The Book
Cover Art Courtesy of Karim Rashid

The Portfolio

The Person
“There are those in all fields of marketing who struggle their entire careers, desperately attempting to reconcile what they do with what they believe.  For those persons, Living Brands provides a road map to both professional success and personal redemption.” 

- Dr. Peter Harf

Chief Executive Officer of Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH

Deputy Chairman of the Board, Rickett Benckiser plc., and Chairman of the Board, Coty Inc.

“This book is filled with the astute observations and thoughtful stories of an industry insider. Nadeau clearly has a vision for the role that companies can play that extends far beyond "brand management." I actually think the title doesn't do the book justice. Living Brands is about more than a brand -- it's about organizations and their relationship to the world around them. This is a quick read. And a fun one, too!”

"Living Brands delivers a prescription for what is required to be successful in today's marketplace. It does so with grace, courage, and even humor. It's a wake-up call you won't want to miss."
- Ivy Ross
Executive Vice President of Design and Development for Old Navy, Gap Inc.

"Sweetface's success and phenomenon of Tommy Hilfiger were built on a foundation of cultural collaboration. Living Brands just let the secret out of the bag."
- Andy Hilfiger
SVP of Music and Entertainment, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, and founder of Music Entertainment Fashion, Inc.

"Discovery marketing has been the cornerstone of success for Ketel One. This book captures key insights that are valuable for any brand leader."
- William L. Eldien
President, Nolet Spirits U.S.A.

"Playboy's cultural connection with our consumer has continued to finish the substance of a perennially vibrant, vital living brand. The dreams may change-but the ability of Playboy to address those dreams, even if through other categories, remains constant."
- Alex Vaickus
Playboy Enterprises.

“Chupa Chups was built on cultural collaboration, the concept behind Living Brands.  Salvador Dali designed our logo and consumers designed our brand.  Living Brands shares the surprisingly simple secrets of our success.” 

- Marta Berna

Board Member, Chupa Chups Lollypops, Barcelona, Spain.

“I have known and worked with Raymond for many years.  He believes what’s in this book.  And, he has proven over and over again that it works.” 

- Jim Morrison

Former General Manager, L’Oreal Professional Division

Former General Manager, Turner Media Fashion & Beauty Network
CEO Big Sexy Hair

“Living Brands is a beautiful book about marketing.  What next, a beautiful world?”

- Tony Whitfield

Chair, Product Design and Development, Parsons, The New School for Design.

“Much in line with Benedictine tradition, Living Brands demonstrates a renewed appreciation of brands as they relate to humanity, respecting both body and soul.  The human person is seen as whole and shines with a new beauty.  A vision from the past lays out a new vision for the future of both commerce and, more importantly, mankind.” 

- Abbot Primate Doctor Notker Wolf

Highest Representative of the Benedictine Order.

“Living Brands is about telling the truth.  Try that one on for size.”

- Nikki Sixx

Artist, Rock Legend, Entrepreneur.

“From fashion to celebrities to anthropology, technology and economics – this book shares tomorrow’s marketing insights today.  It takes us all to an exciting, colorful place where brands and advertising brings us closer to our dreams.” 

- Denise Sakuma Wert

Brand Director and Director of Global Licensing, Invista Apparel, a former division of Dupont.

“A fashionable marketing and advertising guide that crosses all categories.  Raymond has never been a typical fashionista – he and this book use fashion merely as windows on the world, which is, after all, what fashion and great marketing are all about.  Living Brands defines Democratic Style.  It’s the only book of its kind.” 

- Massimo Redaelli

Senior Vice President IMG Fashion.

“Nadeau’s suggestion that brands are living, breath (and oftimes fragile) entities is spot on.  This book forces us to see beyond convention and look twenty-first century branding squarely in the eye.” 

- Matt Eastwood

J. Walter Thompson, Global ECO

DDB Worldwide, Chief Creative Officer

Former National Creative Director and Vice Chairman, DDB Australia

Former Chief Creative Officer, Y&R

Living Brands, a marketing and advertising guide written as a roman novel.  I love it.” 

- Fabio

One of the Original Living Brands and Eternal Entrepreneur.

Living Brands coupled with living media defined marketing’s new gold standard.  We all knew it was coming.  With the printing of this book, we now all know it’s here.” 

- Irene Gazis

Client Communications Director, OMD.

Ethical marketing: Who knew?,


“Raymond Nadeau's Living Brands really opened my eyes. I'm a professional environmentalist: before reading this book, I assumed that environmentalists stood in opposition to marketers: regarding consumption, we're trying to stem the outbreak, and they're driving the monkey to the airport. I was wrong Living Brands describes "participatory branding" as the future of marketing: people who use and love a product help create the brand, in some cases directly (homemade ads on YouTube), in others by incorporating the product into their lifestyle and value system (choosing products because their makers donate money to breast-cancer care and research).

What most shook my preconceptions is the way Nadeau advocates "ethical branding," equal parts interactivity, good design, uncompromising craftsmanship, fascinating marketing and products that create positive social change on scales from local to global.

The book benefits as much from Nadeau's writing style as from its content. Some examples of his elegant, provocative prose:

"Just as brands will be cocreated by consumers, so too will consumer ethics become, not a marketing point of differentiation, but an absolute minimum cost of doing business." (176).

"Today we are increasingly equipped with nothing less than the potential for nearly complete, permission-based, two-way consumer interaction. However, as we hurl head first toward this thrilling, seemingly limitless technology-enabled world, we must remember that knowledge and wisdom are different." (129)

"However, if you want a true marriage between your customer and your brand, one with enduring respect, you will have to choose between a relationship and an affair. An ethical marriage of equals may be intimidating at first. Meaningful commitments usually are." (210)

"You often may find yourself a lone voice raging against an infrastructure based on last century's marketing models and morals. You may get fired a few times. But I implore you to have courage." (211)

Two recent books are good companion reads for Living Brands, providing fuller context and alternate perspectives. One, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, by Dana Thomas, looks at the globalization, democratization and inevitable commodification of formerly exclusive goods. The other, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, by James Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II (), posits a "Polonius test" of whether a business is true to itself and true to what it says it is.
Under that test, Nadeau's book is an object lesson in "real-real" marketing that meets both standards.”

- Kay M. Gilbert

Executive Director, Cultivating Sustainable Communities.

“The fundamental insight that Raymond Nadeau brings to the table in his fun and essential read is that great brands fit into the real lives of ordinary people. This might sound like a fundamental law of branding and marketing, but too many companies have lost their way in the effort to make marketing a science. Raymond reminds us of the tremendous power that lies when companies and their customers enter into conversation.”