO, AND CO-AUTHOR OFTHE ART OF INNOVATION

“In THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier reminds us that the ultimate moment of truth for all brands is the customer experience. Customer perceptions trump our own perceptions.”
KURT KUEHN, SENIOR VP OF WORLDWIDE MARKETING AND SALES, UPS

“This is not just another book on brand. This is the ONLY book you’ll need to read in business, engineering, and design school.”
CLEMENT MOK, design entrepreneur

“Must-reading for anyone who wants to understand how their business strategy will succeed or fail when put to the ultimate test: ‘Do customers perceive a difference that’s desirable?’”
STEVE HARRINGTON, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AND OPERATIONS, HEWLETT-PACKARD

“The book slices like a hot knife through all the turgid, pseudo-academic nonsense that surrounds branding. It’s now on the course list for my graduate students, and new members of my team at Ogilvy get a copy with their training materials.”
BRIAN COLLINS, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, OGILVY

From the Back Cover

THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building.  Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a “charismatic brand”—a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. In an entertaining two-hour read you’ll learn:

• the new definition of brand
• the five essential disciplines of brand-building
• how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
• the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
• why collaboration is the key to brand-building
• how design determines a customer’s experience
• how to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
• the importance of managing brands from the inside
• 220-word brand glossary

From the back cover:
Not since McLuhan’s THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE has a book compressed so many ideas into so few pages. Using the visual language of the boardroom, Neumeier presents the first unified theory of branding—a set of five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand strategy and customer experience. Those with a grasp of branding will be inspired by the new perspectives they find here, and those who would like to understand it better will suddenly “get it.” This deceptively simple book offers everyone in the company access to “the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet.”

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an expanded edition of a book first published in 2003. In it, Neumeier develops in greater depth several basic ideas about how to bridge a gap between business strategy and design. My own experience suggests that on occasion, there may be a conflict or misalignment rather than a "gap" Or the business strategy is inappropriate. Or the design concepts are wrong-headed. Or the execution fails. Whatever, Neumeier correctly notes that "A lot of people talk about it. Yet very few people understand it. Even fewer know how to manage it. Still, everyone wants it. What is it? Branding. of course -- arguably the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet." What Neumeier offers is a "30,000-foot view of brand: what it is (and isn't), why it works (and doesn't), and most importantly, how to bridge the gap between logic and magic to build a sustainable competitive advantage." Of course, that assumes that both logic and magic are present and combined...or at least within close proximity of each other.
As others have already indicated, Neumeier provides a primer ("the least amount of information necessary") rather than a textbook. His coverage is not definitive, nor intended to be. He has a crisp writing style, complemented by "the shorthand of the conference room" (i.e. illustrations, diagrams, and summaries). Some describe his book an "easy read" but I do not. When reading short and snappy books such as this one, I have learned that certain insights resemble depth charges or time capsules: they have a delayed but eventually significant impact. For example, Neumeier explains why "Three Little Questions" can bring a high-level marketing meeting to a screeching halt:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. Why does it matter?
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
Neumeier's book is a typical product of the guru type advertorial publications. Fittingly, it deals with the subject of branding.

The basic premise is the brand gap, a schism between a strategy and innovation. Around that the author positions plenty of truisms and common sense advice on branding, together with the all too common simplification and reduction to the lowest common denominator. Like many writers on branding, Neumeier makes the standard mistake of 'when the hammer is the only tool you have, every problem has to be a nail'.

This is not to say that there is absolutely no value to the book - some of the advice is sound, the book is a quick read and the author definitely tries to practice what he preaches - to make himself a brand through the use of visuals and design (so there is some amusement value there, too). If all you have to devote to the subject of branding is an hour (aka the importance you assign to it is fairly low), you could do worse than this book. If, however, branding is an important part of your job, this book is sorely lacking as a guide.

The author does not help his cause by doing sloppy research and analysis and reporting many ill-informed preconceptions, common to someone who tends to skim the surface, rather than apply any rigour to one's task. This decreases the credibility of the advice somewhat, even if there is the odd piece in there, which is spot on (such as the advice on brand extensions, focus, etc.).

The branding above all else approach propagated in the book is more likely to lead to tears than to success but keeping that in mind, and being very generous in overlooking the author's many factual errors and lack of understanding of some of the industries described, there is just about enough in here for a third star (barely).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P Clark on 11 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
There are good points in this book, but many of the examples used suffer from being outdated. There's a section on web design which includes the statement "The concept of a natural reading sequence has yet to reach the bastion of bad taste we fondly call the web." Uh-huh. Also, Amazon is singled out for losing 31% of its brand value after "trying to extend its online book niche into an online bookmusiccameracomputerappliancebabyfurnituretoy niche--with predictable non-success." Because that whole Amazon thing didn't pan out at all did it? Oh yes, and Google is referred to as a "smaller brand".

I'm not saying this is a bad book, I'm just not convinced of its relevance. Having recently read Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek I would recommend that instead. Whilst not exactly a book on branding it provokes thought in a way that will be beneficial to anyone involved in this area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marion Catlin on 30 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read the book. The title and subline was attractive but there it ends. When I received the book it demonstrated how god/bad design and typography can make or break the readability of a book. The cover is great and the production values are good but the size of type (too big for the page) and the layout (weirdly crammed up to the top left corner of each page) plus over use of block capitals and too many gimmicks make this book hard to read so in the end, I haven't bothered. Maybe a lesson to learn Newriders? I expect the content is good, but who knows? Sorry.
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