Building Better Brands


ISBN: 9781440331435

Building Better Brands by Scott Lerman and published by How Design is an excellent primer into developing World-class brands. Developed from consulting experience from brands like Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson, 3M, Owens-Illinois, National Australia Bank, and American Express, as well as middle-market and new-media startups, Scott Lerman provides a straight forward structured approach to developing these leading brands.

The book is really for anyone from company directors who want to gain insight into the point of difference of their brand all the way through to designers and marketing and comminication workers who need to meet as part of critical thinking teams and develop the nuances of these brands. It is also relevant to students who want to learn from scratch how to develop a leading brand or perhaps a small business or startup who wants to professionalise their image. It’s not comprehensive or extremely critical but it gives you a great base knowledge. It is well structured and is very practical in nature. For example throguhout the title it always tells you where you are up to in developing a plan and where you need to go to next. It even has a guide to running a brand workshop with a team of people!

So Building Better Brands is very much a program facilitation or training book as much as a learning resource. For a designer I see this book as being critically important for developing logos and other graphic design products. So often we rush into developing concepts without considering the environment in which products will be sold and used, and more importantly who are the people that are going to buy this product and what appeals to them. With this structured approach you can work step by step through a research process that will ensure you have all bases covered. Although I mention that you cna work through this book as part of a team you could also develop fast plans on your own utilising this book.

The table of contents is as follows:

Chapter 1: Introduction
- Building Better Brands?
- Building Better Brands That…
- Elements of Building Better Brands

Chapter 2: Champions
- Carol Gee
- Carmenchu Mendiola Fernandez
- Van Perry

Chapter 3: Discovery
- Discovery Work Plan

Chapter 4: Character
- Start with Character
- What’s in Character
- Defining Character
- Character Workshop

Chapter 5: Arena
- A Simple Question
- Don’t Use Your Imagination
- Focused Versus Expansive
- Arena Workshop

Chapter 6: Positioning
- Brand Positioning
- Brand Territory-A Simple Framework
- Positioning Attributes
- Positioning Workshop

Chapter 7: Experience
- Experience is Undeniable
- (re)Model the Experience
- Experience Workshop

Chapter 8: Identity
- What is Brand Identity?
- Brand Architecture
- Look and Feel
- Names
- Logos
- Identity Work Plan

Chapter 9: Help!

Chapter 10: Afterword

Building Better Brands is brief but snappy and contains some helpful graphics along the way. It doesn’t have too many diagrams but does have a few real world examples that relate to the teachings. The book doesn’t contain in depth case studies or zillions of pages muddled with text it has kept it simple along the way. The book is written in an instructive way so you wont find much analysis or reasoning at times making it better as a training reference as appose to a more critical work. I do recommend Building Better Brands but I do think at times it does lack detail, and I think the structured plans detailed in the book might not appeal to many businesses and organisations so it will require a sharp mind to translate the core concepts implied and putting it into shorter faster processes.










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