Book Review: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits


This book is very engaging. It is very informative. It is one that will make you think of things fit in to this world. Ok, maybe that’s a bit too much. In all seriousness, think of this book as speed dating meeting business development.

Author Debbie Millman has been a successful product designer for decades. She was able to sit down with almost 2 dozen of the world’s best branding and design

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experts. The book is presented as a series of interviews, much like the 5 or 10 minutes face to face time experienced with potential mates in speed dating. The book flows in a way that you can almost ‘hear’ it. I later found out she hosts a radio show, which undoubtedly influences her writing style. Millman has some common questions that get peppered to various interviewees. She is a great listener, proven by many great follow-up questions.

The interview subjects are an impressive list. You know the work of some of the interviewees as they have helped shape some of the biggest brands in the world such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple. Other individuals you may know by name such as Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, and Malcolm Gladwell. The insight provided by these professionals is astounding. Repeatedly, the subjects related the importance of branding with the feeling of connecting with another. In other words, when you or I position ourselves as a brand supporter, we’re actually connecting with others who support the brand as well.

You will view brands differently after reading the book. The stories behind some of the world’s most recognizable brands will come to mind when you later encounter them. The art (or science, if you prefer) of branding is intriguing to me. As with many other things in life, successful brands don’t just happen. This book will help you appreciate the efforts of the brands that surround you and may help you build a monumental brand of your own.

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