Sunday, October 8, 2017

Book Review: 'Free Range Brands' by Nicole Ertas

Author/speaker Nicole Ertas is a graduate of The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the founder and president of The Ertas Group, a distinguished network of provocative thinkers, strategists, innovators, and creative change-agents who help global brands cultivate, validate and activate cutting-edge brand strategies. Nicole is a recognized global brand strategist who has helped build many of the world’s finest and most powerful brands such as Beam Suntory, Wrigley, SC Johnson, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Kraft, and Nestle.

Whether consciously or subconsciously we all are influenced by ‘brands’ – they determine how and where we shop and buy and continue to follow products. What Nicole describes so clearly in this excellent book is the difference between Tethered Brands (rigid, prescribed, conspicuous, orchestrate, sovereign, defensive, tested) and Free Range Brands (agile, transcendent stealth receptive, communal adaptable, instinctual), and as she states, Cutting edge, no-name brands have become a real threat to the brand leaders who still spend their days focused on epic annual plans, strategizing, analyzing, re-planning, and endlessly testing. The Free Range Brands are winning and household names are in serious danger of becoming irrelevant. She explains how the revolution happened and describes the qualities and behaviors that constitute a free range brand. She introduces the four new types of consumers that are making or breaking businesses today and reveals what it takes to make a lasting impact on them - LORDS – Provocative kids with smartphones, athletes with GoPros, design enthusiasts with Pinterest pages, and foodies with kitchen webcams. They don’t respond to overt brand messages. LOVERS – Those who want to have a profound love affair with a brand. They are drawn into the story not as a target demographic, but as one who shares the dream, vision, interest, or curiosity. HACKERS – Hackers expect to create their own version of a brand that works uniquely for them. They want to co-create, brand-jack, and experiment. HAWKS – An empowered force who expect everyone, especially large corporations, to have some level of responsibility to the greater good. They must be able to trust, inside and out.

There is more information about a topic we probably never considered until now, and Nicole makes it accessible, humorous, important, and sensible. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 17
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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