A New View of Branding

March 2005
by Janelle Barlow and Paul Stewart

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Take a look at the world’s most valuable brands. Not a single one represents a publisher. It could make you think that branding isn’t meant for the book business.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Branding is primarily a way of doing business. It’s a business strategy that is carefully defined with the customer in mind. It’s a promise that an organization makes to potential audiences–and then must deliver on.

Your brand is more than your company name and much more than your logo. Your brand is your reputation, or, as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, says, “It’s the things people say about you when you aren’t in the room.”

The London-based branding agency Brand Guardians describes the link between brand and reputation this way: “Branding is about performance. Branding represents different things to different people. But in the final analysis, branding is a tool for delivering your business objectives: a means to an end, not an end in itself.”

Yes, It Starts with the Products

Clearly, with this broader understanding of branding and with so many new books reaching the marketplace every day, publishers need to be as interested in branding as (for example) Coca-Cola is. For books as for all other products, consumers use brands to simplify choices. And just as they are influenced by a book’s title and content and an author’s brand, they may be influenced by the publisher&#1…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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