Title: Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of IllusionAuthor: Lucas Conley
Theme: Branding has become a business illness.
Who should read: People who think branding is stupid. Brand managers who would like to avoid appearing in books about stupid branding.
Big Think Breakdown: A clever concept that worked better as a magazine essay. The book tries and fails to be the "Fast Food Nation" of branding.
Checks: Conley writes well. The book has some powerful chapters, in particular 7 and 8, which look at how branders are using our senses to woo us, and how branding is becoming more personalized. There are some good examples of branding charlatans, and corporations failing to realize that branding cannot save poor products.
Peeves: Too much sociobabble comparing branding to some sort of religion/mental illness. The book can't quite decide whether consumers or companies suffer more from obsessive branding disorder.
Quote: "--branding, when it's consistent, provides us with clarity and simplicity in a progressively hectic world. But branding has come unhinged from its initial principles, and its aims have become increasingly exaggerated and warped."
Other reviews (collected by book author).