Copyright 2012 Emily Kelly, Inc.
Review: Branded Nation
My excitement was palpable upon receiving this book – for better or forworse, I’ve long held fascination with concept of brand as a narrative.I’ve sought to determine through both undergraduate and graduatestudies what creates allegiance to a brand’s story and how brands captivate theAmerican consumer, prompting consumers into purchase. Branded Nation, byJames B. Twitchell, explores how churches, universities and museums have re-tooled their approach to one reflective of corporatization and commoditization, andanswers whether a Madison Avenue approach is a trend worth promoting or ending.Twitchell provides a comprehensive, if not at times exhaustive, review of branding(dubbed “Branding 101”), citing the stories and commoditization of numerouspopular brands, outlining the history of brand creation and describing the value in thenarrative – after all, if consumers were rational in consumption, would there not beone brand of soap, one soda to drink and one pair of jeans to wear? He segues intothe three institutions for which he dives deeper – the creation of megachurches,higher education and museums.He approaches the concept and evolution of the megachurch with the tone of anobjective observer; a feat that could prove extracting personal bias challenging.Citing the rise and subsequent decreasing popularity of the Episcopalian church,Twitchell approaches the “denomination of denominations,” or the rise of themegachurch, with anecdotes and examples derived from personal experience,interviews and site visits to churches across the United States.Higher education is tackled next, with discussion and illustration of how the U.S.News and World Report has shaped and changed the face (and how universitiesdifferentiate themselves) of higher education branding. He discusses a lack ofcompetition among enrollees, outsourcing of the higher education experience and
The Marketing ofMegachurch,College Inc., andMuseumworld