This book makes a lot of good points, and it's pretty clear to me that the overall process and exercises described are a much better approach to brandThis book makes a lot of good points, and it's pretty clear to me that the overall process and exercises described are a much better approach to branding than pretty much anything I've ever seen or heard of before.
That said, I have to take some major points off because it also seems oddly opinionated in ways unsupported by data, and gets some things just plain wrong. For example, several of the listed "7 Deadly Sins" of naming have prominent counterexamples of brands that have done stunningly well while violating them, which rather implies that they're not quite so much deadly as not to the author's taste. And witness this gaffe:
"It's confusing and shortsighted to name your product and company the same thing. Although you may have only one product now, think about the future. What if Apple had named their first computer the Apple? What would they name the dozens of other products that have launched since then?" Apple's first product was the Apple Computer, followed by the Apple II, II Plus, and Apple III, before they introduced Lisa, Macintosh, etc. The whole iThing which the author admires so much didn't begin until Apple had been in business for over 20 years.
In the section "Punctuation is a crutch," I expected solid advice about, for example, the unnecessary exclamation mark in Yahoo! Instead, "if your name needs the visual crutch of punctuation (güd)...." Note to the author, copy editor Tanya Grove, and proofreader Nancy Evans: punctuation is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "The marks, such as period, comma, and parentheses, used in writing to separate sentences and their elements and to clarify meaning." The diaeresis in ü is a diacritical mark, not a punctuation mark. Also, domain names are not "also known as URLs." The domain name forms the (arguably) most essential part of a URL, but is not, in itself, a URL. One minute of fact checking on each of these would have made it look more like you actually know what you're talking about.
The one that really got me hot though was this: "As with book titles, song titles (as well as album titles and band names) can't be trademarked and are up for grabs when it comes to brand names." (my emphasis) No. Nonononononono. This person claims to be a branding professional? Has lawyers on staff? This is just. Plain. Wrong. I mean, aside from the bad will likely to be generated by stealing a band name for your own product line, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office makes it pretty clear and simple: "You can register a trademark for a band name." And there are lawsuits about just that all the time.
So yes, if you have a branding project, by all means, check out this book. Then, consult your lawyer (which admittedly the book repeatedly advises)....more
Strangely, this had both a lot more and a lot less detail than I was hoping for. The author missed a large chunk of the concluding Dzogchen transmissiStrangely, this had both a lot more and a lot less detail than I was hoping for. The author missed a large chunk of the concluding Dzogchen transmissions, and so had nothing much to say about them. Still, it provided and interesting perspective both on the differences between how the Rinchen Terdzöd is bestowed in India vs. America, where I received portions of it, and on the background of the transmissions. Still, I'd say this is of more relevance to adherents of the Shambhala lineages than it is to students of the Terdzöd generally....more
This slim volume is the briefest possible useful high-level overview of the entire history of Sufism from underpinnings to publication, and as such isThis slim volume is the briefest possible useful high-level overview of the entire history of Sufism from underpinnings to publication, and as such is just barely skims the surface of each relevant topic. Nevertheless, it does so with many quotes from the "saints" of the movement, mostly translated by the author, and the pace is kept rather lively. I can think of no better means of introducing the subject to a Westerner possessing little familiarity with Islam.
My only real gripe—hopefully fixed in later editions—is that the endnotes are so sparse as to be essentially useless for follow-up, and make use of notations such as "op. cit." that make them difficult to use even internally. Even the simple addition of a proper bibliography would have vastly improved that section....more