Monday, January 21, 2019

Marketing Careers

I am often asked by college students majoring in marketing about what types of marketing positions, paths and careers are open to them. Careers in marketing are myriad and often require very different skill sets. Without going into great detail about any one of them, here are just some of marketing positions and paths open to people:

  • Brand manager (broad skill set, typically have P&L responsibility, develop the marketing strategy, fairly autonomous responsibility regarding their brand or brands, works with several internal departments and external marketing agencies)
  • Product manager (responsible for the functions, features and sourcing of one or more products, often have pricing responsibility as well)
  • Product development manager (responsible for developing new products, marketing research is an important component of the job, work with engineers, scientists, prototypers and other designers)
  • Brand marketing manager (responsible for developing all marketing materials for a brand or a portfolio of brands)
  • Product marketing manager (responsible for developing all marketing materials for a product or line of products including product information sheets and other sales support materials)
  • Advertising manager (responsible for developing, producing, fielding and measuring the impact of advertising campaigns against a set of objectives often given them by the brand manager, works very closely with advertising agencies)
  • Promotions manager (responsible for price discounts, contests and other promotions designed to accelerated sales, works closely with brand manager and retail channels of trade)
  • Direct marketing manager (responsible for direct marketing through post cards and other mailings, responsible for purchasing, scrubbing and using customer lists, this is moving more and more to email marketing and coal media marketing)
  • Marketing research analyst or manager (responsible for designing, fielding, and reporting the results and implications of marketing research studies, must choose the most appropriate methodology given the research objective and action standard, often works though outside marketing research vendors, can include both qualitative and quantitative research, if actually doing the analysis, requires strong statistical analysis skills)
  • Focus group moderator (moderates focus groups including developing the discussion guide, moderating the groups themselves, writing the report of findings and implications and working with focus group facilities, requires good interpersonal and group facilitation skills)
  • Media planner (plans the right set of media and the frequency and sequencing of ads to achieve advertising objectives for the target markets, must be familiar with all media sources)
  • Media buyer (buys advertising according to the media plan)
  • Account executive (responsible for the overall management of a client account on behalf of the marketing agency, responsible for the profitability of the account, requires strong project managements skills and strong interpersonal skills)
  • Creative director (responsible for translating the marketing objectives overall and for a variety of marketing pieces, from television advertising to sales brochures, into strong creative content that has breakthrough power and that communicates the intended brand messages)
  • Graphic designer (works on ads, collateral materials, social media advertising, anything that requires visual and other design elements, often also is skilled in creating logos and brand identity guidelines)
  • Copywriter (develops powerful copy that paints a picture with words, can craft compelling brand stories, can also create power calls to action, translates the brand's promise and personality into words)
  • Corporate communications manager (responsible for corporate communications, includes media relations that maintains close working relationships with the media, prepares and executes crisis plans as necessary, is responsible for shaping the overall reputation of the company)
  • PR professional (may be someone within a corporate communications department or an external PR consultant, responsible for placing positive stories, increasing public awareness of the brand or company, keeping the brand or company in the news, may also create and execute publicity stunts or events to achieve specific marketing objectives)
  • Data science analyst (responsible for large data analysis and fetching important information)
  • Solution architect (responsible for solving specific problems using big data analytics, need to understand databases and programming languages)
  • Other big data analysis careers - database administrator, database developer, data modeler, data scientist, business intelligence analyst, database manager, data warehouse manager, and big data engineer)
  • Inbound marketing manager (data driven, manages the lead generation and sales funnel for a company, converts traffic to leads and nurtures those leads)
  • CRM specialist (closely related to inbound marketing manager, responsible for selecting, developing, refining and maintaining customer relationship management systems)
  • Blog manager (needs to be a good copywriter, a savvy wordsmith, creates and maintain s the company's voice, is responsible for optimizing content for search engines and lead generation)
  • Content marketing manager (manages the development and use of content across applications from blogs, white papers, educational ebook, webinars and all other possible applications)
  • Social media/community manager (needs to know all media platforms and online metrics, may also be responsible for mobile and digital marketing, develops and executes strategies to build and maintain online communities)
  • SEO expert (responsible for maintaining high search engine rankings for the brand or company based on the selected sets of search criteria)
  • Email marketing manager (grows email list organically, manages email marketing campaigns, measures results of campaigns, manages email database, segments markets based on email behaviors)
  • Brand licensing manager (responsible for licensing company-owned brands and other properties to outside business partners for strategic (brand extension) reasons and additional revenues and profits, also responsible for licensing outside properties for use with company products)
  • Trade marketing manager (responsible for marketing to and through a certain channel of trade or a certain set of retailers, works closely with the company's salesforce and retailer buyers and category managers, also works closely with promotions manager, often responsible for the optimal spending of co-op advertising funds)
  • Trade relations manager (responsible for maintaining close cordial relationships with important retailers)
  • Marketing operations manager (manages the overall marketing operations and the relationship between the marketing and sales functions, requires strong interpersonal skills)
  • Display designer and virtual merchandiser (designs retail displays including seasonal displays)
  • Retail store designer (responsible for overall store design, considers space optimization, aesthetics, brand identity reinforcement, shopping patterns, ways to increase impulse purchases and ways to minimize shoplifting)
  • Brand strategy consultant (consults on the overall strategy of a brand to bring it back to health or to take it to the next level, requires strong market research, brand equity measurement and brand positioning skills, often considers the interaction of brand strategy with business strategy including business model strategy and competitive strategy)
  • Chief marketing officer (overall responsibility for the marketing strategies of a company, interacts will all other company functions, ensures the overall success of the marketing function including its delivery against key metrics, responsible for the recruiting, development and management of all marketing functions and for optimizing the mix of marketing capabilities and recruiting the right people and other resources to fill them, )

