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Wally Olins. On B®and.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Wally Olins has been a leading brand creator ever since branding first became a separate discipline. He is the most quoted, most respected, and most complete author on branding. And this is his most complete book (to date).

This is not necessarily a visionary or inspiring book. Olins is telling us where we have been, not where we are going. In a lot of ways, this is branding's great textbook -- almost all of the wisdom of branding over the last fifty years is at least referenced here.

In a lot of ways, but not all ways. There is a small modicum of opinion mixed in with established practice. Or, rather, this book is entirely a book of Olins's opinions, but those opinions are textbook in 95% of all he wants to tell us. I'm not saying he is wrong in the other 5% -- for example, he pours scorn on Unique Selling Propositions in a similar way to Ogilvy -- but some of these opinions run against mainstream views.

For my money -- and I've spent quite a lot of it on books on this subject -- this is one of the two best books on branding. The other is The 22 Immutable Laws Of Branding by Al Ries. The two books are opposites of each other. Olins tells you everything there is to know, and you can pretty much rely on everything he tells you. Ries challenges (I think correctly, but still controversially) many of the commonest misconceptions about what branding is and how to do it. Ries will give you a head-start in getting to grips with the work, Olins offers you the complete course. Ries is fast-food, Olins is decidedly chewy, and you will need to come back to it several times.

Absolutely recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2009
Wally Olins provides a comprehensive insight in the history and development of brands, their effect on audiences and employees, and the benefits for business success. Nevertheless i found it lacking in adressing in depth the rapid change of brand perception and usage in a globalised web 2.0 world.

Olins point of view is still centered on how to control brands on the company side. I cannot recall reading about what brands can contribute to culture, little does he write about social responsibility or the way people will interact increasingly with the brands they favour, and how that will change brand culture from the bottom up.

So basically i found it valid concerning brand history and explaining brand strategies so far, but lacking in understanding and vision of current developments (only 13 pages of the 250 page book deal with the "future of branding").
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2003
I've followed Wally Olins career over the years and was intrigued when he released 'On Brand'. I bought a copy immediately and my first comment would be in agreement with a comment on the back of the book - this is the only book on branding you ever haver have to buy. Intelligent, insightful, compelling, inspiring. Wally knows the industry inside out and this really comes across in every page of the book. Whatever level you're at - student, academic, seasoned marketeer, you can learn from this book.
I look forward to learning more from his next book.
Buy it - it will change your life.
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on 18 September 2011
a very good detailed book on branding. wally ollins has been in the game for donkeys years. he has a great idea on branding - but even he says that it creating a strong, effective brand is hard work because so many variables ned to be considered and applied. branding is complex. you would be foolish to only limit this book to your arsenal. however it's a great introduction to branding.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2010
I suspect my review will have no influence on fans of Mr Olins. If you're after a quick summary of my thoughts, I think there are better books available that discuss brand (The Brand Gap and Zag written by Marty Neumeier; and Olins' The Brand Handbook).

That Wally Olins is master of brand is not in question - he knows his subject and is incredibly insightful. However, I don't think this is one of his better books for the simple reason that he tries to cover too much on branding and the history of branding and, therefore, consequently, the book never thoroughly covers all topics. Had the book been longer, then perhaps this probably wouldn't have been an issue.

I personally found the book heavy going (almost drab) in some areas and written almost in the style of an academic text book, which I don't think the book set out to do. The case studies are long and in some cases aren't case studies but an overview of, specific industries; for example, cars, with little detail on "brand".

The twelve chapters cover an array on topics such as why brands are important; brands on a global stage; where brands came from; and how to create and sustain a brand. As I mentioned earlier, none go into too much detail and I was left at the end of many chapters feeling frustrated and thinking "so what?" You're almost willing Olins to write more. Just when a chapter begins to get interesting, it ends.

There are a couple of areas whose inclusion I did find odd: Made In (which looks at brands associated with particular nations) and branding the nation (discussing brands as national key assets). These two chapters in particular demonstrated to me why the book falls short - you can't cover these in little over 30 pages; they need dedicated books. Their inclusion felt almost like an after-thought.

One of the reviewers here has mentioned that the book does not go into detail on Web 2.0 and "lack[s] in understanding and vision of current developments" - the book was written in 2003 and potential buyers need to factor that into account. You certainly won't see anything in here on the impact of social media on branding.

Overall, I've learnt little for the price of the book. The most interesting chapter "How to create and sustain a brand" would have been better had it be longer and gone into more details. If you're after a snapshot overview of branding in a quite academic style, then you'll appreciate this book. If you're after finer details on branding then there are better books out there.
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on 24 December 2012
excelent, book as described . item complied with expectations and promises . valuable choice for the price and fast shippment .
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