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Brand Book Bites from Brand Now

Here are the best bites from and an overview of Nick Westergaard’s new book Brand Now: How to Stand Out In a Crowded, Distracted World.

– the book: Brand Now: How to Stand Out In a Crowded, Distracted World takes on branding and marketing with a related but different perspective from Nick’s first book, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small.

– the brains: Nick Westergaard is described as having “a foot in the college classroom and a foot in the field,” because he is speaker, instructor at University of Iowa, consultant, and coach. Nick has been kind enough to host me on his popular #OnBrandPodcast and I really appreciate his writing style which is approachable and insightful, a rare combination.

– the best bits: The premise of the book is “To brand now, you have to both build and move your brand…They must move between everyone, everywhere—both online and off… Brands that move from person to person, platform to platform, and community to community.”

With this challenge in mind, Nick introduces the “Brand Now Framework,” which includes the 7 Brand Now Dynamics — Meaning, Structure, Story, Content, Community, Clarity, and Experience. The book closes with a toolbox to help you apply the framework to specific situations like B2B, small business, and personal brands.

Here are some of the insights Nick shares along the way:

You can’t advertise your way to a better, stronger brand today… Instead of clever ads, focus on building a clear, transparent brand with no daylight between what you say and what you do.

Simply producing more content isn’t enough, as you’ll soon discover. You have to create better content. How does one do that? By creating content that is both business-centric and customer-aware… You need to look at what purpose your content serves, but you also need to consider who it’s for.

In a crowded, cluttered marketplace, brands that are able to reduce the noise and provide pleasing communications and experiences will earn a special place in the hearts and minds of customers. More isn’t always better. Sometimes more is just more.

Too often, organizations are too consumed with HR and other employee guidelines and policies to consider adding these doses of branding and culture. And yet few things can be so effective in helping your brand grow, especially when you consider creating a coherent brand experience across all touchpoints. In many cases, these touchpoints are managed and delivered by disparate parties internally. Maintaining a strong brand culture unifies your team and strengthens your brand at the same time.

Your brand has the potential to be more than just a marketing communications tool. Your brand is a divining rod that you can use to navigate your organization’s growth.

– the bottom line: This is the endorsement blurb I wrote for the book (thanks for asking, Nick):

Brand Now is the blueprint every business leader needs for building a brand in today’s complex, cluttered, and competitive environment. It’s an immensely practical and easy-to-read resource that I highly recommend.

other brand book bites you might enjoy:

Brand A-Z by Marty Neumeier
Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
Mastering the New Media Landscape by Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton

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