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Common (And Not So Common) Brand Problems

As I was doing my research for an article that I am writing on brand problems, I realized that I had written much about common (and not so common) brand problems in this blog. So rather than write yet another post on this, I thought I would provide you with links to all of the previous posts in which I address brand problems. Here they are...

If you need help solving your brand problems, give me a call or send me an email message. I am extremely likely to have encountered and helped overcome those problems. You can find me at
And to read more about common brand problems, you may want to read Brand Aid, available here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Brand Building Advertising

Advertising and other marketing campaigns can have many different objectives - for instance, increasing brand awareness, changing brand perceptions, increasing emotional connection with the customer, transforming customers into brand advocates, or driving sales.

However, the key distinction I want to make is between brand building advertising and advertising that sells. The latter usually includes an offer or a promotion and always includes a strong call to action. Whereas the former generally does not include any of these elements, but rather strives to do one or more of the following:

  • Build brand awareness, increase the brand's popularity (most ads for new products and brands)
  • Help the customer to pronounce and remember the brand's name (GEICO's gecko, Slinger's allusions to Swingers)
  • Increase emotional connection with the customer (Hallmark's Hall of Fame commercials, Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign)
  • Establish the brand as a badge (Apple is for smart sophisticated people, Luminox is for highly competent people, FootJoy is for serious golfers)
  • Communicate key brand benefits (Liberty Mutual's accident forgiveness, GIECO can save you 15% or more on car insurance, Snickers satisfies)
  • Associate the brand with strong positive emotions (Teleflora ads, Harley-Davidson commercials, many automobile brand ads)
  • Give the brand a distinctive personality (Dos Equis' "The Most Interesting Man in the World" ads, Pistachio's elephant, Motel 6's Tom Bodett)
  • Romance the product itself (Olive Garden ads, Cinnabon ads, Christian Louboutin ads, many food-related brand ads)

While marketing is a function dedicated to creating demand and ultimately sales for products and brands, brand building ads are designed to create strong emotional bonds with people. They are designed to make brands more admirable and endearing to people. This ultimately leads to sales, brand loyalty and brand advocacy. When a non-marketer gives you grief for an ad campaign that does not include an offer and a call to action, educate that person about the long-term sales power of creating strong emotional connections between brands and people. Some marketing campaigns should be focused on generating immediate sales while others should be reserved for longer-term and ongoing brand building.

Here is a fun YouTube video featuring heart touching commercials. Or how about this vintage Hallmark commercial? This is what I am talking about. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Brands as Social Status Signals

Most people feel more comfortable spending time with people with whom they have something in common. Often people can find like-minded others though organizational affiliation. Churches provide this function as do country clubs, alumni groups, political parties, hobby-related organizations and civic organizations. But product and other brands also serve as identifiers of like-minded people. For instance, someone who drives a Prius might assume that he or she would be more comfortable interacting with someone else who also drives a Prius versus, for instance, someone who drives a HUMMER.

I am fascinated by the brands that seem to provide coding for social status. And, within a given social strata, there are specific brands that highlight even more nuanced differences.

