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Branding expert Baskin plays the merry iconoclast in this witty guide that marshals the latest research and a good serving of common sense to debunk branding's many myths. The author's claim that "branding is a waste of money" is likely to be controversial, but his research is sound and persuasive: he covers the failure of the Gap's Red campaign, the useless Burger King mascot, why Starbucks' success has nothing to do with branding, and he revisits Coke and Pepsi's rivalry, which culminated in their multimillion-dollar dueling ads featuring Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera that had scant effect on sales. Baskin's understanding of consumer behavior is nuanced and sophisticated, as are his explanations for why branding myths have so perniciously persisted (he draws parallels between the longevity of outmoded marketing strategies and that of Ptolemy's geocentric concept of the universe). Baskin is impatient with the resources and energy poured into branding, and readers will be, too, when they realize how little it influences consumer choices-and his well-reasoned, well-written book will garner him a wide and appreciative audience. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.