Book Reviews

Brand Admiration: Building a Business People Love

A review by Bob Woodard, Founding Partner, Deep Relevance Partners

By itself the term “brand admiration” evokes other recent concepts in brand marketing and positioning like brand relationship, brand love, brand relevance, and brand trust, only without the same sense of “connection” between brand and customer[1] that one might expect in marketing these days. However, after reading Brand Admiration by distinguished marketing academics C. Whan Park, Deborah J. MacInnis, and Andreas B. Eisingerich, I am convinced that “admiration” precisely captures the endpoint of a rigorous yet practitioner-friendly model of brand value, one that neatly contextualizes, connects, and brings to life concepts like those above.

The foundation of their model for brand admiration comprises the “Three E’s”: enablement benefits (those related to doing with distinction what people call on brands to do for them), enticement benefits (those related to customers’ sensory and other personal experiences during acquisition, use, or other interactions with the brand), and enrichment benefits (those activating a sense of shared values, self-image, etc.). By respectively attracting the customer’s attention, providing focus, and supplying “energy…to overcome barriers” to purchase and usage, each plays a critical role in driving the customer’s overall understanding and feeling about the brand — and in motivating these customers to take action.

The authors provide copious examples of contemporary brands delivering one or more of the E’s. Examples span the continua of product vs. service, B2C vs. B2B, and profit vs. non-profit. Some are perennial favorites of the brand-management genre, such as Nike, but at least as many are brands not routinely found in the literature, such as Camper shoes and Porsche Consulting.

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