I once again have turned to Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design (here it is on Amazon) when doing research for an upcoming appointment and thought I’d take a minute to mention it here.
I like this little book so much that I have actually bought two copies. Not exactly on purpose, though. My first copy, which had a whole bunch of loving notes I’d scribbled into the margins, was loaned to a neighbor I met at a block party. As it turned out she worked at a local ad agency and we got talking about marketing, design and the usual. To my complete shock, she admitted that she had never even heard of Marty Neumeier! While I don’t consider myself a name-dropping, marketing prima donna, I can’t imagine anyone in the field that hasn’t at least heard of The Brand Gap. I immediately sang the book’s praises, went home and got my copy for her, and promptly never saw it again. Needless to say, some nights when I was walking the dog by her house I thought almost seriously about slipping in a window and taking my book back. I imagined it discarded on a dusty shelf. Then I began to envision her cherishing it, like I did, and that made my little book’s journey out of my life a bit more tolerable. So, instead of stealing it back, I broke down and bought another copy, and began to fill the margins of the new book with all my notes.
What I really like about The Brand Gap is that it takes into account both the strategic and creative approaches to brand building — and clearly shows us that when a disconnect exists between the two, between “logic and magic,” it can cause an even brilliant strategy to fail where it counts most — at the point of contact with the customer. That is the brand gap.
Neumeier goes on to present a pared-down strategy for constructing a unified theory of branding—a set of five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand strategy and customer experience. He also gives us:
- The new definition of brand
- How branding is changing the dynamics of competition
- The three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
- Why collaboration is the key to brand-building
- How design determines a customer’s experience
- How to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
- The importance of managing brands from the inside
- and a really nice 220-word brand glossary