Quick Review: Why Johnny Can’t Brand

About a month ago, I checked out a book from the library called Why Johnny Can’t Brand : Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea. The name is a take off the 1950’s title Why Johnny Can’t Read, and got my attention enough for me to give it a chance. I’m glad I did.

The goal of this book is to discover what the author calls your Dominant Selling Idea – the combination of your unique name with a specialty that makes you #1 in the mind of the customer. It’s the essense, the absolute core, of what your business is all about. Once you know it, it becomes the foundation for every customer interaction and marketing message.

The problem for most companies is that they’ve got absolutely no idea of what makes them unique to potential customers, if there’s anything unique to begin with. Think about some of the brand names you run into every day: Ford, Kmart, Sony, and countless others. Do they immediately bring a single idea to your mind? They don’t for me. Now, think about some others: Target, Mazda, and Nintendo, for example. I think, respectively, design, “zoom zoom”, and fun. How about you?

Unearthing a dominant selling idea isn’t easy, and takes a lot of time that I’m sure a lot of businesses feel they can’t afford to “waste”. But really, there’s nothing more important than for a company to find out what they’re all about and what they stand for. That Big Idea can transform a business into one a power house.

Quick: What do you think when I say Apple?