As with his approach to branding Javier Lamelas is, I think, at heart a seducer, but a clever one.
The sub-title suggests this is a book about the ‘heart and brain of branding’ but the main title M-ART-keting shows where his ultimate sympathies seem to lie.
Lamelas has a fabulous CV with P&G and then Coke on it so undoubtedly has the experience and the right to write a book like this. However, it is a CV that not surprisingly does shape some of his thinking.
His characterises (old) P&G as the more rational approach – believing in “product performance and proclaiming its superiority in communications”, while Coke address feeling and emotions. He does note that more recently P&G has become more emotional, and Coke is getting closer to P&G. (Think Olympic Moms and Coke range campaign).
What comes across though is that he was scarred by an early experience of doing things the P&G way and losing out to a more emotionally led Ajax campaign. He leads with his heart but still respects and applies the “MATH-keting”
“The fact that marketing is predominantly directed to the emotional side of the brain does not mean that the creation of powerful marketing material is an emotional activity… analytical capacity, priority setting and rational logic are essential to generating sound plans”
There are some great stories and lots of good advice for brand builders. For example and perhaps not surprisingly he is very good on evaluating creative ideas but personally I thought his chapters on media were some of the strongest.
I couldn’t agree more with his assertion in connection with media proliferation and user-generated content that “there is an idea these days that you should give your brand to your consumers” but that this is “lazy marketing” and that brands that “let go of active control today will suffer tomorrow.”
Overall, I enjoyed it, learnt some new things and had a refresher course in other aspects of marketing. I would however say to anyone reading it, that you must remember that this is a book written by a man who has spent his life working on some of the biggest brands with the biggest budgets in the world and you may not be in quite that situation.