When it comes to branding, Al and his wife Laura are shockingly insightful, practical and very well researched.
You may have already read my other 2 books reviews on All and Laura's other books (which also includes Jack Trout), such as:
Both of these books should be an absolute necessity in any marketer's library.
This book, The Origin of Brands is no different.
It takes the lessons of the aforementioned books, and elaborates on the "how" and "why" brands either succeed or fail, based on Darwin's theory of evolution.
That may sound like a stretch, but I was in utter amazement of the parallels between species development, and the development of brands.
The cool thing is, the book isn't merely an exercise in metaphorical masturbation, but rather gives you an even deeper insight into how to craft your business, and brand your offerings to maximize your success.
Let me give you an example..
In the book, the Reis' go on to point out how sometimes a species can diverge into more than one species, or converge from several species into one. This is Darwin's theory.
The Reis' point out that the same thing happens to brands, based on how successful they are.
McDonald's, for example, began primarily selling burgers, which was mainly offered in coffee shops along with every other food and drink you can imagine.
This was a divergence, in that the the coffee shop brand broke into at least one other brand. This made McDonald's wildly successful. u
However, recently the pressure from shareholders to boost profit has forced McDonald's to converge into other areas, such as selling fish, chicken, ice cream, etc.
What's the result? The average In-N-Out Burger Franchise, that stuck to selling only burgers, drives more revenue than the average McDonald's.
You see examples of companies diverging from other companies all over, for example: Toys-R-Us diverged from the typical department store that sold almost everything, including toys.
Take e a look at the companies, and their specific offerings, that diverged from Social Media giant Facebook:
- Twitter mainly shows short status updates
- Instagram focuses on images and video updates
- LinkedIn is targeted at working professionals who wish to network
- Pinterest is only interested in image updates
Unfortunately, as the book points out, many of these brands will converge more into becoming another Facebook in search of greater success, and that's where they will begin to falter.
This book is an excellent examination as to how to build not only a great brand, but a great company that can specialize in selling offerings to an already thriving market (that you may never have thought of!).
For example, Southwest conquered the "Coach Passenger" only market, who will develop the first "First-Class Passenger" only market? Why can't it be you?
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