If you need a basic primer on how to build, communicate, and maintain a brand in today's marketplace, United We Brand can be a useful tool. The problem may be however, that the process is so basic that it might make you wonder just how successful people in the ad business can be if they need a book as basic as this to get it right.

Let's start, of course, with the basics. United We Brand author Mike Moser has laid out an accessible, almost step-by-step guide on how to build a customized brand in five easy steps. Moser obviously knows his stuff. being that he is the co-founder of the Goldberg Moser O'Neill Advertising Agency. He has had a hand in creating Dell and Kia's branding, among others, and has won five Clio awards to back up his success. His book separates the branding path into developing different values, messages, personalities, and icons. While some of his presentation is a bit too obvious, Moser really hits his stride in the chapter covering "Core Brand Message".

When covering differentiation within today's marketplace, he writes, "The worst case scenario is discovering that you spent your time and money communicating a brand message but your audience walks away remembering your competition. This can happen if your brand message is too close to a competitors message, if your competitor is outspending you, or if your core message is generic to the category in which larger, better known companies in that category."

The tone of this discussion is typical of the accessible nature of Moser's writing. It is basic, tried and true, and certainly a welcome addition to any agency discussion of brand direction for a given client. For a planner or buyer, Moser's book can provide insight as to how clients think back at headquarters when they devise plans that actually evolve into ad campaigns. It could also help novice planners and buyers understand basic branding concepts.

However, if you are looking for more forward-thought or a deeper look into branding in the new Millennium, there are other books that are more worth the read. Scott Bedbury's A New Brand World comes to mind. Mike Moser's United We Brand, however, is a good start, and maybe even a good refresher.

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