Archive for March, 2009

BOOKmarking Vol. One

Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty NeumeierWhen it comes to brand marketing, there are so many great books so little time to read them all! 

Maybe the best way to judge a book is by the number of highlighter pens that were exhausted in the process of reading a book? Using that as my yardstick, here are my top three (for the moment).

Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier. Like the “little black dress,” this is the ‘little white book’ with a BIG message. From the word “ZAG” this exceptionally insightful and engagingly authoritative book is an easy-to-digest keeper.

BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed by Allen P Adamson. “KISS” this book ‘hello!’ Adamson has managed to cut through the morass of most branding books to make the most complex aspects of branding Simple to understand and reproduce. He poses a series of questions and provides real world examples throughout that offer a clear and actionable framework for any business.

What’s Your BQ? Learn How 35 Companies Add Customers, Subtract Competitors, and Multiply Profits with Brand Quotient by Sandra Sellani. Last, but not the least among them, Sandra Sellani’s tactical “work book” is clear, concise and compelling. I found it to be an invaluable tool, chock full of thoughtful “brandstorming” questions and practical checklists for any brand marketer.

There are many noteworthy branding books out there… What are yours?

Detroit’s Brand “D”-lemma!

The D logoOne wonders if the “D” in Detroit’s newest acronym stands for “Duped.”  The “D” has long been associated with the city of Dallas, Texas. There is even a “D” Magazine ( has been in print since October of 1974. If you Google “Dallas” +the Big D you’ll turn up over six million references. Can’t we be original here?

A city should “own” their brand…Dallas already owns the “D.” Detroit already owns MOTOWN and the WORLD knows it. Ask anyone where “Motown” is and they will point to Detroit. The city is going to have to spend a fortune to get people to associate Detroit with the “D,” especially if they know anything about Dallas. Why not work with what we have and save a lot of money in the process?

Motown does not have to equate simply with automotive and music, MO is “cool” slang for “MORE.” Even the Beatles stated, “give me MO,” (hear a tagline in there?) in a Hard Day’s Night. It’s just a matter of rebranding the MO in Motown to mean “MORE.” It should be our new “Mo!” The tagline for “MOtown” could be MO of Everything”: MO Fun, MO sports, MO nightlife, MO business opportunities, MO friendly and on and on. How easy is that? (Oops, that’s another city!)

Further, if the city and the convention bureau were so dead-set on separating Detroit from the automotive industry, why in the world did they spend who knows how much on a souped-up hotrod, tricked out with a TV and DVD and make it a centerpiece of their video presentation and promotional efforts? Who’s zoomin’ who? 

Give me MO over the “D” any day!