I bought this book as I am a branding and identity designer and I am interested in expanding my influences--especially design for social good. I purchased this book after reading about it on DesignObserver and other sources. But once I got the book my impression of it is: it is a very bizarre book.
The typography is okay, the printing and binding is good (in line with Lars Muller's usual high quality and beautiful productions) but the design is shockingly awful: there are weird effects that you shouldn't use if you want to communicate trustworthiness and confidence such as amateur effects like drop shadows, hyperactive gradients and also seems to be on trend with this 'exposed content style' -- I would go so far to say it looks like very bad 90s Flash websites with all these superfluous elements that generate a feeling of schizophrenia and anxiety almost. I read the texts but they don't really offer any practical advice or useful analysis about branding and corporate identity useful to a branding designer -- for example how to deal with the internet and social media, what good form and harmony in application is and so on.
To be honest, I didn't really understand a lot of it and I am experienced in branding and corporate identity -- it really didn't meet my expectations. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone serious about branding or corporate design. Maybe some intellectual-wannabe academic types that have nothing to do with the real world I guess (sorry!).
For real books about branding I highly recommend: Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, Wally Olins on Brand,The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design and Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team which I urge anyone interested and serious about branding to read; it is very practical, for example is in 3 sections as follows:
Basics: The difference between brand and brand identity, and what it takes to be the best.
Process: This section answers the question "Why does it take so long?" and addresses collaboration and decision making.
Best practices: These highly successful projects created by branding firms and design consultancies inspire and exemplify original, flexible, lasting solutions.
I think I will keep this book though as it is well produced, it is just a shame about the poor content...