BOOK REVIEW: Aaker makes mark on branding world

Walk down the aisle of any supermarket or discount retailer and count the number of brands from a given manufacturer. You will see thousands.

Walk down the aisle of any supermarket or discount retailer and count the number of brands from a given manufacturer. You will see thousands.

It's no secret brand proliferation is out of control. Companies such as Unilever are paring back as a result, concentrating on their most profitable lines.

Perhaps they should read this latest book from branding guru David Aaker. It's a textbook on building a brand portfolio, offering rules for adding brands, spinning off new products, and positioning different lines.

Aaker has written 13 books and 100 articles on branding and his knowledge is apparent in this offering, though it does read more like a textbook than a breezy look at corporate America's branding habits.

There are mini-corporate case studies, but those give way to rules on branding pretty quickly.

If you know little about brand strategy, this is a good primer. If you think you know branding, this is a reference book for when your branding strategy fails and you need to figure out why.

Title Brand Portfolio Strategy

Author David Aaker


Publisher The Free Press (April 2004), 327 pages

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