Brand Leadership
by David A. Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler
The Free Press, 2000, 350 pages, $30.

Just do it. Three simple words that established Nike not just as a leader in athletic shoes but as a genius in branding.

Every company wants its products to be as well known and regarded as Nike's. However, with tough competition and anincreasingly global marketplace, creating an image on the scale of a Nike is no easy feat. If you're facing the challenge of building a reputation for your brand, this book is for you.

Achieving Brand Leadership

In Brand Leadership, authors David Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler describe how to raise brand management to the next level: brand leadership. Achieving this level is based on what they consider the four imperatives of global brand management.

  1. Extending the concept of brand identity. Aaker and Joachimsthaler help you develop a "broad essence statement," a statement that functions as the backbone of your overall plan, establishing what your brand should stand for. For instance, the essence of Nike's identity is an aggressive, provocative, in-your-face style.
  2. Leveraging brand architecture. This imperative addresses how brands should relate to each other, how far they should be stretched, and what roles each should play within the total system. Aaker and Joachimsthaler emphasize that your brands should be grouped into categories, the better to identify possible synergies.
  3. Moving beyond advertising. The authors maintain that "the key to most strong brands is brilliant execution that bursts out of the clutter, provides a boost to the brand, and creates a cumulative impact over time." Although advertising plays a role, brilliant execution requires additional tools such as interactive media, direct response, promotions, sponsorship, and the Internet.
  4. Managing global brands. Managing brands in a global context presents some unique challenges. Several methods are introduced to help you build brands on a global scale.

As with Aaker's two previous best-selling books, Managing Brand Equity and Building Strong Brands, Brand Leadership deserves a place on the shelves of executives and brand managers in market-driven firms worldwide. If you are ready to take brand management to the next level, this book will guide you there.

Copyright © 2000 Soundview Executive Book Summaries