The world of branding has changed dramatically in the past decade, and the pace of change only seems to be accelerating. A key force driving both change and complexity is the overwhelming access to people, products, and information. In today’s world, we are hyper-connected.

Consumers have an almost infinite range of products and services quite literally at their fingertips, and these options can be delivered, if not instantly, then close to it. Brand managers can connect directly with their customers, track their decision journey, and in many cases make the sale without the assistance of traditional intermediaries. The opportunities are endless for both consumers and managers, and the breadth of options has the potential to be overwhelming.

Although some argue that brands are becoming less important, we believe the opposite—that branding is becoming even more important. Brands provide differentiation, create loyalty, and even foster a sense of identity. Without a powerful, distinctive brand, firms have to rely purely on product-based differentiation, and this can be difficult to maintain.

Our goal in writing and editing this book is to help business leaders navigate this evolving landscape. We do so by drawing upon the perspectives of Kellogg’s world-renowned marketing faculty, as well as those of senior executives who put theory into practice as they build and manage brands on a day-to-day basis.

This book is the latest in a series of marketing books from Kellogg, ...

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