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OPEN Brand: 06/01/08
OPEN Brand by Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins starts with the thesis that the internet is changing how brands work. The problem with this thesis is that it assumes that brands work. So many recent business books get hung up on the all powerful brand and never really stop to think about what a brand is in the grand scheme of things. In other words, marketers become punch drunk on their own marketing even if the general public doesn't.
OPEN Brand attempts to be a handbook for traditional marketing to learn how to use the concepts of open source, the internet, social networking and web 2.0 to revolutionize the branding experience while lowering expenses and increasing ROI. Unfortunately the book's description of all these things sounds as genuine as a Baby Boomer using l33tspeak.
For traditional marketers, OPEN Brand may very well be a good starting point if they've never played with the internet beyond their own company's website but it is not the all-in-one handbook that it hopes to be. The twenty-somethings that OPEN branding will apparently work on just aren't that interested in brands.
The version I was given to read makes use of a green, black and white color scheme. Yes, green is making a comeback on the internet with so much interest in the environment with the current energy crisis and of course global warming. This book though has nothing to do with the environment and yet it's sporting a hideous green color throughout the book. Important buzz words are printed in green making them hard and annoying to read. I'm hoping that later editions of this book will do away with the presentation and focus more on the message.
Green on an internet marketing book outside of the new environmental niche marketing is so 1999; think pre dot-com bubble. For the concept of OPEN (on-demand, personal, engaging and networked) branding to work, the internet model has to come out of the dark ages of the 1990s and take a serious look at how the internet is being used now, not how marketers think it's being used.