Contrarian Branding

Stand Out by Camouflaging the Competition

Contrarian Branding is a must for brands eager to stand out. It explains how you use polarity; a sophisticated technique to set brands apart from all other competitors in a radical way.
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Roland van der Vorst
Article number: 9789063694630
Availability: In stock


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The world is busier than ever. One of the major challenges for brands is how to stand out of the competition: brands competing for market share, new brands that are being introduced, and indeed politicians fighting for attention in a crowded arena. What to make of all the brand content being thrust through the digital channels every day by those in search of a willing audience? In the ocean of competing supply, it’s easier to drown than to float to the surface. While warehouses and supermarket shelves overflow, inboxes and servers fill up and everyone has more and more choice, the question arises: What does it take for a brand to stand out? How do brands consistently get themselves noticed in a world that has more and more to offer?

The answer is certainly not to create more and more messages. Instead, brand managers should be able to craft ‘polar’ brand associations. In this book, professor, top strategist and entrepreneur Roland van der Vorst shows how brands catch the eye by creating polarity. This goes further than just being different. It’s a sophisticated technique to set brands apart from all other competitors in a radical way. This can be done by creating brand associations that radically split a competitive field into absolute opposites or are able to reconcile these in unexpected ways. Lightheartedly and with a wealth of examples, he describes unique ways of guaranteeing brands to create a break through. Contrarian Branding is a must for brands eager to stand out from the crowd.


Prof. dr. van der Vorst is Managing Director of FreedomLab and Professor of Strategic Design for Brand Development at TU Delft. Roland has always worked at the crossroads of strategic and creative thinking and is considered a thought leader in the field of strategic brand management. He has advised clients in various industries on disruptive business strategies, positioning, branding and innovation and has put his ideas in practice as an entrepreneur. 

Roland has been a chairman of BBDO Netherlands, launched his own agency (THEY) and has been an entrepreneur in Singapore. He combined his work with scientific research. In 2004 he published his PhD thesis Branding, a systems theoretic perspective. He wrote books on motivation, such as Curiosity, Hope and positioning. He has written weekly columns for Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. According to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, one of the 200 most influential people in the Netherlands.


"It is increasingly important for brands to stand out from the crowd. That includes considering the category role your brand wants to play and how it wants to be positioned in the category. In Roland van der Vorst’s new book, Contrarian Branding, he describes three strategies to create a distinctive positioning by ‘camouflaging’ the competition."
- Adweek


ISBN: 978 90 6369 463 0
Author: Roland van der Vorst
Format: Paperback 
Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.5 cm
Pages: 192

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