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Brands and Branding

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Brands and Branding

Bloomberg Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Think of Coca-Cola, IBM, Nokia, Disney, Nike and McDonald's, and then consider the value of your brand.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This anthology, edited by Rita Clifton and John Simmons with Sameena Ahmad, contains an abundance of information about branding. In fact, with 17 contributors, different experts repeat the same information more than once, further emphasizing and validating these points. For example, several contributors note the social value of brands; later, an entire chapter covers the same topic. Some sections delve into the material more deeply than others, but much of it is sophisticated enough to appeal to the most dedicated brand specialist. The book includes discussions of branding esoterica such as the distinction between verbal and visual identities, and the role of brands in a global marketplace. Despite the repetition and the inclusion of some dated studies, getAbstract brands this book as an important one for anyone concerned with branding, especially with its new role as a source of financial value.


The History and Meaning of Brands

Many corporate executives believe their brands are merely cosmetic artifacts. But this perspective is shortsighted. Today, brands are the most important part of any organization’s operation, whether it’s a for-profit or a nonprofit corporation. To build long-term value, you must understand that your organization is, first and foremost, a brand.

Brands originated when farmers and craftspeople used symbols to distinguish their products from others’. Ranchers burned their brands onto their animals’ hides. Pottery-makers in the ancient world marked their creations with a personal symbol or a thumbprint.

Like the early brands, yours should be distinctive, universally recognizable and consistent. It is your bridge between you and the consumer, and it represents your goods, services and promises. If your brand delivers, your company prospers. Consumers trust the brand and like what it represents. Brands build customers’ loyalty and encourage them to return.

Brand Value

Although a brand, because it is a symbol, is an intangible, it actually has significant financial value. A recent study of the companies in the Financial...

About the Authors

Rita Clifton is the chairman of a brand consulting company. John Simmons is co-author of What is Brand Equity, Anyway? Sameena Ahmad is a business correspondent with The Economist.

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