Brands in the Balance: Meeting the Challenges to Commercial Identity

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9780273650355: Brands in the Balance: Meeting the Challenges to Commercial Identity

It seems that nothing is unbrandable these days. From soft drinks, cars and clothing to financial services, telephones and even health care. As globalization increases consumer choice and product availability, commodities and services can often only be differentiated by one thing - brand. The growth of internet commerce has only intensified the view that a strong brand may be all that stands between profit and loss, between corporate identity and obscurity. Whilst brands may be bigger and bolder than before, more is expected of them as the marketplace buckles under the weight of product overload. Does brand loyalty really exist in the New Economy? Many analysts are predicting the death of the brand and of customer loyalty, arguing that sales are less a result of great branding, and more about accessibility and affordability. The time has come for many brand owners and managers to step back and reassess what their brands, and their companies, really stand for. Brands in the Balance explores the issue of the anti-brand backlash and takes a close look at the future of the global brand and what e-commerce companies must do to make sure their brand names stand out and make a lasting impression. It examines the future of 20 of the world's leading brands in light of the company, the marketplace, the internet and society as a whole, and asks how brands can survive and prosper in the 21st century. The case studies within are based on interviews with the real brand masters of today and tomorrow, and include:Bernard Arnault, CEO of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Domenico De Sole, CEO of Italian design and fashion powerhouse Gucci Group Karen Edwards, vice-president of marketing at US internet powerhouse Yahoo! Michael Eisner, CEO of US entertainment and media legend Walt Disney Co. Charlie Frenette, president of the European unit of US soft drinks leader Coca-Cola Co. Daniel Gestetner, CEO of UK-based start-up internet shopping portal ShopSmart Stelios Haji-Ioannou, CEO of upstart UK budget airline easyJet Alan Harris, president of the European unit of US food group Kellogg Co. Jack Keenan, deputy CEO of UK spirits giant Diageo plc Patrick Ricard, CEO of venerable French spirits group Pernod Ricard.

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From the Back Cover:

The world is speeding into the information age. Style is taking a seat next to substance. The language of commerce is shifting from nuts and bolts to images and perceptions, and in the swamped global marketplace the strongest brand shouts loudest.

But whilst brands are more visible and valuable than ever before, they are increasingly coming under threat as customer loyalty becomes harder to maintain.

Brands in the Balance asks managers of the world's leading branded goods and service companies how strong brands are built, maintained, rescued, extended, valued and understood. Their answers provide us with some of the most enthralling stories from today's world of business, as well as invaluable strategies for brand survival."An intelligent, informative and highly readable book about any organization's most important assets — their brands. This book is a great contribution to the history and future possibilities of branding. It is recommended for anyone with an interest in brands, whether brand lovers, or brand skeptics."—Rita Clifton, CEO, Interbrand"Kevin Drawbaugh's book is a wonderful portfolio of case studies in the global marketplace, with both positive and negative examples giving an excellent, practical, useful and highly readable account of where brands are today."—John Wakely, Lehman Brothers

About the Author:

Kevin Drawbaugh has written about business for seven years as a correspondent for Reuters in New York, Chicago and London. His work has appeared in newspapers worldwide, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He was formerly an editor and reporter covering business and government for daily newspapers in Indiana, Maryland and Virginia. He holds degrees in US history from Indiana University and in economics and communication from American University in Washington, DC. He lives near London with his wife and two sons.

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