The Edge: 50 Tips from Brands that Lead

Overview

In the digital age, the old rules of marketing and branding are in desperate need of overhaul. Word of mouth has evolved to word of type as customers promote or deride products and services to a massive Internet audience at a moments notice. Any misstep away from the brand message  becomes a catastrophe as companies are no longer afforded the luxury of tweaking their message as a commercial, ad, or story develops, resulting in damage control that not only costs the brand money, but also costs customer ...

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The Edge: 50 Tips from Brands that Lead

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Overview

In the digital age, the old rules of marketing and branding are in desperate need of overhaul. Word of mouth has evolved to word of type as customers promote or deride products and services to a massive Internet audience at a moments notice. Any misstep away from the brand message  becomes a catastrophe as companies are no longer afforded the luxury of tweaking their message as a commercial, ad, or story develops, resulting in damage control that not only costs the brand money, but also costs customer support, hurting a brand’s image and integrity.

In The Edge, Allen Adamson examines how the leading brands of today maintain their dominance in the market utilizing the strategies put forth in his previous books BrandSimple and BrandDigital.   Adamson succinctly accounts specific challenges facing the biggest brands of today, from major companies like Apple and General Mills to celebrity brands like Lady Gaga and Jay Z. He reveals the guiding principles employed to ensure the message stays focused, remains clear, and continues to drive a brand to the top of the market. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brand strategy expert Adamson (BrandDigital) provides a glossy, timely introduction to brand management as told through the big brands in the U.S. marketplace today. The case studies are pleasantly concise, but at the expense of any depth. While no discussion of branding can leave out Steve Jobs, this book mentions him almost as often as it does the fictional Don Draper of Mad Men. Adamson also describes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as a “social revolutionary” who is “very grounded,” but ignores much of the controversy that surrounds him. Adamson utilizes interviews with top marketing managers, but stays mainly on the surface of their success. These conversations are “fascinating” (an adjective that describes no less than five of his exchanges) or “interesting” (another five), but lack complexity. For example, Sara Bird at Annie’s Homegrown remarks on the hiring of a sustainability director to “ensure that we continue to walk the talk,” but doesn’t have time to reveal how the hire keeps their brand “honest.” The telegraphic nature of Adamson’s advice makes it difficult to put into practice, but the book does provide a succinct, if superficial, sense of the current brand landscape. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“How do the top brands stay on top in such a remarkably fast-evolving market? In his new book, Allen Adamson gives readers answers from the inside. Filled with lively interviews and valuable tips directly from some of the top minds in the fields of marketing, social media, technology and popular culture, The Edge reveals what’s required to become and stay a leading brand. Both entertaining and instructive, it’s a must-read for every marketer.” —Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President, CMO, GE

“I always learn something from my interviews with Allen Adamson..... to gain an advantage, it's necessary to go the extra mile, act with greater ambition and determination. Average is over. Companies must ask themselves: Is our product something that is distinctive enough that we feel proud enough to put our name on it?" —Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

“Once again, Allen Adamson brings to life the rules of smart brand-building in simple, no-nonsense, fast-paced style, pulling together tips and insights from an impressive list of the most successful names in marketing, media, technology, and entertainment.” —Eric Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer HBO

“As Allen Adamson makes clear in The Edge, it's only getting harder for a brand to maintain leadership. As such, the power of a brand idea has never been more important. We may influence the messages around our brands, but we can quickly lose control. A brand's story better be tight to turn cacophony into music.” —Antonio Belloni, Chief Operating Officer, LVHM

“Adamson's latest book is a great guide for any marketer navigating the rough waters of the future. With good humor, strong examples and a frank tone, he is on-point with The Edge. This is a fast and intimate view of what makes successful brands and the icons behind them. Truly news you can use.” —Faith Popcorn, CEO, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve

“What would you give to know the inside tricks of dozens of today's power brands?  Allen's book lets you in on them...many in the words of the creators themselves. You read Allen's book and you understand how virtually all of this new century's cool brands got that way.” —Edward Vick, Chairman, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

"Social media has dramatically accelerated and changed the way consumers get and share information. If people love your brand they’ll talk about it. If they hate your brand they’ll talk about it. Assessing the use of social media is only one of the many topics of critical importance to today’s marketers that Allen Adamson addresses in The Edge. It’s a smart, enlightening and very accessible look at how brands get built and managed in a business landscape that only continues to become increasingly complex." —Deepak Advani, Vice President of Business Analytics Products, IBM

"Allen Adamson captured enduring brand concepts in BrandSimple. The Edge adds new tips and fresh examples to show what it takes to stay on top." —Ken Roman, Former Chairman/CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

“Allen Adamson captures the importance and instructive value of storytelling with lessons to help the reader understand how to build and grow a great brand across a wide variety of products and services.  The winning rules are the same: ‘A brand is as a brand does.’ The Edge illustrates the art and science of brands and branding from a 360 degree perspective, engaging the reader in not only the core elements required to built a strong brand but does so through real life stories and relevant analogs.” – Peter Flatow, president and founder of CoKnowledge

“In The Edge, Adamson has beautifully captured a number of important insights from some of the very best CMOs.  The book offers a nice set of guiding principles for any marketer trying to navigate our new economy.” - Greg Welch, Global Consumer Goods & Services Practice, Spencer Stuart

 

The Edge is Adamson’s strongest book yet on building successful brands. Filled with great, practical advice and vivid case studies, it reflects the latest, most progressive thinking in the industry.” John Gerzema, Executive Chairman, BAV Consulting

