THE BRAND INNOVATION MANIFESTO

John Grant

The one-sentence summary

Build your brand, redefine the market and defy convention by generating a brand molecule instead of an old-fashioned unique selling point.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS

  • The days of big image branding are over, and that includes the USP, brand essence and cultural trends research, none of which do the job any more.
  • Brands should be seen as clusters of cultural ideas, many of which can be contributed by consumers and other brands as well as the brand owners.
  • The main concept in the book is the ‘brand molecule’, a modular structure to which new ideas can be added regularly.
  • He offers 32 types of brand idea that can be stolen or cross-pollinated to reinvigorate tired brands.
  • Those stuck in a strategic rut could do worse than try drawing up their own brand molecule, using any number of his 32 brand elements:
    • New Traditions: habit, spectacular, leadership, organisation
    • Belief Systems: cognitive, appreciation, faith, atlas
    • Time: regressive, now, nostalgia, calendar
    • Herd instincts: initiation, crowd, clan, craze
    • Connecting: co-authored, socialising, cooperative, localised
    • Luxury: concierge, plenty, exclusive, exotic
    • Provocative: erotic, cathartic, scandal, radical
    • Control: personalised, in-control, competition, grading

ELEMENTS OF THE BOOK I PARTICULARLY LIKE

  • It is helpful to bear in mind that few strategies are truly original – there is no sin in looking at other markets for inspiration and trying to apply the same thinking to yours.