Strategy of High-Performance Brands


Zag delivers an interesting and unique approach about the authors’ view on branding and marketing. Marty Neumeier has created what should be considered required reading by anyone in business that is serious about wanting to succeed. This short, but powerful, book will teach the reader how to be “radically different” and stand out among the cluttered marketplace that exists today.


Zag offers a brand marketing model that includes four unique elements: Focus, Difference, Trend and Communications. As a “whiteboard book,” the information is presented in easy to understand ideas. The author realizes the importance of using pictures and illustrations to drive home the points he is trying to convey in each of the short chapters.

Neumeier has developed 17 Checkpoints that any business can use as a way to gauge just how well developed and differentiated their brand can be. The 17 Checkpoints include:

Origin — Do you know who your business is? And can you say with confidence where your business has the most credibility?

Purpose — You should be prepared to say what your purpose is in 12 words or less!

Vision — Do you know and understand what your brand vision is? Be prepared to paint a clear picture of the future of your business.

Riding Waves — Do you know what current or future wave your business is riding? Take some time to list the trends that will power your success, and study each carefully to make sure they match your business.

Your Brandscape — Who are your top competitors, and how do they rank?

The Only ___ That ___ — Brainstorm and decide what makes your business the “best and only” one to fulfill the promise or deliver the best experience? Complete the sentence: Our brand is the only ___ that ______.

Add or Subtract — Less really is more. Know when to add, and when to subtract.

Find Brand Loyalists — Who is in your brand community? How can you find ways for them to contribute and benefit your brand?

Identify Enemy — Who’s your brand’s enemy? Which competitor can you paint as the bad guy while you’re the hero?

The Name Game — Make sure the name you choose is unique, easy to spell and pronounce.

Truelines and Taglines — Can you easily explain yourself? Your “truelines” tells why your brand is compelling, while your “taglines” can be used with customers to help them choose your business.

Spreading the Word — Are you effectively spreading the word to your customer base? Here is where “interesting and unique” ideas are used to be successful.

Engage to Win — How can your customer engage with you? How can you make it a “win-win” for everyone involved?

Map Customer Experience — Are you offering your customer the best experience on the planet? One that they will talk about because of the positive journey that took place?

Earn Loyalty — Everyone wants a loyal customer, so be prepared to deliver everything they are looking for. Loyal customers are your best investment!

Extend Brand Success — Do everything in your power to reinforce the meaning and value of your brand, and success will be your reward.

Protect Brand Portfolio — Protect it at all costs. Be wary of the Four Cs: Contagion, Confusion, Contradiction and Complexity.

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