BOOK REVIEW: Winning killer brand vs. brand killer war

David F. D'Alessandro is that rare beast - a CEO with a PR background and one with a passion for branding to boot.

David F. D'Alessandro is that rare beast - a CEO with a PR background and one with a passion for branding to boot.

His main concern is the stupid things companies do to harm their already-established brands. D'Alessandro, head of John Hancock Financial Services, says that happens because companies don't filter decisions through the brand. Too many people inside - especially in law and finance - go out of their way to hurt the brand. D'Alessandro is especially interested in sports sponsorships (he devotes two chapters to them). He notes that they can have a "halo effect" but also risks, and as such require a lot of work. He advises not to get involved with a sponsorship just because the CEO wants to hobnob with his or her sports heroes. The book, with its many quips and asides, can be funny. D'Alessandro starts with a story from his early days at an unnamed New York PR firm. He was assigned to the new account of Orville Redenbacher, whose popcorn passion seemed rather nutty, but it helped create a great brand in the marketplace. ----- Title Brand Warfare Author David F. D'Alessandro Publisher McGraw-Hill, 185 pages Reviewed by Thom Weidlich

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