• Live Oak Management

Why Does Branding Actually Matter? A look inside Marty Neumeier’s "The Brand Gap" Book

Written By Brooke Little, Account Executive


Marty Neumeier’s book on branding, The Brand Gap, starts off by defining exactly what branding is not. He shares that a brand is not a logo, a corporate identity system, or a product, but rather, a brand is a “gut feeling.”(Neumeier, 12). The idea of branding as a gut feeling is exactly why branding works and matters; it’s why every company is trying to get in on the action. Neumeier wrote, “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational.” (Neumeier, 12). Neumeier has a deep understanding of human nature to be emotional and intuitive. He eloquently and effectively explains the essential role that human nature plays in a compelling brand.


The Brand Gap is a 176-page, big text, well-illustrated book about how branding becomes branding. The book takes about two hours to read and is a fantastic tool for anyone already in, or attempting to break into, the branding industry, communications industry, or the advertising industry. While I would personally recommend this book to many, here are a few important notes on why branding actually matters.

Neumeier’s book starts by explaining that branding can be hard to measure, quantify or produce through endeavors like sales, marketing, promotions, etc. It can be difficult to make a “gut feeling,” and that’s why branding usually happens when we are doing something else. The book is called, The Brand Gap, because this is the way in which Neumeier explains when branding magic happens. Branding becomes branding when strategy meets creativity, and this is where the gap happens when strategy and creativity are isolated.


The book lays out fives ways to achieve “the charismatic brand.” The charismatic brand is essentially the epitome of a fantastic brand, they are, as Neumeier puts it, “brands that stand for things people actually want.” (21) The five actions to achieve the charismatic brand are to differentiate, collaborate, innovate, validate, and cultivate. The book goes into detail about those actions actions', but one important thing that stands out is how important focus is when starting a brand. You cannot be a brand if you are trying to be good at everything, provide every service, or every product. To be successful, you have to be the best at what you do and be irreplaceable.

Branding creates the personality of a company. It makes companies relatable and intriguing, and if done correctly, it makes companies successful.


Neumeier, Marty. The Brand Gap. New Riders, 2006.

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