For fun, I will mention a series of brands associated with different individuals. These are fictional composite individuals. But, based on these brands, just notice how you react to each individual. Can you relate to him or her? Does he or she seem alien to you? Or perhaps, he or she turns you off. For some individuals, you may not be familiar with some or even all of the brands. You may be able to assign a label to one or more of the individuals. Can you guess whether the person lives in a city, a suburb or somewhere rural? Can you tell in what part of the country or the world he or she lives? Can you guess that person's eduction level? Is he or she working class, middle class, upper middle class, well to do or uber rich? Does he or she have a particular hobby or profession? To which individual or individuals can you best relate? Or can you not relate to any of them? What does that say about you? Now, compile a list of your own favorite or most used brands. What does that list say about you? I hope this has made clear that brands signal much about an individual. And it helps people quickly locate their "tribes." When developing your brand, consider if it could or is being used as a "badge" or self-expressive vehicle for those who use it.

PS - Congratulate yourself if you know most or all of these brands. It means that you have either participated in or interacted with many different socio-economic groups throughout your life or you are an advanced student of brands, including luxury brands. And, if you have personally used or been associated with many or all of these brands, I don't know what to say other than you have lived a very full life and should count your blessings.

Individual A:
  • Carhartt 
  • International Harvester
  • Winchester
  • Kent
  • Dekalb
  • Stihl

Individual B:
  • Walmart
  • Stanley
  • Irwin
  • Dickies
  • Ford F-150
  • Red Wing

Individual C:
  • Barneys
  • Vilebrequin
  • Jeffery Levinson
  • Hermes
  • Rolex
  • Christian Louboutin

Individual D:
  • Rosewood
  • Jumeriah
  • St. Moritz
  • Gulfstream
  • Lurssen
  • Patek Philippe

Individual E:
  • Cub Cadet
  • Subaru
  • Dockers
  • Kenmore
  • Applebee's
  • Macy's

Individual F:
  • Vespucci
  • John Whitaker
  • MUCK
  • Le Chameau
  • Blue Seal
  • Featherlite

Individual G:
  • BMW
  • Morton's The Steak House
  • Big Green Egg
  • The Greenbrier
  • Beaver Creek
  • TUMI

Individual H:
  • JC Penny
  • Kia
  • Wendy's 
  • Aldi
  • Frigidare 
  • Bridgestone 

Individual I:
  • Nautor's Swan
  • Harken
  • Lewmar
  • Westerbeke
  • Garmin
  • Gill

Individual J:
  • The Thatcher School
  • Porcellian Club
  • Bohemian Club
  • Mill Valley
  • Caymus
  • Tesla

Individual K:
  • Under Armour
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Shakepheare
  • Eagle Claw
  • Sun Dolphin
  • Matador

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Brands and Outsourced Sales

Every organization needs a sales function. If you do not have a sales function internally, you need to outsource that function to someone else. 

But know that sales is the first point of contact that your organization will have with potential customers. Those first customer contacts need to deliver against your brand's promise and personality. If they don't, at best, potential customers will not get a sense of what your brand stands for or what makes it different. At worst, the outsourced sales function can damage the perception of your brand.

I recently had an experience in which a professional service firm was trying to sell a service to my company. The salesperson was relentless in trying to schedule a sales call with me. We finally scheduled a time and date for us to talk on the phone. When that time and date arrived, the salesperson said he didn't have time for me and asked me what other times and dates would be convenient for me. I gave him several and then he rescheduled the meeting for a time and date on which I was not available. I emailed him back and said I couldn't make that time and date. When we finally scheduled the call and the time and date arrived, he never called me. I emailed him. I called him. I never got a response. Luckily, it never really registered with me what brand he was representing so I do not have a negative perception of the brand, just of him.

There was another company that was trying to sell my company on outsourced lead generation. That sales call didn't go very well. The person who called me had a strong Indian accent that I had trouble understanding, but worse, his English was poor, he was not professional and he kept on asking me the same questions over and over again. I would not hire a company like that to represent my firm, which delivers brand strategy services to senior executives. Our brand is smart, accomplished, professional, friendly and easy to get along with. That salesperson conveyed none of those qualities. 

