Recommended Read: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Brand Thinking: And other noble pursuits


When this book came along, it was exactly what I needed. It's a series of interviews with branding professionals including an anthropologist, a professor of design, a cultural critic and numerous designers. Perfect for absorbing in small pieces.

It's loosely grouped into three types of interviews: "Why do brands exist? How are brands created? and What is the future of branding?" My favorites were from Dori Tunstall - an associate professor of design anthropology and Virgina Postrel - an author and cultural critic. Tunstall and Postrel's interviews both fall into the first category which is more exploratory and theoretical than the following two. Both authors explain why we are drawn to brands - to signal our belonging to certain groups and often to express our creativity and individualism.

Brand Thinking offers a great number of discussions on how we choose to identify ourselves and others through the brands that we support or dislike. It also provides an interesting look into how branding professionals seek to seduce us. As a teenager, I was enamored with the Gillette Venus razor goddess commercials (and have stuck with them ever since) so it was illuminating to read about the woman behind the campaign, Cheryl Swanson.

Reading this book allowed me to question the brands that I support and the to understand the feelings/associations that they provoke. Sometimes it further validated my choices or sent me on a hunt for another brand that more closely aligns with my values. All in all, Brand Thinking is accessible and offers great insight into an industry that has revolutionized advertising.

14 comments:

carmen st-cyr said...

oh là là... something to think of..thanks!

Lexie, Little Boat said...

this reminds me something my sociology professor would have us read! very intriguing!

Cara said...

Hmmm - that would be a good book for us to have around the office! Thanks!

Jen said...

This sounds great, thanks for the rec!

Julie said...

ooh, great review!! It's important for everyone to be educated about brands and what they mean to us, and what those brands are actually about (as opposed to what they want us to just think they are about). I'm so intrigued!

Hila said...

It sounds like a really interesting book. Although I have to confess to feeling a knot in my stomach when I hear the word 'brand' being used with regard to people rather than companies :)

erica-knits said...

oh! I hope you get a chance to read it.

erica-knits said...

You must have had a cool sociology professor! I would have loved to be assigned this in school.

erica-knits said...

Awesome, I hope the office enjoys it!

erica-knits said...

I think you would really enjoy it, it's very interesting to examine branding from many angles. It's fascinating.

erica-knits said...

So true! I've finally returned it to the library, so it should be available ;)

erica-knits said...

Yes, ha, 'personal brand' came up a few times.

Meg said...

This sounds really interesting!

Lisa (Needles and Wool) said...

sounds like a good read !

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