folder Filed in Interviews, Podcast
The Art of Branding: Lessons from David Aaker, the Father of Modern Branding
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read


Today, our guest is David Aaker, known as the “Father of Modern Branding” and a respected authority in the field. David has contributed significantly to the science of marketing and has developed several widely recognised branding concepts, such as the Aaker brand vision model. His achievements earned him numerous awards, including induction into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame in 2015.

David is also a prolific author, having written 18 books and hundreds of articles. His books, including “Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles That Drive Success,” “Brand Relevance,” and “Building Strong Brands,” have been translated into 18 languages and have sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Meet our guest

Name: David Aaker

What they do: David is an active branding consultant, Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and revered speaker and thought leader. He is the Vice Chairman of Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy.

Interesting fact: David’s earliest works were focused on statistical models like predicting the impact of advertising or marketing. He wrote his first article on branding 30 years ago when the concept of defining brand equity was just beginning to gain recognition and importance. This article marked the start of his journey in branding, eventually leading him to become a leading authority in the field.

Where to reach them:

Brand equity comprises three key elements. The first is relevance, which includes visibility and credibility, allowing customers to recognise that a brand is viable. The second is an image, which encompasses functional and emotional aspects. And the third one is engagement, which includes customer loyalty and a sense of community, with the ultimate goal of having customers fully engaged.

David Aaker

For high-tech startups, engaging in “naming promiscuity” is a temptation, resulting in too many names that can confuse customers. While multiple brands can be powerful, they must be managed as a family to avoid confusion and maintain consistency.

David Aaker

Short overview

David is a seasoned branding and marketing professional with over 30 years of expertise in the field. During our conversation, we discuss his impressive career, which includes authoring 18 books on topics such as brand equity, building strong brands, and storytelling. David shares his process for selecting the subjects of his books and elaborated on why he considers them important. He also provides valuable insights into how branding has evolved over time, highlighting changes that have occurred.

We discuss the importance of brand strategy in driving overall business success and how technological advancements have impacted branding and marketing. We also talk about how many startups overlook branding due to financial constraints or staffing shortages, which can ultimately hurt their success.

David shares his thoughts on having a portfolio of multiple names and how it can impact brand recognition. He highlights how his company, Prophet, helps businesses excel by digitally transforming their brand, culture, and overall strategy. Founded in 1992 as a market research business, Prophet has transitioned into a branding company and continues to be a leader in the industry.

David’s latest work is focused on purpose-driven branding for nonprofits, which is the subject of his latest book, “The Future of Purpose-Driven Branding.” It’s a must-read for anyone looking to stay ahead in the world of branding.

We host engaging conversations about naming, branding, and entrepreneurship, exploring everything from initial triumphs to the hurdles along the way. If you’ve got insights on innovative branding strategies, lessons learned from entrepreneurial ventures, or thoughts on the significance of a solid domain name strategy, and you’re keen to chat about them, we’d love to hear from you!

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