I chose to read this book, Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-performance Brands, after I enjoyed Marty Neumeier’s other book The Brand Gap. I have to admit it wasn’t as innovative and compelling as the latter, but Zag holds some substantial concepts regarding branding strategy. The entire book revolves around the author’s main argument “when everybody zigs, zag”. In order to achieve and maintain this “zag” Neumeier divides his book into three main sections: finding your zag, designing your zag, and renewing your zag.
According to the author, a zag must be a combination of good and different ideas. It can’t just be the next big thing that everybody is trying to rediscover- it has to be something of a new market space. In this section, I found myself nodding my head when I read that we shouldn’t think so much about the unbuilt product as about the unserved tribe: “Look for a job people are trying to do, then help them do it.”
A few years ago, I worked for an IT company that (self-proclaimed or not) was one of the biggest and the best in its industry. I guess statistically in Asia the company’s rank can be justified but this company did not even have a clarified core business purpose. The first thing I asked my boss was what the company’s value preposition was and what the core values were. It’s been awhile since I left that job, but I’ve heard through the grapevines that the company is on the brink of closing. It really is important to have that core purpose of business clarified, otherwise how else would you find the zag? This also helps the company to find its differentiation in the category/industry.
Lastly, as much as we desperately want all good things to last forever, there is a life cycle to everything. It’s important to revisit the “zag” every so often so that it’s evolving with the changes of time. Zag isn’t a revolutionary book but it provides an opportunity to rediscover and reevaluate business ideas from a rather entrepreneurial mindset.
dee’s recommendation: 3.5/5