So, my only admonition in this blog post is to consider very carefully to whom you outsource certain company functions, especially the sales function. While it might be tempting to try to juice your sales with an outside sales function, do not do that to the detriment to your brand.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Brand Aid

Brad VanAuken's Brand Aid book has sold more than 30,000 copies, been translated into several languages and is used by several business schools to teach brand management and marketing. The substantially revised second edition of the book was published December 2014. Brand Aid is available at and Here is what people have to say about this book:

'I regard the First Edition of Brad Van Auken's Brand Aid (2003) to be the best and most practical book on branding I have read. Hence, I was very keen to get the updated Second Edition to see if he could match my high expectations following the success of the first. I am delighted to report that this edition is again loaded with highly practical content that has been updated to reflect the changes in customer behavior, digital media and a host of other subjects including brand architecture. Another feature that I like are his generous use of user-friendly checklists and never talking over the heads of readers who may not have MBAs. Importantly, Van Auken is never self serving, like too many authors of marketing-branding books. This is a book, like the first, that you will always keep close at hand and read over and over again.'

Bill Baker, review

‘Brand Aid is an asset for the beginner and veteran brand builder alike. No matter what size your organization or how great your brand expertise, this book can provide a point of reference and new insights.’

Elizabeth A. Hunter, Senior Brand Specialist, Bank of America

‘Finally, a road map for the often treacherous journey of building and maintaining great brands. This is an indispensable tool for all marketers. Brand Aid is the essential toolkit for today’s (and tomorrow’s) brand marketers.’

Jim Harman, Manager, Corporate Advertising, General Electric

‘A comprehensive guide unlike any other on the market today. Apply what you learn to your brand building activities and watch the value of your brand and bottom line increase.’

Amy Kelm, Worldwide Consumer Brand Development Manager, Hewlett-Packard

‘Brad VanAuken has delivered one of the best brand education and reference tools I have come across. This book will always be within arms’ length from my working area for assistance in brand savvy throughout every workday.’

Carole L. Sustak, Manager, Marketing Strategy & Branding, AAA National

‘Many books have been written about branding in the past 15 years. Many are short and focus on only a few aspects of the complex process of building and nurturing a brand. With Brand Aid, Brad VanAuken has pulled it all together in one of the most comprehensive books ever written on the subject. If you work in marketing, read it. If not, make sure your marketing team has.’

Ron Dix, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Bush Brothers & Company (Bush’s Baked Beans)

‘The checklists are an incredibly effective way for any marketer to evaluate and grade their brand’s current marketing performance. Brand Aid should really be named Brands for Dummies. I’m definitely going to keep this one around and I only wish I had found it years ago.’

Dan Hucko, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Harris Interactive Inc.

‘Brad VanAuken’s practical, step-by-step guide to brand management and marketing resonates with experience and insight. Excellent refresher for the most seasoned marketer and a great introduction for those new to the field. I’m keeping my copy on my desk and giving one to everyone in our advertising agency.’

Sharon Napier, President & CEO, Partners + Napier

‘This book surprised me. It’s found a newly practical and authoritative way to describe how to do branding. In this, it is quite unlike any other 100 plus books on brand that I have read.’

Chris Macrea, Chief Brand Officer, and author of World Class Brands and Brand Chartering Handbook

‘It is refreshing to read a book that is pithy, down-to-earth yet immensely insightful in demystifying the complexities of building and managing a brand anywhere in the world. Brand Aid will always be in a prime position on my bookshelf alongside books by Kotler, Ogilvy, Dru, Morgan, Ries & Trout, Temporal and Aitchison.’

Graeme Murray, Planning Director, Bates Thailand

‘Brand Aid will be the definitive work on the subject for years to come. All that’s needed now is for business men and women with creativity and depth to read it, and to work with it. When that happens, Brad VanAuken will have done the marketplace a great service.’

Peter Holloran, President, Cognitive Marketing Inc.

‘Thank you for your insight. Your book is concise and is an excellent teaching tool for the first-time and experienced brand manager.’

Ernie Avellana, Vice President of Marketing, Control Diabetes Services, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Company

‘Brand Aid is the most comprehensive of all the materials that I've read on brand management. This book should become required reading for all business leaders responsible for driving the growth of their organizations.’

Thomas J. Miller, Product Marketing, Director, Newport Corporation, Inc.

‘I've referred to the draft copy you sent in December so much that it's getting dog-eared.’

Tom Welle, Advertising Director, Potomac Electric Power Company

‘It's great to have a strong brand customers love and are happy to pay a premium for, but when a brand gets overextended, underadvertised, overpriced or develops other problems, few entrepreneurs know what to do. In Brand Aid (Amacom, $24), author and marketing consultant Brad VanAuken goes a long way toward remedying these problems.’

