Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book Review : Kellogg on Branding

Book : Kellogg on Branding
Editors : Alice M Tybout & Tim Calkins
Publisher : Wiley India

Price : Rs 399 ( paperback)

Book Review # 5

If you are interested in brands, this is a book that you should not miss. Kellogg on Branding is the first book on branding from the faculty of Kellogg School. One should not forget that the legendary Philip Kotler teaches in that University. The book comes with a foreword by Professor Kotler.
Kellogg on Branding is a collection of 20 articles written by Kellogg's Professors as well as practicing managers. But the editors have made sure that these articles is in line with a common theme.

The entire book is divided into four sections.

The first section titled : Key Branding Concepts talks about the basic nature of the brand, the concept of positioning , meaning and design of brands. For uninitiated, these chapters give a thorough insight into basic branding concepts.

The second section is on strategies for building and leveraging brands. This section covers the areas of brand strategies to combat competition, portfolio strategy and brand extension.

The third section titled : From strategy to implementation dwells on the concepts of implementing brand building strategies. This section is a highly relevant section since it talks about the challenges and methods to branding in diverse domains like Technology markets, business markets and branding services. This section also deals with the relevance of building a brand-driven organization ( internal branding) .

Fourth section is titled : Branding insights from senior managers. This unique section gives seven terrific case studies ranging from Building megabrands to naming a brand.

Kellogg on Branding is a book that will give the readers lot of branding insights. While Kevin Lane Keller's Strategic Brand Management is known for its exhaustiveness and Kapferer's book is known for its theoretical strengths, Kellogg on Branding can be considered as a capsule of branding insights. For a busy executive, this book will be of utmost help since it is easy to read and also since chapters are disjoint, one can read selectively also. There is also an issue with these disjoint articles since there is overlap of concepts . One concept is explained using different jargons by different authors and this can be a little confusing.

What I like most about this book is the thrust it has given on branding within an organization . Not only the authors explained the importance, they have also prescribed methods or guidelines for building internal brand equity.The chapter on Branding in Technology domain deserves special mention since it gives lot of new insights . The final chapters give a practitioners insights into brand building across various domains. Chapter 18 - Branding and Organizational culture is written by Gary A Mecklenburg , CEO and President , Northwest Memorial Healthcare is a memorable read of building a brand - centered organization. Chapter 11 by Mohanbir Sawhney gives a concept of " Vectors of Differentiation " which has terrific application across industries.

Kellogg on Branding is a useful book for the brand managers since it relates the branding concepts to practice . The book should be an essential read for marketing students since it gives a systematic framework for understanding the brand building process.