The Truth About Creating Brands People Love by Brian D. TillThe Truth About Creating Brands People Love by Brian D. Till

The Truth About Creating Brands People Love

byBrian D. Till, Donna D. Heckler

Paperback | October 10, 2008

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Branding: secrets revealed, best practices explained, pitfalls exposed!

• The truth about positioning brands and developing brand meaning

• The truth about brands as corporate profit drivers

• The truth about advertising, pricing, segmentation, and more


Simply the best thinking

the truth and nothing but the truth


This book reveals the 51 bite-size, easy-to-use techniques for building great brands–and keeping them great.


“I recommend this punchy, provocative book that uses vivid case studies to remind us of 51 truths about brands.”

DAVID AAKER, Vice-Chairman, Prophet and Author of Building Strong Brands and Spanning Silos


Dr. Brian D. Till is the Steber Professor of Marketing and Chair of the Marketing Department at Saint Louis University. He holds a B.S. in Advertising and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. His Ph.D. is from the University of South Carolina. At Saint Louis University, he teaches primarily marketing strategy and advertis...
Title:The Truth About Creating Brands People LoveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.4 × 0.6 inPublished:October 10, 2008Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0137128169

ISBN - 13:9780137128167

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging and practical. By using real life stories, the authors reinforce solid principles of building strong brands. These quick "bites" of truth are engaging, practical and filled with wisdom to help all businesses become brand champions.
Date published: 2009-11-13

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Praise for The Truth About Creating Brands People Love "I recommend this punchy, provocative book that uses vivid case studies to remind us of 51 truths about brands." David Aaker, Vice-Chairman, Prophet and Author of Building Strong Brands and Spanning Silos "Brian Till and Donna Heckler have captured the key proven principles of creating strong brands and managing them effectively over the long-run. Their work is practical and applicable to companies across a wide range of industries. They offer concrete marketing strategy guidelines necessary for creating sustainable brand commitment. Their ideas are expressed in an engaging fashion, and the book is divided into concise chapters that can stand alone to make powerful points during brand strategy planning sessions." Dan Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and Dean, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University "Utilizing a broad range of examples, anecdotes, and case history-style narrative, the authors answer many of the recurring questions brand managers and their agencies face every day in marketing consumer and business-to-business products and services. The truth about The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is that it offers sound, actionable advice that anyone in the business of building, managing, and stewarding brands can put into effective use immediately." Joe Osborn, Partner, Osborn & Barr Communications "This is an enjoyable read of spirited and engaging 'Truths' regarding effective brand building. Importantly, it is filled with wisdom and insights that apply to all brands and all businesses." Patricia Seybold, Author of, The Customer Revolution, and Outside Innovation "Brian and Donna have peeled back the secrets of how to make great brands. Filled with countless real life examples, it's an easy and "relatable" read. A great primer for the marketer just starting out or for the established manager who thinks he knows it all." M. Paul Kravitz, Manager, New Products and Business Development, Nestlé Purina PetCare "A must read for corporate execs. It brings the basics back to branding." Brian Abrahams, General Manager, U.S. Sales Division, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "A very easy to read-and-apply text that relates well to the new marketing 'guru' and the seasoned vet. A must read for all marketers." Larry Brayman, Manager of Marketing, Dunkin Brands, Inc Preface Creating brands people love seems so easy. Just look around at all the wonderful brands that we experience every day. Yet, creating brands people love requires more than simply love of a product and spectacularly creative advertising—it requires intelligent, strategic, and coordinated decisions in many areas of marketing. Packaging, promotion, advertising, positioning, distribution, and pricing are just some of the important functions that, when successfully managed, lead to profitable brands that matter to consumers. The purpose of this book is to illustrate universal truths about brand management that cover the range of brand-building activities. These truths transcend context, providing important insights irrespective of industry-specific dynamics. The guidelines here are as relevant to a marketing manager for a steel producer as for a cereal maker; as meaningful to a brand manager for coffee machines as for a ski resort; as useful to someone running an art gallery as to someone managing a high-end hotel. For experienced and well-trained marketing managers, these truths provide a touchstone to those basic principles that are sometimes overlooked in day-to-day decision making. For the up-and-coming brand manager, this book provides thoughtful guidance that will serve you well over the course of a career. For senior executives responsible for the marketing function but not formally trained, the book serves as a framework to think about brand building and from which to challenge your marketing staff. Finally, for students, you will find these truths to be a solid foundation for life-long learning in this fascinating business. The following chapters cover an assortment of issues regularly faced by marketing and brand managers such as media, taglines, brand extensions, brand names, use of celebrities, packaging, and so on. Importantly, though, none of those decisions will matter unless your basic product or service offering is on target. The product or service itself is the starting foundation of a great brand. Consider Honda. Certainly there are cars more luxurious, cars that deliver greater thrills, and cars that are more stylish. But Honda nails the essence of a great product—reliability, excellent build quality, comfortable, well-planned ergonomics, and good fuel economy. Although Honda's brand image is not flashy, Honda's image does have appeal to a significant group of people. Importantly, the starting point for Honda as a brand is Honda the product. Gas station and convenience store QuickTrip is another good example of a brand that pays close attention to the little things. The cashiers, in addition to their speedy change counting, are quick with a "Many thanks," or "Come back and see us soon." The consistency from QuickTrip is not simple coincidence but rather an intentional focus on speed and pleasantness. At many service stations, when filling to a prepay of $20, the rate of gas flow drops to a trickle at $19.80 or so, and then the last twenty cents worth dribbles in. Not at QuickTrip. The gas flow is constantly strong until it hits exactly $20. A small detail indeed, but a detail that reinforces the promise embodied in their name—quick trip. Without diminishing the role and importance of public relations, creative TV advertising, an engaging website, captivating packaging, motivating promotions, or any of the other tools that collectively build strong brands and drive profitability, there is tremendous importance in putting first things first—and the first thing is a fundamentally great product. Great products make great brands. The Truth About Creating Brands People Love is a complete toolbox of ideas, strategies, and techniques that can take a great product and transform it into a profitable brand people will love. Each concept has at its core a focus on how to connect with the consumer in a meaningful way. Be empowered, challenge conventional wisdom, think strategically, and use this book as a guide to creating a bond between your customers and your brand. © Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Truth 1 Managing brands is not common sense 1

