Howard, founder of the communications firm Brandthropologie, devotes this slim but hard-going business manual to the argument that the business world, transformed by the 2008 crash, now requires a more social, personal approach to branding and product development—one harking back to humanity’s “small-community origins.” She aims to show how to succeed in this quickly shifting marketplace and become “a true artist of business” able to “introduce creativity into everything your brand produces.” The book introduces the “new Golden Rules of Branding,” such as “create a brand culture that encourages trust and sharing” and “recognize that failure is the new success,” backed up by a few case studies. Howard discusses the power of cult brands, the advantages for companies that convey a sense of social purpose, and the trick to “staying small” while still reaching and satisfying customers. These are all fair enough points, but the buzzword-filled presentation (e.g., “adapt to the laws of creative evolution”) and self-satisfied tone (“I can... help you understand the new laws of the jungle”) will make this a tough read for most. (Dec.)
Billee Howard is founder and chief engagement officer of Brandthropologie, and president of Mojo Risin Productions. Brandthropologie is a cutting-edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative, and passionate dialogues with target communities, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Mojo Risin, Brandthropologie’s small-batch production studio, creates custom branded immersive entertainment content for television on the web. Howard is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She began her career at age twenty-two as press secretary for the president of the Philippines, and subsequently worked at the world's largest PR firm, Weber Shandwick, handling global communications for clients including Samsung, PepsiCo, MasterCard, and All State.