© 2014

The Brand Strategist’s Guide to Desire

How to give consumers what they actually want

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Anna Simpson
    Pages 1-17
  3. Anna Simpson
    Pages 19-49
  4. Anna Simpson
    Pages 50-77
  5. Anna Simpson
    Pages 78-107
  6. Anna Simpson
    Pages 108-135
  7. Anna Simpson
    Pages 136-168
  8. Anna Simpson
    Pages 169-171
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 172-190

About this book


This is a guide to help brand strategists consider what people really want in order to enhance their lives, and think about the role of their brand in responding to these desires. It offers a new framework for understanding desire, based on some of the things that are really important to us: our family, friends and community; the desire to explore, learn and grow; how we experience the world through our senses; our appetite to live life to the full; and what we set out to achieve. Brand strategists are the link between a commercial proposition and the lives it means to touch. They can talk to the people the company wants to reach, and – more importantly – listen to them. A brand which both enhances people’s lives, and nurtures the resources on which they depend, will prove more resilient, win trust and achieve better results.


branding customer loyalty desire marketing emotional branding sustainable business brand consumer foundation health

About the authors

Anna Simpson is a journalist and the Editor of Green Futures, the solutions magazine founded by Jonathon Porritt and published by Forum for the Future. She is a regular speaker at global conferences, recently the World Forum for a Responsible Economy, the Future Cleantech Forum and the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum. Anna has also been a jury member for various award schemes, including the European Commission Environmental Management Awards Scheme, the EU Ecolabel Communications Awards and the Women in Social and Environmental Enterprise Awards. She has a first class BA in English and French from Oxford University, and a Masters from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. @_annasimpson

Bibliographic information


'Brilliant, inspiring and instructive! The Brand Strategist's Guide to Desire shows brands how to win in the global marketplace by understanding what consumers really want. Drawing on case studies and CEO interviews, Anna Simpson illustrates how brands can gain the competitive advantage by creating a world where businesses and people can thrive.'

-Alice Korngold, President, Korngold Consulting and author of A Better World, Inc.

'This impressive book provides a refreshing, modern and inspirational look at brands and brand strategy. The five desires approach is really relevant to our brands at People Against Dirty (Ecover & Method). '

-Philip Malmberg, CEO, Ecover

'There's a real buzz at the moment about the contribution that brands can make to a more sustainable world. Much of it is just febrile brand wash. Not so this Guide to Desire. Meticulously researched, with brilliant case studies, Anna Simpson digs deep to show how sustainability, purposeful marketing, and new ways of thinking about people's needs and aspirations, can be brought together as a real force for good in our troubled world.'

-Jonathon Porritt, Founder-Director, Forum for the Future and author of The World We Made

'This stimulating book considers how brands can help people achieve what they really desire, in a way that is supportive and positive, rather than manipulative and damaging to themselves or society. The argument is supported much more thoroughly than in other branding books by a strong dose of social science and psychology, as well as by case studies from around the world. '

-Dorothy Mackenzie, Chairman, Dragon Rouge

'Finally a book both brand marketers and sustainability advocates can understand! A simple well-made argument brought to life with real examples that stand up to scrutiny. '

-Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer

"Anna Simpson challenges business leaders to think more boldly about their place in the lives of the consumer. By getting to the core of what makes a human being tick, she made me think of multiple ways we could move beyond satisfying our customers to making them feel we had improved their lives."

-Ian Webster, Commercial Leader, Money Dashboard

'It's great to find a book that digs into the changing relationship between brands and people. Anna Simpson shows how brands need to get smart and connect with what drives us or risk almost certain demise.'

-Dax Lovegrove, Head of Business and Industry, WWF (UK)