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“The book makes you think about what you are doing, and why, and how to make that appealing to your customers. Challenging, brilliantly explained, and enormously helpful!”
— W. Brian Arthur, Silicon Valley economist, and author of The Nature of Technology

“One of the biggest problems established businesses often face is having a brand image that is negative or outdated. Entrepreneurs don’t have to worry about that because they can (and MUST) create a brand image from scratch. But how to go about it? Start by reading this thoughtful and comprehensive book.”
— John Mihalec, Global Strategic Communications Advisor. Former White House and campaign speech writer. Former IBM VP of Communications and Analyst Relations

“The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit. Brand Real is an important tool for any startup entrepreneur who wants to build a startup with a purpose.”
– Richard Branson

“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art. Brand Real will guide you with both.”
– Peter Drucker

“If you want your startup to be a success, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do, and you’ll achieve the same results. Or read Brand Real and follow it step-by-step.”
– Tony Robbins

“I wish I had Brand Real when we started our startup in the software industry.”
– Chris Cleary, PhD

“Vasken Kalayjian is a master creative with the wisdom of an old soul. He wrote Brand Real to provide what few entrepreneurs realize they need: an approach to building a robust brand, a healthy creative culture, and an enterprise that attracts the talent you need with the values you want. Startups are known for the “product to market” push, while ignoring clarification of values it wants to live. When values are not articulated, your brand is weak, team focus fragments, internal conflict is high, sustainable momentum is nearly impossible. When your brand is real, it reflects your values, your integrity, your story. Vasken Kalayjian brings his global branding expertise and reverence for the human spirit together in Brand Real, your go-to for success from startup to scale. If you want to build something that matters, Brand Real is for you.”
– Cheryl Esposito, Founder and CEO of Alexsa Consulting

“To build strong brand reputations through communications, media relations, content generation, and social media management, you need to hire a top-notch specialist. Brand Real will educate you how to discern the experts from the mediocre ones.”
– Vânia Gracio, Co-Founder and CEO of Sing Comunicação de Resultados

“Working with startups for more than 20 years, Brand Real will be an important tool to educate my clients.”
– Christine Mariconda, President and Managing Director of Marketing NOW

“Don’t wait for crisis to happen to bring in a Crisis Management specialist. Brand Real gives you some of the tools to prepare for ‘crisis’ before it happens.”
– Theresa Rice, CEO of Out Loud Communications Consultants, Miami

A debut guide dispenses advice to beginners on the vital world of branding.
Kalayjian’s book concentrates on a business and marketing concept that has only grown in significance as the internet has blossomed and social media has increased the chatter in everybody’s lives. These developments have made the process of cutting through that noise extremely important for any new business or enterprise. The most effective way of navigating through that atmosphere of undifferentiated messages is through branding—which, if done successfully, helps to guarantee that, as the author puts it, “when people find out about your brand, they will be eager to explore it.” And that method of finding out about a brand comes with its own serious risks that have only grown steeper in the internet age, as Kalayjian takes pains to point out many times in his fast-paced, information-dense work. Branding, he insists, “can no longer be an exercise in manipulating perceptions with phony images and clever slogans.” Nowadays, as the crucial centrality of branding has increased, so too have the number of ways it can be done wrong—hence the need for this lively, energetically engaging handbook on the subject. The author clarifies that the foremost element of this process is to understand the thing being branded. Business leaders are encouraged to carry out a “SWOT” analysis of their own companies—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—in order to get a clear picture of how to win the branding game. Kalayjian takes readers through all the aspects of his topic: How to come up with a catchy brand name; how (and the reasons) to copyright it; what to concentrate on when designing a logo; and so on. The author deftly illustrates everything along the way with examples drawn from hundreds of well-known, modern brands. It’s a hefty amount of material, and this manual is a cogent, approachable guide to all of it.
A wide-ranging, inclusive, and invaluable look at creating, guarding, and promulgating a brand in today’s marketplace.

“Brand Real: The Startup Entrepreneur’s Guide to Effective Values-Based Organizations is a highly informative and educative book for startup entrepreneurs written by Vasken Kalayjian.

In addition to the Foreword and the Introduction, the book has twenty seven very interesting and informative chapters and seven helpful appendices. This book is, first and foremost, a handbook for startup entrepreneurs which, though basically addresses the issues involved in creating a new brand also provides key information on creating a strong, flexible values-based company culture. Each chapter is ended with a summary that serves to simplify an otherwise lengthy and elaborate discussion and exercises for the readers to work on. Moreover, the book features contributions from various experts the author has worked with.

The book focuses on and repeatedly emphasizes the importance of values which defines what an organization wants to be, clarifies its goals and shows how these goals will be attained. Furthermore, the book defines and explains branding which centers on establishing the meaning of the enterprise and its products and services as perceived by the customers and target market, the people working on the enterprise as well as the partners, collaborators, investors and backers. The book also discusses and explains how to make use of the Big Data and how to identify prospective customers’ pain points and how to address them effectively.

