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Synopsis

"Wise, witty, readable, and very, very useful. A tour de force from the world's leading authority on branding." —Anthony Hopwood, Said Business School, Oxford

Brands are a cultural phenomenon of our time. Yet, whether praised or derided, they have suffered from a critical debate characterized by routine thinking, glib assumptions, or mere prejudice. Wally Olins draws on a lifetime of marketing experience to explain why it is time to throw the old mission statements away, what happens when a brand goes global, when we shouldn't automatically assume that the customer comes first, and how it might be good news that branding is set to spread even further.

Above all, Olins provides a positive rejoinder to the new orthodoxies of the "No Logo" critics of branding by showing how they confuse their views about brands with their views about capitalism. As he argues, brands are no longer just about corporations, products, and services. In fact, all the significant institutions in our lives—the towns, cities, regions, or countries in which we live, our sports teams and museums, our consumer groups and charities—are given strength, identity, a defining role, and a satisfying cohesion via branding, one of the most significant social—as well as business—developments of modern times.

Always wise, questioning, and iconoclastic, Wally Olins takes us to the literal heart of the matter: our crucial neglect of the way in which consumer decisions about brands are as emotional as all the other important decisions in our lives. For everyone in marketing, advertising, design, and business, and for anyone who wants to understand how the world works in the early twenty-first century, this is one of those rare books that breaks the mold.

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