A Brand Bubble

The Brand Bubble is a well-considered book which raises some valid points about brands, whilst then going on to make some solutions to these issues raised.

The main issue set out in the book is set out by the title, the contention that there is a ‘bubble’ of brand valuation which could lead to a similar situation to the dot com bust of the late 90s / early 00s. In the first half of the book suggests that there is a disparity between brands’ stock market value and the actual perceived value by the consumer. It is suggested that brands have become hugely over-valued and this has created a very dangerous bubble which companies need to assess urgently.

The second half of this book makes recommendations as to how brands can be reinvigorated and can bring their actual value up.

One of the most interesting points raised is that of a brand needing to be constantly developing, ever evolving. The old days of a brand being created and then just delivering the same message for years are gone.

In an age when technology is moving so fast that we are essentially living in the past, as once the current technology is implemented there is something new, the fact that brands must always evolve is a very valid point.

There are many points raised in this book which are food for thought and although I wouldn’t make this essential reading it is worth a look if only to see how the outcomes suggested in 2008 relate to what has actually happened to brand valuations. However, I would also say that potential agendas of the authors are worth bearing in mind when reading, i.e. they are industry professionals with vested interest.

How to use brands to gain and sustain competitive advantage Companies today face a dilemma in marketing. The tried-and-true formulas to create sales and market share behind brands are becoming irrelevant and losing traction with consumers. In this book, Gerzema and LeBar offer credible evidence–drawn from a detailed analysis of a decade’s worth of brand and financial data using Y&R’s Brand Asset Valuator (BAV), the largest database of brands in the world–that business is riding on yet another bubble that is ready to burst–a brand bubble. While most managers still see metrics like trust and awareness as the backbone of how brands are built, Gerzema asserts they’re dead wrong–these metrics do not add to increased asset value. In fact, by following them, they actually hasten the declining value of their brands. Using a five-stage model, The Brand Bubble reveals how today’s successful brands–and tomorrow’s–have an insatiable appetite for creativity and change. These brands offer consumers a palpable sense of movement and direction thanks to a powerful ‘energized differentiation.’ Gerzema reveals how brands with energized differentiation achieve better financial performance than traditional brands have. Plus, Gerzema helps readers develop energized differentiation in their own brands, creating consumer-centric and sustainable organizations.

Gerzema, J. & Lebar, E. (2008), The brand bubble: the looming crisis in brand value and how to avoid it. San Francisco, Calif, Jossey-Bass.


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