The author enumerates and elaborates on the eight key values, the twelve essentials of a brand, the top twelve branding archetypes and the three main types of brand architecture. He also includes a list of various core values, values that define how an enterprise creates values for the customers, how it deals with its partners and how it treats its team members. The author also stresses the importance of SWOT analysis and demonstrates how to do one by presenting a detailed example.

Most importantly, the book answers very important questions including how to create a good name, how to create strong brands, how to build a great team and how to get financial backers for the enterprise.

This is a very interesting and very informative book for startup entrepreneurs. The author takes the time explaining terminologies and giving detailed, step by step instructions all the while emphasizing the most important points. It is, undoubtedly, a very helpful book for anyone thinking of putting up an enterprise.

However, this is not an easy read. It requires attention and focus. Some terminologies appear to be very similar and can be confusing. Moreover, some readers may find the book redundant and repetitive though I find the repetitions necessary for emphasis.

It is informative, helpful, organized and well-researched. I recommend it to those who are putting up an enterprise as well as to those who are planning to put up an enterprise in the future.”
– OnlineBookClub

“There will come a time that your startup will have to hire a creative communications agency that specializes in helping brands to find their voice, to define their message, and to connect with people in a meaningful way. Brand Real helps you grow as your company grows.”
– Nicky Unsworth, CEO of BJL Group

“As your startup team grows and hires more employees, it is important to have a well-defined employer brand to help your hiring process. Brand Real covers this important area that many startups fail to consider.”
– Marco Van Rookhuijzen, Owner and Managing Director of Steam Communications Consultants

“Branding is a Renaissance Art. It calls upon a set of expertise we need to develop or at the very least understand in parallel of creating our own company. Experts gathered in Brand Real help Entrepreneurs prepare for their organizations to go from the stage of seed to continuous success. Kalayjian gives a deep insight on key questions to ask and guides you in answering them for yourselves in a very unique and impactful way.

I experienced first hand what it means to create a brand when I reached out to the Author’s expertise in 2009. The founders of a new Education Foundation called LUYS had just entrusted me with its start-up and full development. Kalayjian coached me through every field of knowledge described in Brand Real. From learning how to highlight the driving values of the organization to it’s positioning of operations and communication campaigns. Today LUYS is a strong brand recognized as a key contributor to Armenia’s Emerging Economy. Now in its 9th year, it also generates gratitude for its contribution to society and towards its Founders’ vision to help the nation leapfrog into the Knowledge Industry.

Brand Real is key for your organization if you wish to be fully welcomed into the world. Most importantly, learn how to welcome the world into your organization to make it vibrant, productive and keep it relevant to society.”
– Jacqueline Karaaslanian, Executive Director, Education. Luys Foundation. Former MIT Media Lab Special Projects.

“If you are launching a startup, read this book!
I’ve launched few startups and learnt several lessons along the way. Many of the lessons I learned resonated with what is offered in this book.

Brand Real offers a structured, yet practical advice around how to build a great brand! This is a must read resource for every entrepreneur who is thinking about launching a business. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of jumping into their venture without applying a clear and thoughtful approach around building an authentic brand that will resonate with their customers.

Reading this book will allow you to make some critical decisions about your brand using a structured and tested methodology, which can greatly increase your likelihood of success!”
– Darpan Munjal

“Brand Real turns your brainwave into a business.”
– Joseph Bart

“More than 90% of startups fail. That’s because it takes more than a great idea, money, and passion to turn concept into a thriving organization. You need a thorough and decisive strategy, built on some fundamental principles of branding and shaped by specialists’ knowledge and experience.”
– Mark A.

“Written by a leading branding professional to set startup entrepreneurs on the road to success, Brand Real gives you everything you need to build an effective, value-based, flexible organization where people are happy to work.”
– J. Zinn

“Equips the reader with foundational and state-of-the-art practices of branding.”
“Brand Real” is a comprehensive and an extremely valuable resource for startup founders and already established brand architects alike. It provides an in-depth coverage of both the foundations of branding and the cutting-edge methodologies based on the advances in Social media platforms, Big data, etc. Reading “Brand Real” and persistently applying the provided suggestions will bring you to the top of your game!”
– V. Galstyan

“In addition to branding advice, Brand Real has contributions from 27 experts and specialists, covering the practical tasks that face every startup entrepreneur: writing a business plan, creating a marketing plan, intellectual property.”
– Dan P.

“Awesome book , a must, when the writer is generous to share all his life experiences, guiding & showing the way to be successful in a business, specially when making a success is hard in our time… I highly recommend it .”
– Tamar K.

“This is an excellent guide and compilation of tools for branding! I recommend it to everyone starring a new business or revamping your previous!”
– Lorraine Simmons

“Brand Real is the Bible to all startups. Must own, read and follow all steps to build solid foundation of anyone’s business.”
– T. Ford