Weekend Reading: “UnBranding” by Alison and Scott Stratten

For the 146th episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Alison Stratten, co-author with Scott Stratten of UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption.

You may already know the Strattens from previous books such as UnMarketing, The Book of Business Awesome/UnAwesome, UnSelling, and the marketing book with the greatest title in the English language, QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground.

In UnBranding the authors explain that we’re in the age of disruption – it’s fast-paced, far-reaching and is forever changing how we operate, create, connect, and market. Which is why brand heads are spinning. Businesses are suffering from ‘the next big thing.’

UnBranding is about focus – it’s about seeing that within these new strategies, technologies and frameworks fighting for our attention, lay the tried and true tenets of good business – because innovation is nothing but a bright and shiny new toy, unless it actually works. UnBranding reminds us that we can’t fix rude staff, mediocre products and a poor brand reputation with a fancy new app.

UnBranding has been in the works for a while now. When you’ve written Unmarketing and UnSelling, it seems like the next logical step. But we’ve always fought against content for content’s sake, and we waited until we had something to say.

We could tell you how to be a brand in one sentence – be good to your customers, employees and vendors and have a great product and/or service. But we can’t sell that for $20.

The message of UnBranding isn’t new for us. Branding is in every part of your business– how and whom you hire is branding, your front line is branding, what your CEO likes on Facebook is branding.

Branding isn’t a department or a campaign; in fact, branding isn’t in your hands at all. Your brand belongs to your customers– it’s what they think of when they hear your name and how they tell your story.

A bit more about the book…

Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.