“No one knows more about brands and the process of how products and services create indelible marks within the hearts and minds of today’s distracted consumer.  I know.  I worked directly with Allen during Forbes’ own journey to reinvigorating its brand over the past few years.  His writing for the Forbes CMO Network and now his new book The Edge brings his innovative thinking and every-day solutions to building brands to life in entertaining and informative fashion. It belongs on any CMO’s must-read list.” – Bruce H. Rogers, chief insights officer, Forbes Media

 

"While the world we live in is increasingly complex, these simple'tips' are as relevant today as thery were decades ago. What a text book!  Adamson's The Edge should be required reading for marketing students and creative advertising folks." – Bill Bergman, former vice president, P&G

 

"Allen Adamson skillfully blends the accumulated wisdom of executives who manage some of the world’s top brands, with his own insights gained from years of experience as a brand professional. The Edge is highly readable and a quick tutorial on what it takes to develop and sustain world class brands. Timely and topical, the books provide one stop shopping for brand advice. The book contains 50 tips for developing strong brands; the 51st tip should be, read this book to learn what it takes to gain a competitive edge for your brand. —C. Samuel Craig, Marketing Professor, New York University, Stern School of Business

 

"The Edge does a great job of uncovering how brands succeed in a dramatically changing environment; describing how to manage difficult branding issues while maximizing the value of your brand." —Clive Chajet, Chairman and CEO of Chajet Consultancy

"The Edge is thoroughly enjoyable, well-researched, and up-to-date in a fun and informative writing style. Allen Adamson uses interviews with brand marketers to bring a behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of our favorite brands. In the end, it’s an honest view of what success and failure looks like." – Gary Elliott, Former Vice President, Global Marketing, Hewlett-Packard and Chair of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

 

"Tips are good, and Adamson serves them up in an accessible, no-nonsense guide for every marketer who aspires to build a great brand.  With good humor and relevant examples from smart marketers and real brands, this is a great book for marketers looking for inspiration and business building ideas." – Becky Saeger, Marketing Strategist and former CMO, Charles Schwab

"A leading marketing expert summarizes the ABCs of building brands. Adamson (BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World, 2008, etc.) smoothly preempts anticipated laugh lines by confessing at the outset that, “like many people in the marketing business,” he enjoys watching Mad Men. The author makes use of the series as a productive foil to develop his own case that there is as much difference between building brands and advertising them as there is between the business of advertising and its televised image. Adamson makes no bones about his own interest. He has worked for some of the companies he discusses, like Proctor and Gamble, Verizon and PepsiCo. The author shows that advertising a product or company is the end result of a different kind of process, branding, which involves many different aspects. He discusses the importance of recognizing what's missing in the market place—e.g., Proctor and Gamble's 2008 jump into dry cleaning with Tide Dry Cleaners—and the involvement of consumers in the development of the brand—e.g., General Mills’ popular Box Top University, where consumers mail in coupons and the company donates to education. As a veteran in the business, Adamson's discussion with Faith Popcorn (CEO of marketing company BrainReserve) on the way young women “are influencing society, the economy and our culture” is particularly illuminating, as are the author’s views on social networking for self-activating consumers and branding. Aimed at readers in search of specialist expertise, but ordinary consumers will also find the book informative and entertaining." —Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
A leading marketing expert summarizes the ABCs of building brands. Adamson (BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World, 2008, etc.) smoothly preempts anticipated laugh lines by confessing at the outset that, "like many people in the marketing business," he enjoys watching Mad Men. The author makes use of the series as a productive foil to develop his own case that there is as much difference between building brands and advertising them as there is between the business of advertising and its televised image. Adamson makes no bones about his own interest. He has worked for some of the companies he discusses, like Proctor and Gamble, Verizon and PepsiCo. The author shows that advertising a product or company is the end result of a different kind of process, branding, which involves many different aspects. He discusses the importance of recognizing what's missing in the market place--e.g., Proctor and Gamble's 2008 jump into dry cleaning with Tide Dry Cleaners--and the involvement of consumers in the development of the brand--e.g., General Mills' popular Box Top University, where consumers mail in coupons and the company donates to education. As a veteran in the business, Adamson's discussion with Faith Popcorn (CEO of marketing company BrainReserve) on the way young women "are influencing society, the economy and our culture" is particularly illuminating, as are the author's views on social networking for self-activating consumers and branding. Aimed at readers in search of specialist expertise, but ordinary consumers will also find the book informative and entertaining.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230342248
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 956,714
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen P. Adamson is managing director of the New York office of Landor Associates, one of the world's leading strategic brand consulting and design firms. He is also author of BrandDigital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World and BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed. Adamson has partnered with a wide array of clients, including Diageo, Sephora, GE, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Pfizer, and Verizon. He is a sought-after industry commentator, appearing on CNBC, FOX Business Network, and The Today Show, and quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, and USA Today

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword Steve Forbes ix

Introduction 1

1 To Have an Edge, a Brand Has to Be Different, Relevant-and Have Energy 17

2 To Have an Edge, a Brand Must Start with a Simple Idea Based on "Who" and "Why," Not Just "What" and "How" 49

3 To Have an Edge, a Brand's Actions Must Tell Its Story 101

4 To Have an Edge, a Brand's Customers Should Want to Tell Its Story 149

5 To Have an Edge, Gear Up for a Marathon, Not a Sprint 181

6 To Have an Edge, a Brand Must Know Where It Can Play and Win 221

Index 265

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