What Great Brands Do
It's tempting to believe that brands like Apple, Nike, and Zappos achieved their iconic statuses because of serendipity, an unattainable magic formula, or even the genius of a single visionary leader. However, these companies all adopted specific approaches and principles that transformed their ordinary brands into industry leaders. In other words, great brands can be built - and Denise Lee Yohn knows exactly how to do it. Delivering a fresh perspective, Yohn's What Great Brands Do teaches an innovative brand-as-business strategy that enhances brand identity while boosting profit margins, improving company culture, and creating stronger stakeholder relationships. Drawing from twenty-five years of consulting work with such top brands as Frito-Lay, Sony, Nautica, and Burger King, Yohn explains key principles of her brand-as-business strategy.
Reveals the seven key principles that the world's best brands consistently implement
Presents case studies that explore the brand building successes and failures of companies of all sizes including IBM, Lululemon, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and other remarkable brands
Provides tools and strategies that organizations can start using right away
Filled with targeted guidance for CEOs, COOs, entrepreneurs, and other organization leaders, What Great Brands Do is an essential blueprint for launching any brand to meteoric heights.
What Great Brands Do
The most important lesson of history, it s been said, is that people don t learn very much from history.1 That thought has occurred to me at times when I ve heard the offhand comment that Kodak, one of the greatest brands on Earth not that long ago, was ruined by the digital camera. Anyone who believes that a great brand can be undone by mere changes in technology doesn t fully understand what makes great brands great.
Kodak ranked as one of the four most valuable brands in the world in 1996, just behind Disney, Coca-Cola, and McDonald s.2 It had earned that ranking after decades of being the dominant U.S. maker of affordable cameras and photographic film. Kodak was known as America s storyteller, and its advertising delivered powerfully memorable messages such as Kodak, for the times of your life. The Kodak moment even became a pop-culture catchphrase. Kodak s name was seared into the public s consciousness as being synonymous with good times and fond memories.
When Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012, it had lost $30 billion in market value in the fourteen short years since its profits peaked in 1999.3 The cause of Kodak s stunning fall has been attributed to claims that Kodak was too slow to move to digital photography, and that it failed to make quality digital-age products. Poor strategic planning, lack of foresight, and inept product development and design have all been claimed as contributing factors.
There is no question that digital photography eroded Kodak s high-profit film and developing businesses. But what if Kodak s many inadequate responses to this challenge were mere symptoms of a deeper problem at Kodak? What if all of the company s disappointments and failures during its years of decline were really rooted in one central failure a failure to follow through on an integral brand strategy? What if Kodak failed simply because Kodak no longer did what great brands do?
This book is an examination of how great brands manage to avoid the fate of Kodak and other faded companies by using their brands as management tools to fuel, align, and guide every person in the organization and every task they undertake. I show how companies as diverse as IBM, REI, Starbucks, and IKEA have all successfully relied on a management approach that drives their culture, company operations, and customer experiences an approach I call brand as business. With brand as business, the brand is the central organizing and operating idea of the business. Great brands use the brand-as-business management approach to grow and succeed in tough economic climates, regardless of the size of their marketing budgets. The seven guiding principles of What Great Brands Do and their accompanying action steps and exercises provide a step-by-step methodology for putting your company s brand where it belongs in the driver s seat of your organization.Beyond Advertising: Brand as Business
As companies with great brands demonstrate, brand building is in no way confined to advertising and marketing. The proliferation of social networks and the pervasiveness of marketing in recent years may give the impression that companies should elevate the brand communication function, but growth in brand equity and influence comes from an entirely different way of thinking about and using brands. Brand building involves operationalizing the brand as an integral way of managing and growing a business. So this book is for business leaders, owners, and general managers the people who drive the culture, core operations, and customer experiences of an organization. These are the people who can ensure their companies unleash the full potential of th