Johannes' blog

Key Takeaways from "The Brand Gap" by Marty Neumeier

The Brand Gap

The following insights were the highlights of the book "The Brand Gap" by Marty Neumeier to me. I think many of the book's lessons also apply to startups and companies that struggle to build a successful product. Especially the pieces about how to innovate and differentiate are essential for product success. The part about how to validate ideas fast and test your hypotheses reflects how young startups should approach ideation. The methodology of concept testing and the principle of quick and dirty experimenting resonates with me a lot. While I learned to appreciate conclusive and statically sound experiments from research, I also reckon that, especially in the beginning, you need only to test concepts as fast as possible.

Ultimately, I think the book has a lot of valuable insights. Though, based on my interpretation, the biggest challenge of brand management, as described in this book, is to stay innovative with a growing organization. On the one hand, you need to standardize the communication and set reasonable expectations that resonate with a lot of stakeholders. While on the other hand, you want to be successful by really differentiating from your competitors. The dilemma of weak brands is that they are not daring enough and do not try to stick out but rather operate with what is familiar. The same dilemma holds true for digital product management. Where product managers have to find the most lucrative customer problems and try to focus on what really matters to the customer, it becomes a challenge to not try to just copy your competitors or just try to launch as many features as possible. I think that there is a lot of overlap with the management of a strong brand and the management of a great digital product. If the product manager is able to really isolate the problem, you are able to find innovative solutions because you do not need to look for what the competition is doing anymore. Moreover, if you launch too many features, then you dilute the value of your product by line extension. You need to focus on one issue and make sure that your product is solving this issue with the most effective features.