Book: Accidental Branding ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book: Accidental Branding

Landor welcomes David Vinjamuri today who will be talking live and in person in our San Francisco office about his new book: Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands. I, unfortunately, won't be in attendance because I'm in England with the family on vacation.

But I did get a chance to read the book before I left and I think those who do attend will have a lively session. The book tells the story of seven entrepreneurs who found success starting businesses from scratch. These seven very different people (e.g. J. Peterman vs. Craig Newmark) nevertheless all share the critical ability to build a company that delivered on their various passions.

The particular quality of this book is that it is an interesting blend of biography and how-to guide. David selected entrepreneurs he was able to meet and spend time with in person. This gave him the ability to tell, as he says: "a more personal story about the brands."

The questions I would ask David, if I were in SF to ask it would be: To what extent are the lessons from the book limited to the single person start-up model? Are there lessons from the book that can be applied to the larger corporations that Landor typically works with? Can a larger corporation replicate this model and, if so, how?

Accidental Branding: reviews and purchase


Martin Jelsema said...

I received a couple of chapters of the book,, Accidental Branding, and was encouraged to review it. I have one basic problem with the concept of the book. The profiles indicate to me there was nothing "accidental" about these brands. They were, and are, extensions of the founders' personalities, passions and preferences. They are what every "planned" brand should be: honest, relevant attempts to differentiate while they meet customer desires.

The title, Accidental Branding, may sell some books but it just isn't accurate. These entrepreneurs knew what they were doing even if they hadn't learned the jargon and elected to put their brand in the hands off our branding elite.

Martin Jelsema

David Vinjamuri said...

Hi Martin,

In the title "Accidental" refers to the accident that gives the creator the idea to start the brand. Every brand in the book started with a fortuitous (or in one case disastrous) accident.

Although the rest of the growth of the brand was not accidental it is important to remember that these people were not trained marketers and many did not even realize that they were establishing brands per se. The point of the book is to look at the things these entrepreneurs did instinctively and compare them to standard marketing practices.

Hope this answers your question. I'll be happy to send you the entire book if you are still interested - david (at)

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