2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Confusing and not groundbreaking - also, it's aimed at the US market,
This review is from: I'm With the Brand: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are. (Paperback)
I bought this book based on the synopsis provided by Amazon and the other reviews - a book that would reveal what effect culture has on branding and marketing, and how consumers interact with brands. I felt this book felt short of the mark given that it seemed to be aimed exclusively at the US market. Something not apparent from the blurb on the back.
Given that the author is a journalist, some people (particularly those with plenty of marketing experience) will find the style and tone of the book very different to the usual branding/culture books available. I felt it was a refreshing change - nice not to read the "academic" and "preaching" style of many branding books on the market. Having said, the book is very USA-based with North American examples of the influence of culture on brands (for example, skateboards, Red Bull, American Apparel and Nike). Even with Red Bull, there was only a passing mention of the fact it's Austrian.
Another disappointment was that yet another author comes up with marketing claptrap and mumbo jumbo - "the desire code" and "murketing" to name but two. I feel that too many authors come up with these crappy phrases - possibly to somehow make up for deficiencies? There are too many acronyms and buzzword bingo phrases to contend with already without having learn a new lexicon.
So does the book look at culture and the effect it has had on branding and marketing? If you live in the USA, then you'd probably think it's a good read - the book is basically aimed at this market. I found it to meander and skip in places - which I put down to unnecessary padding. There were times when I got completely lost and it seemed that the author was trying to cram in the effects of culture (and in particular young people) on advertising, branding and marketing, as well as looking at symbols and identities from both historical and current perspectives. I don't think you can go from discussing 80s hip hop in one chapter to advertising cars in the 50s. Perhaps if the Chapters followed chronologically, the book would have made more sense and less confusing.
Overall, I felt it just doesn't offer anything groundbreaking - I certainly didn't come away thinking "wow, learned something today." If you're expecting plenty of brand strategies, tips and tools, then you'll be disappointed. If you're interested in US culture then you may find it of interest, if you're not a fan of US culture then it's not a good read.