Six Rules for Brand Revitalization: Learn How Companies Like McDonald' Can Re-Energize Their Brands Hardcover – Feb 9 2009
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"Six Rules for Brand Revitalization is a very good book, and I recommend it for any marketing professional who works in the field of branding. There are many books like it on the shelves but its unique story about McDonald’s makes it stand out, and Light does a great job translating his personal success into principles and rules that anyone can apply to branding situations of any kind." (Designorati, 2/16/2009)
From the Back Cover
“Larry and Joan have laid out a great set of guiding principles for any business executive-whether they are revitalizing a brand or making sure it stays relevant.
Russ Smyth,CEO, H&R Block; former President, McDonald's Europe
“This book not only offers a unique insight into how the McDonald's brand was successfully revitalized, but even more importantly it describes six very useful rules for how to revitalize any brand.
Hans Straberg,President and CEO, Electrolux AB, Sweden
“This book demonstrates the fundamental truth that brand building begins with understanding changing consumer wants. Creating, building, maintaining, and strengthening consumer relevance is the key to brand success. This book is a gift for those who believe in brands and know that marketing is bigger than just advertising.
Howard Walker,former President, M&M/Mars
“Over the past two years, Larry has been a great partner in transforming our organization to a more customer-centric one.
Vincenzo Picone,Global Chief Marketing Officer, GE Capital
Are you responsible for reinvigorating your brand to achieve enduring profitable growth? Or for keeping your still-strong brand from fading in relevance and value? This extraordinary book teaches the invaluable lessons of one of the most successful brand revitalization projects in business history: the reinvigoration of McDonald's®. Larry Light, the Global Chief Marketing Officer who spearheaded McDonald's breakthrough marketing initiatives, presents a systematic blueprint for resurrecting any brand, and driving it to unprecedented levels of success. Light and coauthor Joan Kiddon illuminate their blueprint with specific examples from McDonald's experience, offering detailed “dos and “don'ts for everything from market segmentation to R&D to executive leadership. You'll discover how to refocus your entire organization around common goals and a common brand promise...restore brand relevance based on a profound knowledge of your customers...and reinvent your total brand experience, leveraging innovation, renovation, marketing, and value. Light and Kiddon reveal how to define and measure progress, rebuild brand trust within and outside the organization, create a “plan to win, and execute on it!
Revitalize your brand, in six steps! Learn how to...
- Refocus Your Entire Organization
- Restore Your Brand's Relevance
- Reinvent Your Brand Experience
- Reinforce an End-to-End “Results Culture
- Rebuild Brand Trust
- Realize Global Alignment
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For those of you who do read this book, you will be showered with very important lessons about modern branding. The Six Rules of Revitalization will work for just about any brand that has been around for while. Each chapter concludes with lists of Do's and Dont's and the book is filled with insights on how to bring back a brand once it is danger of losing all relevance. You'll learn how to be introspective and honest enough to create a plan for a brand turn-around.
This book really sizzles in chapter 5 when Larry Light takes on the "positionistas" (read: Ries & Trout) and challenges assumptions about brand positioning theory as you might know it and goes on to make a compelling case as to why megabrands are exempt from such rules. "They believe that brands are simple, single-word ideas. And once this idea is established, they believe that you cannot change people's minds. This is wrong." (p. 125) I loved it! I bet you'll have your own brand belief system challenged also.
You will learn about alignment (internal and global), brand journalism, the brand loyalty ladder and just exactly what it takes to take and existing brand and bring it back to a leadership position. The author reminds us that a powerful brand is not the same as a big brand and that repeat purchase behavior is not necessarily a sign of brand loyalty. You'll learn that the "sales is all that matters" mentality might be harming your business and that you must build your brand based on both quantity AND quality of sales.
If you are responsible for business marketing and/or branding on any level then there is something in this book for you. I highly recommend it.
~~Review by the author of the e-book, "How to Build and Manage Your Brand (in sickness and in health)."
The McDonald's rebirth can be credited primarily to CEO Jim Cantalupo and his protégé Charlie Bell, but there are a lot of lesser lights (what an awfully bad pun) who made major contributions to the re-energized McDonald's. One of those is Larry Light, a former consultant to McDonald's who was asked by Charlie Bell to join the ailing organization and walk the talk.
Authors Larry Light and Joan Kiddon provide excellent rules for any brand manager. They're not particularly new, but they are straightforward and most definitely they are rules that Ronald McDonald and company paid little attention to in the years prior to 2003.
The rules Light and Kiddon cite are:
Refocus the Organization
Restore Brand Relevance
Reinvent the Brand Experience
Reinforce a Results Culture
Rebuild Brand Trust
Realize the Global Alignment
We are provided with an interesting insight into some of the hubris which dominated McDonald's. In 1998, Chairman Mike Quinlan told Business Week, "We don't have to change. We have the most successful brand in the world" Wow! Light is not afraid to point fingers but most of the anecdotes and material are culled from business publications - I'm sure he is on some type of confidentiality clause.
Nevertheless the rules and concepts are powerful. The authors are adamant that consistency in communication is critical. One of the reasons for the lack of clear brand essence for the Golden Arches was the company implemented 21 different advertising campaigns between 1960-2002! Light takes us through the development of "i'm lovin' it" which has now been running for 6 years in a very professional, well coordinated global campaign.
Light writes primarily about the period 2002-2005 when he was Global Chief Marketing Officer. In what is surely a frightening insight into how fast our world is changing, there is not one reference to Facebook, Twitter, Social Marketing, blogs etc.!!
This is one of those books that is a good fast read, by an author who believes he is God's gift to marketing, but to be fair it is well worth returning to especially when preparing your next brand plan.
If you are interested in the Mcdonald's story, you should also consider
Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald's: The 7 Leadership Principles that Drive Break Out Success
This book is about the "McDonalds Brand revitalization" when Larry turned around Mc from being in red numbers back to a healthy and powerful brand.. remember "Im lovin' it...? and the new menu's and restaurant experience strategy.. and the Pa pa ra papa... the whole Mc experience was updated and improved. If still in doubt do contact Justin Timberlake and ask whether he remembers.... I am sure that no matter where you are from or what you are doing you have experienced this campaign. I also think that if you have paid just a bit of attention, you have probably noticed that Mc Donalds moved from a strategy based on just opening more restaurants to one based on improving the value delivered by its products, service and the whole brand experience.
Make yourself a favor and get a copy of this book!
I have personally applied these principles and strategies in Saxo Bank with excellent results in the brand value equation: functional and emotional customer experience divided by money and time: customer value.
Or said it even more simply; as Larry does: a brand is a promise of a relevant and differentiated experience and the service or product is the delivery of that promise.
Larry and Joan show the world the importance of brand journalism and brand design in order to stay relevant in today's fast paced moving environment.
This book is specially important today when advertising-based unsustainable growth will only drive companies to bankruptcy.. while setting the value equation right (for customer value) will lead companies to be relevant, different and profitable.
5 stars for this book and its concepts
This book reads as a loose collection of random thoughts, interspersed with a few sound and innovative business concepts. It appears as if the author was interviewed several times, the ego-centric interviews were transcribed, a few headings and chapter divisions were inserted, and then a few business concepts were listed and citations were added to give an air of academic legitimacy.
An editor's hand can bee seen often, where strong, well formed, and intelligent topic sentences are followed by poor paragraphs, filled with random thoughts or facts that are loosely connected. Unfortunately, the editors allowed this to go to print without a cohesive voice, and allowed the inclusion of erroneous information.
Do not waste your time or money on this book. This work has no academic value and does not have a place in business schools or on the shelf of any self-respecting business person.