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John Murphy, the man who invented branding, tells all in his new business autobiography

ByCharley Williams

Jan 16, 2017

Brandfather is the inside story from the man who invented branding. It describes the realisation by businesses, just thirty short years ago, of the critical importance of brands and a new business discipline that existed: branding.

These businesses ignored the power of the brand at their peril. John Murphy and the consultancy he founded in 1974, Interbrand, were the forces behind this business revolution.

Interbrand was initially a name creation business: developing names, testing them and handling legal clearances. Most projects were international; early jobs included the creation of Mondeo, Hob-Nobs, Homebase, Viagra and Punto. In 1979, Murphy opened in New York; in 1982, Paris and Frankfurt; in 1983, Tokyo. Increasingly, he came to realise that they were not mere wordsmiths; they were creators of ‘brands’, a scarcely-known concept at the time. They redefined themselves and, in the process, coined the term ‘branding’. Then in 1988, Interbrand developed brand valuation, which caused a storm in the branded sector worldwide. It hit the big time.

Brandfather is the story of Interbrand as told by John Murphy. It covers the growth of branding as a marketing and business discipline and exposes behind-the-scenes stories. In a never-before-revealed account, it tells of the doomed and fatuous merger of two of Europe’s largest companies to create a monster with 200,000 employees. The book also tells the advertising agencies’ secrets: complicate it, spin it out, pile in highly paid staff and charge, charge, charge…

In particular, Brandfather tells the incredible story of the birth and development of brand valuation – a claim Murphy convincingly and comprehensively substantiates in this important new book.