Leading up to the December holidays, it's time to find your top marketing books. Recently I wrote about some books you ought not to miss (top 11 marketing books of all time). I missed this one (Ok, ok... it just came out).
For the marketer in you, Made With is recommended reading for anyone with an eye for global brand building, and the perfect read for your mid year break.
Made With: The Emerging Alternative to Western Brands from Istanbul to Indonesia is by strategic marketer John Grant. John is based in the UK but is a global soul. Think of the mind blowing developments in the far off cities of the world where a young, smart, talented generation of innovators are changing the game. Love of the world: these individuals have it, and so does Grant in Made With.
John writes that there is a difference between brands coming from the new world compared to brands built in the old Western world. The former -- a brand made with design, community and fusion is infinitely more relevant for the times than the classic process applied by Western brands. I personally have experienced this first hand and could not agree more. I worked with Emirates Airlines out of Dubai and wrote their new global brand motto "Hello Tomorrow." I also had the pleasure to work with the powerful Indian global firm Mahindra to devise and build their marketing movement "Rise" together with their Mumbai-based management. What Mahindra taught me is how a resource scarce culture, can turn this disadvantage (from the western perspective) into an advantage that can lead to smarter ideas. The economy crunch in the West is showing us that this thinking pays off.
A new kind of brand is emerging which is both modern and yet non-Western. The typical Western brand is all about authorship, personality and identification; Made By -- (and for) the ego. The Interland brand is born out of an ethic that distrusts the ego, having a tradition of unsigned art, avoiding icons. Brands in this region are Made With; less ego, more authentic, subjective; holistic rather than based on social distinctions, rooted and collective. Western brand strategy is reductive, Interland brands are better understood as stories.
My colleague Nicola Conneally at StrawberryFrog, who also read Made With said that she was inspired by the fact that this new emerging world painted by Grant, is bringing forth brands that have non-Western traditions. "That is eye opening."
John Grant compares this trend with the emergence of Japanese super brands from the 1970's onwards. Grant explores the ideas and thinking emerging from the new Muslim world, and interviews the leading creative, entrepreneurs, and marketers who are driving these extraordinary developments.
This book captures how different the brands are and how to understand them. There are around 50 extraordinary case examples in the book. Made With contains interviews with leading brand creators in locations that includes Istanbul, Beirut, Dubai, Jordan, Jakarta and many others across the Middle and Far East. All highlighting to the West, what it can learn, and apply to its own markets. Grant introduces us to Sina Afra, CEO of Markafoni who says " Turks learn very fast, are very comfortable with speed, change, chaos, trading on the edge... if you want a set of rules tested to destruction, then give it to the Turks in the office to test." We also meet Karen Chekerdjian and Sedat Kapanoglu the founder of Eksi Sozluk, and from Bokja design who says "It's Beirut and yet not... It is a group that subscribes to certain values and aesthetics that are freer and more expensive than what is ordinarily expected of design."
This is not just an article in Monocle conveying the pulse of the new movers and shakers, the author fundamentally trusts that there is a totally new brand culture emerging, which is "both modern and yet non Western." Grant believes emerging brands that celebrate craft, that are collaborative and that move away from an egocentric approach to brand identity. He argues: "Western brands push ego to the force -- they are made by. Whereas the approach in the Interland could be described as Made with."
If you are making anything these days, you would be better off reading Made With.