Review: Brand Atlas: Branding Intelligence Made Visible

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Presumably because of my blog, the publishers sent me a review copy of Brand Atlas: Branding Intelligence Made Visible by Alina Wheeler and Joel Katz. This is, intentionally, a visual book, where graphics and design are intended to focus and set the stage for the words.  I liked it, but sense the concept would have worked much more effectively if the book operated like a real atlas where you can certainly see the big overview but, if you are truly interested in specific details, drill down to an incredibly detailed level (a level you would find in the old-style print atlases we rarely use these days because of the Internet and, more powerfully, GPS devices.)

Specificity and generality are always a challenge in business guidance, books and initiatives (and marketing!)  You certainly can benefit from the overview, but how do you apply the details in your own market space? As an example, I don’t think I have a single “new” idea that you won’t discover expressed in Brand Atlas in my own book — but my examples, references and explanations are geared exclusively to the AEC community.  (See Positioning, in the Atlas glossary.)  However, when I step outside my narrow space  (and we’re trying this with another book publishing initiative — see yesterday’s blog posting) the story becomes much more difficult and the marketing process is much more challenging.

Nevertheless, this book can be valuable as a reference tool (you can easily discover and review specific concepts) and also I think will work work really well for visual and experiential rather than text-oriented readers. Because of its nature, it is one I would think would be easier to grasp and evaluate in a live bookstore than through a web-based search.

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