The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding
And How to Break the Vicious Cycle
1. Edition February 2011
2011. 288 Pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-470-82647-8 - John Wiley & Sons
E-Books are also available on all known E-Book shops.
The world of Asian* brands is best characterized by complementary portions of confusion, delusion and outright ignorance by senior managers and brand owners. The net result is that the development of Asian brands has been arrested and significantly lags behind those in the West. Repeated surveys of Asians across the region confirm over and over again their overwhelming preference to drink Coke, wear Nike shoes and drive BMWs. Rare is the Apple zealot-like emotional relationship Asians will show for any Asian brand. Yet the region is awash with tens of thousands of new brands that emerge every other day reflecting an unstoppable energy and vitality that is fueling the increasingly universal belief that this century will belong to Asia (and China in particular). The continued absence of genuinely great Asian brands (as opposed to merely 'good' brands) will at best slow down that prospect, at worse throw a real spanner into the works. Sooner or later something needs to happen. And something will and in all likelihood it will be driven by individual visionary Asian business leaders. This book provides a clear and compelling blueprint that will deliver long-term sustainable competitive advantage to these exceptional leaders who will, in time, blaze a pioneering trail for others to follow.
The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding aims to do three things: uncover, educate and execute.
Firstly, it aims to expose the practices, circumstances, policies as well as management attitudes and mentality that individually and collectively conspire to effectively hold back Asian brands from graduating to great brands. These range from the plainly visible, to the insidiously undetectable. It is reflected in cultural values that encourage middle level company employees to sanitize bad news; it is reinforced by the unwillingness of all level employees to experiment with new ideas or even volunteer opinions for fear of being penalized for being wrong; it thrives in operational environments that separate functional departments responsible for creating the product from those that promise the experience of the product to the customer; and it dies a still-born death in the hands of CEOs who lack long term vision in favor of short-term wins.
Secondly, it aims to re-educate Asian managers - particularly CEOs - on the subject of brand and branding. It takes aim at the countless misconceptions and the outright ignorance that have collectively contributed to poor and non-existing brand building practices in Asian companies. The approach is provocative because many of the metaphors used (from rock music to religion) not only provide immediate and relieving clarity, but many do so by aiming to deliver personal epiphanies. Suddenly the vague, nebulous, contradictory and confusing are rendered clear, connected and comprehensible.
Thirdly, it provides a comprehensive step-by-step explanation of the typical multi-phase methodology brand consultants use to either position new brands or re-position existing brands that have lost their way.
The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding is a long awaited no-holds barred reality check for Asian decision makers that at the same time validates the potential greatness hidden in Asian brands and provides the means to making them so.
*Excluding Japanese brands
From the contents
1. A Time of Profound Change.
The old world order.
The new world order.
The rest of Asia.
Toll-gates and vision.
2. Five Reasons Why There are Very Few Great Asian brands.
1. Myopic CEO leadership.
2. Corporate culture is by default, rather than by design.
3. Charlatan brand practitioners.
4. Performance of government agencies.
5. Advertising agencies' lack of branding competencies.
3. Redefining Brand, Branding, and Advertising.
Brand and branding: Thinking differently.
Branding made easy: The People Analogy.
The brand blueprint.
The brand proposition.
The relationship between branding and advertising.
Overview of the business and branding flowchart.
Business goals and business strategy.
The role of corporate guiding principles.
Summary: Charting the road to a successful business
5. Brand Strategy.
If you don't make a choice, the choice makes you.
Focused target audience.
Ability to innovate and stay relevant.
CEO involvement and leadership.
Employee involvement and commitment.
Intelligent brand architecture.
CSR: The new branding imperative.
6. Methodology instead of Mythology.
Positioning or repositioning?
Preparing for a (positioning or repositioning) branding project.
The strategy-centric brand development methodology.
Costing the project proposal.
7. Brand into Action: Delivering against Your Promise.
Be careful what you promise.
Making the brand come alive.
The future is here.
Caught up in a good thing.
The "Asian/Chinese Century".
Everything is connected; the rest is conceptual.
Summary: Tomorrow's Asian CEO today.