Why Johnny Can't Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea

Overview

Winner of the Best Marketing Books Award from Strategy + Business Magazine.

“There’s a Big Idea waiting inside your brand that can make you #1. Find it and shape it yourself—or competitors and customers will do it for you. And we promise, you won’t like the tagline.”

A few years back, a best seller called Why Johnny Can’t Read shocked the education establishment and revived the lost art of phonics. Now, Why Johnny Can’t Brand blows the lid off ...

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Overview

Winner of the Best Marketing Books Award from Strategy + Business Magazine.

“There’s a Big Idea waiting inside your brand that can make you #1. Find it and shape it yourself—or competitors and customers will do it for you. And we promise, you won’t like the tagline.”

A few years back, a best seller called Why Johnny Can’t Read shocked the education establishment and revived the lost art of phonics. Now, Why Johnny Can’t Brand blows the lid off the marketing establishment by reviving the lost art of the Big Idea.

According to Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr., modern branding is a daily choice between real, muscle-building ideas and an immense smorgasbord of empty-caloried junk. The stakes are huge, especially in a world with 155 kinds of shampoo. So why do so many good companies choose wrong? In fact, why do most fail to differentiate at all—handing what some call an “unfair” advantage to the few who do? The surprising answers, and the exclusive, eight-week prescription to fix it, are here in Why Johnny Can’t Brand.

The secret is uncovering your Dominant Selling Idea (DSI)—the one unifying idea at the center of every brand—before you charge ahead with advertising or anything else. The DSI is “the thing you do that’s superlative, important, believable, memorable and tangible—the difference that makes people want to buy you.” It puts you in a category of one.

In the often funny, page-turning style of two award-winning, former Madison Avenue communicators, Schley and Nichols explain:

1.Why real branding is the opposite of what you think

2. How positioning turns your brand asset from fool’s gold to real gold

3. Why Harvard and Stanford MBAs are the last to get it (but they can learn this too)

4. How to find your Big Idea in about eight weeks—then keep it...

and so much more.

In a world with 300 million messages whizzing by every second, it gives us the ultimate advantage—an inspiring, power-packed return to the secret of the idea centered brand.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
High-concept Super Bowl commercials, baffling corporate names, "formless positioning and flabby claims that lack any differentiating punch"-all come in for abuse in this sprightly old-school marketing primer. Harking back to the "Unique Selling Propositions" of the "Brand Titans" that bestrode advertising's golden age in the early television era, brand consultants Schley and Nichols exhort companies to redefine their products in terms of a single, mesmerizing "Dominant Selling Idea." They provide reasonably specific guidelines for arriving at a DSI, covering topics like market research, brand naming, visual imagery and-the heart of their method-concocting and laying exclusive claim to some special attribute through such techniques as combining two unrelated special attributes (Certs is a candy mint and a breath mint) or declaring a magic ingredient. They steer readers away from bland brand taglines and toward specific, wallet-grabbing, must-buy propositions like Black Flag's immortal "Roaches Check In, but They Don't Check Out." Writing in an engaging, straightforward style with a dash of wit and vinegar, the authors provide much useful, hands-on advice for perplexed marketing executives. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (Nov. 17) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982694176
  • Publisher: N.W. Widener, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 335,583
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr., are partners at david, inc, a brand consulting firm in Connecticut. During their careers they've worked with major global companies like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, IBM, and many others. Schley was previously a creative executive at a major New York ad agency and won the industry's Effie Award. Nichols was previously the CEO of Einson Freeman and a managing director at D'Arcy.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : "Houston (and New York, Chicago, Boston) ... we have a problem"
1 So why can't Johnny brand? 3
2 Quick - what's a brand? : (the chemistry of one-track minds) 10
3 The rules for #1 brands 15
4 Granite pages VII-XVII : rules to penetrate and stick 31
5 Anatomy of a DSI and what to feed a #1 brand 54
6 The DSI templates : eight ways to be #1 71
7 DSI expression : the five-point star 95
8 DSI star point 1 : fun and names 102
9 DSI star point 2 : articulating your unique ownable specialty 111
10 DSI star point 3 : tag lines 116
11 DSI star point 4 : key visuals 122
12 DSI star point 5 : DSL-level performance - making it tangible 127
13 The keys to the safe : weeks 1 to 3 143
14 The specialty you will own : weeks 4 and 5 163
15 The brand story : week 6 182
16 Turning on the juice : weeks 7 and 8 196
The end of the beginning 209
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    useful

    the lessons fromthis book apply to more than business. a new way of looking at life's challenges.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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