By Mark Henricks, Entrepreneur Magazine, September 2003

‘I found the book "Brand Aid" highly informative and I believe VanAuken has set a new standard in the study of branding. Whether it's the Case Studies, "Did You Know?" items or checklists throughout the book, he is able to provide PRACTICAL advice that can be used to develop or enhance brands. This book could very well become the "Bible" for branding now and in the future. I would give it 5-plus stars.’ Review

‘VanAuken’s points pack a heavyweight’s punch; he backs them up with case study summaries of the successes and failures of real brands. Chapters are packed with “Have you thought about…?” questions and checklists.’

Jim Pawlak, Biz Books, August 10, 2003

‘Quite possibly the best book I have seen on the topic of creating and maintaining a "brand" is Brad VanAuken’s Brand Aid ($24.94, Amacom). It will prove to be a powerful resource to anyone wrestling with the challenge of the entire process of building a high-impact brand and trouble-shooting the issues that come with it. If you want your company to become the next Nike, Disney or Absolut, this is the one book you want to read. And then read again!’

Bookviews by Alan Caruba, August 2003

‘VanAuken has distilled his enormous practical knowledge about the theory and practice of brand management into this smart…volume. The book is packed with information and good ideas – so many, in fact, that it is virtually an encyclopedia of brand management does and don’ts’

Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003

‘Of all the books I’ve read on marketing and branding, this one is the shining star! I’ll also go out on a limb and assert that it’s one of the best books I’ve seen published by AMACOM.’

Roger E. Herman, Midwest Book Review

‘This is an EXCELLENT practical book in a field awash with theory and useless generalizations.’

Anne Holland,

‘You will not want to be without this book in your library.’

Laura Schneider, About Marketing (

‘Trying to encapsulate this truly vast wealth of knowledge, Brad VanAuken has written what promises to be the synoptic work on the subject. Brand Aid is a dense treatise that tries to make the very complicated issue of branding accessible. VanAuken's brand advice is both sound and timely.’

Brands: Case Closed by Jonathan Jackson, Critical Eye, 12/15/03

‘This is an in-depth guide to the whole subject of branding. As such, it is ideal for those who are looking to learn about branding for the first time or for the more experienced practitioner who is looking to improve knowledge in one particular area. It can help to solve branding problems through its exhaustive but easily understandable analysis of the subject. This is a very useful book for understanding branding and as such will be of interest to anyone involved in marketing generally.’

Martin Payne Number 25: Winter 2004

‘This is a terrific, pithily-written book that stands head and shoulders above most other branding books currently on the market. Its fluid style and concise treatment of the major issues in creating winning brands makes most other such texts look pedestrian by comparison.’

Keith Dinnie, Book Review Editor, Journal of Brand Management, August 2003, Vol 10, Number 6

‘…Comprehensive instruction on managing and growing your brand in the usual online and offline channels. Well organized for quick comprehension; includes checklists to see if your brand is ready to go global, well positioned for an ad campaign, has an identity to work with, and a helpful “troubleshooting” chapter. Good place to start if you are still trying to wrap your brain around brand management.’ 

Reader review,, November 2003


Alexander S. Bosika, marketing manager, Phantom Fiber

'Very insightful book on brand development. Dovetails nicely with "Building the Brand Driven Business." These two books are excellent when considering developing a master brand ... the brand of the organization itself. Perfect for the CEO/Owner/President.'

Richard Gripp, Review

‘My desk has been home to a bumper crop of worthwhile new books on brands and branding. A standout in the group is Brand Aid by Brad VanAuken, which offers an almost encyclopedic look at every step in the brand process (designing, building, leveraging, managing). The advice is straightforward, voluminous and informed by experience. VanAuken also includes lengthy checklists at the end of each chapter that help readers assess their own situations and also serve as a good platform for brainstorming. Highly recommended.’

Joseph Rydholm, editor, Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, May 2004

‘Brad VanAuken knows his stuff - and he knows how to share it with the rest of us in a clear and concise manner that will leave you feeling: "Now I get it!" With a tremendous understanding of how to take complex marketing systems and put them into an easy to understand, universal language, VanAuken brings the reader up to speed quickly and comfortably with simple terms and concrete examples. This book will serve well as not only a quick reference, but also as a step by step tool to creating a branding identity that will stand the test of time.’

John Copeland, program manager, National Arts Marketing Project

‘I run a very small business that designs and manufactures products for a crowded micro market. We were looking for a book or resource that would help gather our thoughts into a concise executable plan. Wow does it feel like this book came through for us. Of all the business, marketing, branding, positioning books I have read, this has to top them all.’

