Branding is not marketing. If you learn nothing else from this book, author Rob Frankel wants you to learn that. Branding is what makes your service or product the only reasonable choice in the eyes of the consumer. Marketing, of course, is a critical part of every business endeavor; non-profit organizations, politicians, even writers in their ivory towers have to be expert marketers in order to get the word out and attract funders, voters, or readers. Frankel’s point is that branding is the core requirement for a successful marketing push, and developing your branding strategy should be the first step you take.
What’s more, a mere brand won’t help much in the face of what Frankel calls ‘media implosion,’ the prevalence of electronic media and advertising excess. Now you have to haul out Big Time Branding, which “… takes media into account as part of its strategy… And that’s why so many traditional ‘brands’ fail on the web. They spend their time raising awareness and ‘selling what they’ve got’ instead of ‘asking what you need.’”
The Revenge of Brand X, Round 2 is loaded with practical solutions to your branding problems. Throughout the book, Frankel provides examples of real-life branding hits and misses. For example, when you need a letter delivered overnight, who do you call? Fed Ex, right? The U.S. Postal Service will do the same job for a lower price, Frankel reminds us, but not many of us even think of taking advantage of that option or of switching our allegiance to save money. Why? Because Fed Ex is a Big Time Brand.
Even more useful than these examples, however, are Frankel’s creative Action Items, which pop up at the end of every chapter and prompt out-of-the-box thinking. The end result of these exercises is a better understanding of where your target market exists, navigating around obstacles, and techniques for naming your product as well as yourself.
A particularly unique concept presented in the The Revenge of Brand X, Round 2 is branding in the fourth dimension. Brands “…are intelligent life forms from the Fourth Dimension that can transform your business at warp speed.” After the first three dimensions (who you are, what you do, how you do it), the fourth dimension of branding, according to Frankel, is the feature that sucks your customers in with the force of a high-density black hole.
The marketing prompt for this book promises that you’ll learn to “turn your user base into an army of evangelists promoting your brand.” Frankel certainly gives it his best shot, providing explanations, examples, and advice based on his own experience as a master o branding. He suggests that the best option is to engage a professional to help build your brand. This is also good advice when publishing your own book; Frankel could have benefitted from the services of a professional proofreader who would have caught the many typos in The Revenge of Brand X, Round 2. Nevertheless, in this updated edition of the hugely popular Revenge of Brand X, Frankel provides the sort of advice, examples, and insight into branding that every business needs to survive and thrive in today’s dismal economy. Recommended for anyone selling anything.