Truth 2 No one loves your brand as much as you love it 5

Truth 3 The brand is not owned by marketing; everyone owns it 9

Truth 4 Making more by doing less 13

Truth 5 Does your brand keep its promise? 17

Truth 6 Price is the communication of the value of your brand 21

Truth 7 Brand personality is the emotional connection with your brand 25

Truth 8 Does your sales force know the difference between a product and a brand? 29

Truth 9 Beware of the discounting minefield 33

Truth 10 Packaging protects your product; great packaging protects your brand 37

Truth 11 Brand management is association management 41

Truth 12 The retail experience is the brand experience 45

Truth 13 Corporate ego: Danger ahead 49

Truth 14 Brand metrics: Best measure of success? 53

Truth 15 Customer complaints are a treasure 57

Truth 16 Brand stewardship begins at home 61

Truth 17 Market share doesn’t matter 65

Truth 18 Avoid the most common segmentation mistake 69

Truth 19 Public relations and damage control: The defining moment 73

Truth 20 Focus equals simplicity 77

Truth 21 Marketing is courtship, not combat 81

Truth 22 Don’t sacrifice brand focus for sales 85

Truth 23 The medium is not the message; the message is the message 89

Truth 24 Brand development and the small business 93

Truth 25 Imitation is an ineffective form of flattery 97

Truth 26 Positioning lives in the mind of your target customer 101

Truth 27 The value of brand loyalty 105

Truth 28 Quality is not an effective branding message 109

Truth 29 Effective use of celebrity endorsers: The fit’s the thing 113

Truth 30 Brand-building consumer promotion 117

Truth 31 Advertising built for the long run 121

Truth 32 A service brand is a personal brand 125

Truth 33 Is your brand the best at something? If so, be satisfied 129

Truth 34 Great positionings are enduring 133

Truth 35 Effective branding begins with the name 137

Truth 36 Your brand makes your company powerful, not the other way around 141

Truth 37 Be consistent but not complacent 145

Truth 38 Is your brand different? If not, why will someone buy it? 149

Truth 39 The three M’s of taglines: Meaningful, motivating, and memorable

Truth 40 Customer service is the touch point of your brand 157

Truth 41 Smaller targets are easier to hit 161

Truth 42 Beware of the allure of brand extensions 165

Truth 43 Keep advertising simple, but not simplistic 169

Truth 44 It’s a long walk from the focus group room to the cash register 173

Truth 45 Repositioning can be a fool’s chase 177

Truth 46 With advertising, don’t expect too much 181

Truth 47 Don’t let testing override judgment 185

Truth 48 Effective advertising is 90% what you say, 10% how you say it 189

Truth 49 Compromise can destroy a brand 193

Truth 50 Don’t let the pizazz outshine the brand 197

Truth 51 There are no commodity products, only commodity thinking 201

References 205

Acknowledgments 209

About the Authors 211