Andrew B Lautenschlager, Bay Area, CA

‘A really comprehensive branding manual, with an almost textbook feel to it. Every branding concept is thoroughly explained. Not necessarily a book to read cover to cover in a few days, but definitely an invaluable reference guide to keep close and handy by anybody involved in marketing and branding products, services and companies. Excellent.’

Mario Sanchez Carrion, marketing, branding and small business blogger,

‘Our company does web design, graphic design, corporate communication. I like that this book is not only an easy reference guide, but also a comprehensive approach to branding. The book can stand alone as a Brand teach-in, and require no prior knowledge about branding. The book is also relatively complete and can be used as a text book or self-learning Branding book. This book is good.’

T. Santoso, Surabaya, Jatim Indonesia  

'If you are looking to get into branding (and marketing), this book is a good primer for those that are beyond the 101 level, and a good reminder/review for those that are already in the business. Brad provides plenty of his own real life experiences and is very organized with his presentation of the material. Entertaining and detailed without being an unruly encyclopedia.'

Cherrie Mahon, review

'A highly valuable resource and a great read! Many of my PR clients do not understand their "brand" or what branding truly means. I have long turned to Brand Aid as THE book to reference to educate my clients. I have had the good fortune of attending a brand seminar with author VanAuken (he's amazing) and since he can't be with in person at all your meetings, luckily his book can. I am thrilled to have the second edition in hand, as my guide through the entire branding process, from social media strategies to successful case studies.'

D.E Olcott, review

'It covers everything. It's great to have on hand, like a branding dictionary.'

Gabriel M. Renfrow, review

'This is an extremely comprehensive guide to branding and distills decades of experience into usable information. A truly unique insight into how branding affects critical business functions such as pricing, product suite, and competitive advantage. Very impressed, and have already recommended it to friends and family that want to really understand not just branding, but business.'

Gavin, review

'I am a huge fan of Brand Aid #2 and have been using it in my keystone graduate class called IMC 463 Brand Communications Decisions. I feel your book is one of the most practical and valuable books ever written about brands. I love the checklists and remind the students that your book is my graduation gift to them because it is a resource they will find useful every day they are developing, managing or increasing the value of brands.'

John Greening, Associate Professor at Northwestern University in Evanston IL heading up the Brand Management specialization in the Graduate Medill Integrated Marketing Communications Program

'Since we first communicated, I have used your book in graduate level branding course for three cohorts. Simply, your book is a tremendous asset to me and my students. They rave how your content and writing style is so practical, direct and applicable. Furthermore, the cornerstone of the course is a group assignment where the students complete the Brand and Brand Management Audits for an organization of their choice. I couldn’t be more pleased and impressed with their effort and the quality of their work.'

Brian Vollmert, Assistent Professor of Marketing at North Park University

'The big idea: As a business leader, you know that every company, object, service, person or pet hoping to compete for public attention needs a brand. An enormous cottage industry has grown up around creating and improving brands, making it increasingly harder to cut through to useful, actionable information to help position your company’s products or services in the market. It should come as an enormous relief, then, that just about all the information you need has been compiled in a single book. The second edition of Brad VanAuken’s Brand Aid includes everything from a basic introduction to brand management to advice on leveraging and measuring your brand’s success.

Read it: Each chapter of the book includes an exhaustive list of tips, examples, case studies and more. The content of any given chapter is summarized in a handy, comprehensive checklist you can use to track your own branding efforts. The book’s cleanly organized chapters and checklists make it easy to dip in and out of if you don’t have time to read cover to cover. The writing is straightforward, easy to follow and almost entirely devoid of jargon. Extensive appendices offer many suggestions for further reading as well as useful resources for brand audits and online brand management.

Skip it: There’s really only one reason to skip this book: You already own the first edition, published in 2003. However, given the rapidly evolving nature of branding and consumer preferences, you still might consider an update.' book review

'There are literally dozens of flags marking pages in my copy of Brand Aid. Pick up a copy, and it will undoubtedly look the same in short order. Brand Aid functions equally well as a troubleshooter for underperforming, established brands, and as a toolkit for launching new brands destined for legendary status.'

'Powerful yet intangible, a brand is the personification of your organization. Learn to build, nurture, and grow a strong brand that inspires people, forges emotional bonds, and moves customers to insist on buying your brand.

This book guides you through the entire branding process, from using social media effectively to linking your brand to human needs.'

Advertising Educational Foundation

Brand Aid is available at and