Research for ‘Branding. In Five and a Half Steps’

branding_cover_780credit-780I was delighted to be asked by Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks to assist on his new book Branding. In Five and a Half Steps, just published by Thames & Hudson this Autumn. For me, it was more than a joy to spend days immersed in branding case studies. But what’s important is that this is a book that seeks to demystify the dark art of brand strategy and show how it should work in tandem with the creative design process to deliver effective branding. A book long overdue.

Through working on the project, I started to explore the development of brand strategy as a discipline over the course of the twentieth century, in the context of globalisation and the emergence of the internet, which led us to create a timeline of branding theory. I unearthed a multitude of definitions of brand and branding, by academics and practitioners, and I sought out those simple brand ideas behind many successful brands.

It’s a heavy tome, a definitive resource on what, why and how. And for designers, marketers or strategists, it’s well worth a read. Get the book here.


pret-780“Emily played a key role at both the beginning and end of Branding. In Five and a Half Steps. As I roughed out the first drafts of the book, she carried out invaluable, early research that informed several key sections, helped me frame the book’s structure and proved a useful sounding board.

Then, near the end she read final drafts, helped me polish the final product and made that last 5% that little bit better. As a colleague once said to me years ago about writing books – ‘first make sure you find a great researcher’. Emily was exactly that, and much, much more.”

Michael Johnson, Johnson Banks