Book Review | Branding is For Cows. Belonging is For People. by CJ Casciotta

brandingisforcowsI’m one of those strange people who buys things on Instagram just because they look interesting. Books are no exception. I was doing my usual tag-surfing when I came across CJ Casciotta’s Instagram account. His account looked eclectic enough for my tastes, so I hit “follow” and started scrolling through his pictures. I purchased his eBook Branding is for Cows. Belonging is for People. Break Free From the Heard and Make Stuff that Matters on impulse, basically because I liked the title.

Much later, I read up on CJ Casciotta and found out that he is not only an author, but also a brand leader and developer. The book’s price point was reasonable, but it was a very short eBook. To say that I read it in one setting would be an understatement. Before I jump into the book, I want to talk about the buying experience.

I clicked on the link in CJ’s Instagram to purchase the book. Because I’m a nerd, I realized that it was linked to a website hosted on that appeared to be hosted on Squarepages and the link went directly to the secure sales page. There were two options to purchase the book. I could either buy the eBook (which I did), or the rather attractive-looking Moleskin version. I kind of wanted the Moleskin, but waiting for shipping for books is not my thing.

It was pretty easy to click to buy the book, but it wouldn’t download on my phone. (I kept getting an error message.) This was probably an Android thing. The file could have been too big, or the way that the pdf was coded may have been hard for my phone to read, but it’s important to mention if you  buy a lot of eBooks on your phone (I do).

Anyhow, I was also emailed a copy of the book, so I went to my computer and downloaded it. I started to email it to my phone, but then I realized that the book was super short and I was putting way too much effort into a book that would only take me a few minutes to read. The eBook was a total of 34 pages with some rather large print and pictures. Unlike a lot of books, the title page and table of contents were numbered, so they were included in the page count. As an example of the large print and pictures, this title page is page 2:


Out of respect for the intellectual property and copyright of the author, I won’t post any more pages from the book, but there were other pages like this with very little text and a large picture.

Now, let’s talk about the content of the book itself. As someone who tires of the non-stop discussion about “branding,” I found the book’s message to be rather refreshing. Casciotta tells the story of “McDonalization” and how standardization became the standard for the way products and services are delivered all over the world, and the fact that such standardization has both positive and negative consequences.

He talks about competition and the origin of the “branding” concept in terms of its real-life meaning and its marketing implications. More importantly, he discusses the modern movement to break away from traditional branding and standardization in favor of individualization and human belonging.

What stuck out to me the most was the Casciotta’s message to create a manifesto rather than a branding statement. He explains the process and what that means for both you and your business. For me, this was a profound concept. As someone who despises traditional “branding,” I love the idea of moving towards replacing mission statements with manifestos.

Despite the brevity of the book, I think the author effectively got his message across. If you are looking for motivation, then CJ Casciotta comes across as a master motivator who can help you kickstart the direction of your business. The book is a quick read and he also has a podcast and events that you can help you follow-up on the overall direction of his message.

However, if you are looking for a more robust plan for how you can manage your business in an unconventional way, you should also consider checking out The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. I’m currently reading this book and I will be updating this blog with a review. In the meantime, you can check out her reviews on Amazon.

Here’s my affiliate link to check out Danielle’s book on Amazon: The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms