Summary of The Brand Bubble

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The Brand Bubble book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


John Gerzema and Ed Lebar have written an exceptionally clear, pertinent book about the declining value of brands and why the world’s largest brand names are in flux. Using proprietary data, the authors vividly explain how brand clutter has created a marketing bubble. Since brands are such an important part of any corporation’s value, the authors contend, the total valuation of this brand bubble will dwarf the mortgage bubble. The authors identify and analyze the branding problem, and then make recommendations about how to solve it. The book’s one drawback is that it becomes repetitive, especially in the later sections. Still, the authors’ timely, compelling argument should resonate with branding professionals. getAbstract recommends this book to marketers who want a better understanding of how lack of creativity makes brands deteriorate, and of how they might be able to resurrect the brands that are still salvageable.

About the Authors

John Gerzema is Chief Insights Officer for Young and Rubicam Group, and an account-planning pioneer. Ed Lebar is CEO of BrandAsset® Consulting, and oversees Y&R’s brand strategy and research. Under his leadership, BrandAsset® Valuator has grown to include more than 500,000 consumers, 38,000 brands in 48 countries, and 250 studies. He is a former economics professor.


Brand Troubles

Big brand names risk being devalued and losing their financial muscle. Experts track a brand’s strength with the BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV), a database and research tool that calculates brand reach and marketplace valuation. Based on data going back to 1993, researchers have found that consumer attitudes toward brands are falling in such pivotal areas as awareness, loyalty, trust and admiration. Brands are not contributing to their companies’ balance sheets and the public’s perception of brands is declining. These events are happening because of brand clutter and new consumer behaviors. Trust and awareness are no longer the sole determinants of how customers perceive brand value. Instead, consumers now focus on fewer brands, primarily exciting ones with new features. These brands distinguish themselves with a concerted effort called “energized differentiation.” Brands with this energy capture public attention, causing a demonstrable improvement in their firms’ financial results. Consumers no longer value brands as highly as they once did. This has opened a gap between the value Wall Street gives brands and the value consumers give them. In effect, this valuation...

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