Books & Publications


End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion

Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey

"Lays out a clear, focused strategy that will be a key ingredient for building successful relationships between people and brands in the 21st century."
—Doug Daft, Chairman and CEO, The Coca Cola Company

"A breakthrough book that introduces one of the big ideas of the next decade. The 4R's will become a key conceptual management tool….And rarely is so important a book so fun and inspiring."
—David A. Aaker, Vice Chairman, Prophet Brand Strategy, and co-author of BRAND LEADERSHIP

The first book to deal with the revolutionary new marketing trend toward simplicity, SIMPLICITY MARKETNG (The Free Press/October 2000/$26.00) offers the tools marketers need to simplify their customers lives and businesses, and relieve their stress-and in so doing, build brand loyalty and competitive advantage. Leading authorities on brand strategy, authors Cristol and Sealey combine watershed techniques and fascinating case studies with invaluable checklists and charts, in this action-oriented handbook.

"How did we get to a consumer world of 40,000 produces in a supermarket, hundreds of long distance and cellular calling plans, and 52 versions of Crest toothpaste?" the authors ask. Citing too many choices and the dizzying pace of change as causes of customer stress, the authors offer an antidote to confusion with the "4Rs" of simplification: Replace, Repackage, Reposition, and Replenish. "The next generation of positioning successes will belong to those brands that relieve customer stress," the authors surmise. "Brands that do this will be the customer's heroes. Brands that don't will be nuisances." Through real-world company examples including Apple, Porsche, and, the authors show how the "4Rs" work to reduce customer stress and build stronger brands.

Using numerous company case studies, the authors reveal ten groundbreaking strategies to relieve customer stress through consolidating, aggregating, or integrating products and services, repositioning brands for more relevance to stress reduction, and decluttering customers' decision-making requirements. Having laid out the framework and tools for Simplicity Marketing, the authors provide a guide to managing simplicity strategies, and show how information technology can help simplify rather than complicate consumers' lives. Finally, the authors integrate all the techniques in the book into an innovative yet accessible plan of action.

Brilliantly proving the advantages of simplicity, and offering tools that readers can use right away, SIMPLICITY MARKETING is the definitive guide to marketing in the new millennium.

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"The 4Rs will be especially helpful to marketers in our rapidly changing marketplace."

—R. L. Wehling, Global Marketing Officer, Proctor & Gamble

"Must reading for all marketers and CEOs."

—Stephen Graham, former VP, Marketing Communications Worldwide, AT&T (ranked #1 marketer in Advertising Age "Power 50")

"A clear new way of thinking about marketing in a fragmented digital age."

—Jack Haire, President The Fortune Group

"I give 5 stars to the 4Rs! The authors are on point."

—Mike Gunn, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Planning, American Airlines.

"Simplicity Marketing is clear, cogent, and-thank goodness-simple!"

—Donald R. Keough, Chairman of the Board, Allen & Company, Inc.

"Simplicity Marketing will be required reading at companies selling online and for all managers concerned with marketing strategy."

—Frank Cespedes, Managing Partner, The Center for Executive Development, and author of CONCURRENT MARKETING


Steven M. Cristol is a leading authority on brand strategy and a consultant toleading technology companies. He is co-author of ESSENTIALS OF MEDIA PLANNING: A Marketing Viewpoint, now in its third edition and translated into five languages.

Peter Sealey, former Chief Marketing Officer of The Coca Cola Company, speaks widely on brand strategy as a Principal of Los Altos Group, Inc. Dr. Sealey serves as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, where he also serves as Co-Director of the Center for Marketing and Technology.

End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion
Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey
October 2000