Applying the Branding Iron yes the title sounds frightfully didactic aims to be a one-stop source for developing your own unique brand. It covers the obvious and not-so-obvious things to consider as you differentiate yourself in the marketplace. It is, in fact, a collection of essays that Kompella published on various websites or presented at various marketing fora. Kompella acknowledges as much, right at the beginning.
While these articles are not sequential or linked to each other in any manner, they are loaded with practical tips and strategies that are written in layman's terms that anyone with some knowledge of marketing in general would understand. As a matter of fact, if you glance through the contents it gives the feeling that the book is aimed largely at beginners and students (among its 17 chapters are Why Should Brands Build Traditions, The Celebrity as a Brand, The role of Emotion in Branding and What's Wrong With Brands These Days).
The first half of the book lays down the basics of a successful branding strategyhow marketers can tie their products and services to certain values, and live up to an aspirational level. The second half of the book is an encyclopaedic account of marketing techniques that a corporate can (and should) apply for its business. Business as in the field it operates in-be it political, heritage et al.
Rs 150; Pp 139
Many of the essays get a little long-winded in making their points; at times it gets almost difficult to get beyond the boring format of the book (no pictures and a solitary graphic does little to redeem the book). But if you do get past this, the ideas are interesting. This is partly because the articles draw more from the real world of marketing/advertising. Also, because the tone of the book comes across as kind of opinionated in some places it is easy to find points to disagree with. That's exactly what makes its reading all the more fun.
The articles also lay a lot of onus on consumer educationhow education works towards building a brand's equity by establishing the brand's differentiation from competition and its relevance to the consumer. My personal favourite is a line that comes at the end of the second chapter: If your brand has stories to tell, tell them true.
For the uninitiated, the whole purpose of building a brand is to show why your company is special. But just being special isn't enough; the company must clearly demonstrate the core benefits of its products to its customers and clients. The corporate must tell them about the unique benefits of those services and how all of their wants will be fulfilled by these services. The catch is, once the company has built a certain expectation, it simply can't let the customer down. Not an entirely new proposition, but certainly something no company can ignore and get away with.
Bottom line: you can get quite a lot out of this book if you have the patience to run through it.