Meaning, Myth, and Mystique in Today’s Brands


“…incredibly comprehensive and perceptive”

Kevin Lane Keller

“… valuable resource for all who study or manage brands”

-John Quelch, Harvard Business School

“Excellent book”

Jean-Noël Kapferer

“I don’t know of a better book on this subject“

Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO, Louis Vuitton

“Highly recommended”

-Bernd Schmitt, Columbia Business School

“…offers timely insights”

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

“An absolute must read”

Gonzalo Brujó, CEO, EMEA & LatAm, Interbrand

About the Book

Since its publication in 2008 Brand Meaning has been a sought-after text by marketing professionals, business schools and universities. It has been translated in several languages.


Completely revised and updated by the author, this second edition of the book contains contemporary as well as classic examples of brand meaning in practice from various countries. Much new material is introduced, expanding on the theory and applications of brand meaning.

In Brand Meaning, Second Edition: Meaning, Myth and Mystique in Today’s Brands Mark Batey draws on his experience with leading international companies to explain the conscious and unconscious ways in which people connect with products and brands.


“Mark Batey offers an incredibly comprehensive and perceptive examination of the critical subject of brand meaning that illuminates, inspires and amply rewards the reader for every minute spent.”

-Kevin Lane Keller, E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business

“Today, gone are the oversimplifying concepts of brand positioning or brand as a sum of attributes. Rather, brands are to be managed as a kernel of meanings. This is the essential contribution of this excellent book.”

-Jean-Noël Kapferer, internationally renowned expert on branding and professor at HEC Paris

“This second edition of Batey’s original book offers a perfect blend of the theory and practice of brand meaning. It includes a wealth of insightful examples. Highly recommended.”

-Bernd Schmitt, Professor, Columbia Business School

“A valuable resource for all who study or manage brands.”

– John Quelch, Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

“From metrics to myth, I don’t know of a better book on this subject.”

– Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO, Louis Vuitton

“This book offers timely insights as people demand meaningful brands that can become a part of their lives by delivering real personal, social and environmental benefit – helping them to stand up for what they believe in and defend what’s important to them.”

– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever



Mark Batey, Routledge “Author of the Month”

Mark Batey, author of Brand Meaning, Second Edition, is the Routledge Psychology Author of the Month for December! Read the exclusive interview and learn more about his fantastic new edition!

Book Chapters

1. About Brands
2. Human Motivation: How and Why We Seek Meaning


Brand Meaning has been translated in several languages, including SpanishChinese and Brazilian Portuguese, and has been released as a special edition in India.

With the UK only slowly emerging from recession in the mid ‘70s, and tap water seen as perfectly adequate, things didn’t bode well for Perrier’s new ad campaign for its sparkling mineral water…..


Drawing on 600 years of Polish vodka making tradition, Belvedere blazed a trail in the super-premium spirits market. What was the key?

Read how L’Occitane offers a poetic vision of Provence, and manages to evoke the brand’s rustic, artisanal roots in the French countryside.

Could Fiat recapture the essence of an Italian cultural icon from yesteryear, while remaining authentic to its original style and personality?

Learn how Sephora exploited a classic gap in the market and provided one of the best cases of brand experience in recent years.

Packaging is both a medium and a touch point. Read how, through its packaging, Bonne Maman not only tells its brand story – but also creates a perfect brand meaning loop!

Take a peek behind Ferrari’s brand mystique.

Sometimes a brand’s own history and the heritage associated with it may be a significant source of its meaning for consumers.

The timeless steamer trunk has remained the thematic centerpiece of Louis Vuitton since the mid-19th century. Discover more about this storied brand.

How does a Mexican beer brand more than double its sales in 5 years to over 15 million cases at a time when the import beer category was declining?

Read how, by calling into question conventional category wisdom, Persil/Omo unlocked impressive sales potential.

Learn how the Pampers brand provides an example of rediscovering

Read how Gillette was rescued from the brink of commoditization, and discover some of the meanings behind the brand.

A recent multisensory campaign for Dunkin’ Donuts led to a sales increase of 29%. How did the campaign work?

Learn how the substance of the Evian story derives from the narrative elements of time and place.

Discover what’s behind the mythology of the Marlboro brand.

Think the reason why Kodak has become a blurry image of its former self is simply “technology”? Think again.

What are the meanings behind the famous FedEx arrow, and how did they help make the brand synonymous with “overnight delivery”?

From its ground-breaking counter-cultural campaign to its Dove Men+Care launch, this brand provides many lessons – and a few questions.

How did P&G set about restaging Old Spice after acquiring it in 1990?

Naming decisions can be complex, and involve questions about brand architecture and hierarchy. Would “Scotch Sticky Notes” work? How about “Press ‘n’ Peel”? Learn how 3M settled on settled on Post-it® (Brand).

While protection may be a property of Pennzoil, would research show that it defines the brand in the public perception?

Brand meaning can shift and evolve with the passage of time. The UK’s Lucozade brand provides a classic case study in brand meaning management.

Read how a trademarked yellow rectangle literally frames this brand’s identity and meaning.