The Excellence Diploma is a rigorous twelve-month program designed by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)-the professional body for advertising, media, and marketing communications agencies in the UK-for practitioners fascinated by brands. It is their most prestigious qualification and is known as the MBA of brands. The culmination of the course is a 5,000-7,000 word essay that focuses on the future of brands and brand communications.
"What is a 21st Century Brand?" is not just a collection of the best essays from the last ten years (since the beginning of the program), it also allows the authors, who have gone on to have successful careers at agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, and BBDO, to come back and analyze and comment on their original thesis in light of what they know now. It also includes new writing from leading industry thinkers including Stephen Woodford, Chairman at Lexus, and David Wilding, Director of Planning at Twitter UK.
With a focus on challenging the status quo, the book asks us to question how we perceive brands, how to build them and, most of all, how to make them better. Consisting of 21 essays, "What is a 21st Century Brand"? sets out to answer the eponymous question in order to sensibly define what kind of brand idea we need, how to engage people and how the agency business should be organized to deliver it."