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 many 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 junior brand strategist from Quebec, Canada. Last summer, a brand consultant that I admire very much recommended me your book as a must read. Since then I have read it twice and referred back to it numerous times. I wish to thank you for writing such a practical book enabling me to be better at my job. An ocean of business books exists but yours is one of the best I have read in some time. Thank you for your work!'

Philippe Goudreault

'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

PROFESSORS, you can get a review copy of this book from Harper Collins Leadership.  To access their faculty portal to request a review copy, please email They will send you a copy.

Brand Aid is available at and


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