Denise initially cultivated her brand-building approaches through several high-level positions in advertising and client-side marketing. She served as lead strategist at advertising agencies for Burger King and Land Rover and as the marketing leader and analyst for Jack in the Box restaurants and Spiegel catalogs. Denise went on to head Sony Electronic Inc.’s first ever brand office, where she was the vice president/general manager of brand and strategy and garnered major corporate awards.  She has run her own firm as an independent consulting partner since 2004.

An influential writer and brand expert, Denise wrote the bestselling book What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass) and the new book Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do.  She enjoys challenging readers to think differently about brand-building. She has been a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review blog, Forbes, Seeking Alpha, and the monthly column Brand New Perspectives to QSR Magazine.  Denise regularly appears on Fox Business TV and other international news media as a commentator on breaking business news. In 2008 she launched her blog, brand-as-business bites, which the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) named as one of the top 20 marketing blogs.

With her expertise and personal approach, Denise has become an in-demand keynote speaker and addresses business leaders around the world. When she’s not writing or speaking, she serves as a board member of San Diego Sport Innovators and the non-profit Urban Life.

Outside of her professional roles, Denise counts hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, dancing with a professional ballet company, and flying a helicopter as some of her greatest life experiences.

Previous Roles:
  • Sony Electronics Inc.’s first-ever brand leader as Vice President/General Manager, Brand and Strategy
  • Strategic marketing and marketing communications head for Sony’s $3BB+ Personal Mobile and Imaging Division
  • Lead strategist at advertising agencies for Burger King, Land Rover, and Unilever
  • Marketing leader and analyst at Jack In the Box and Spiegel
Thought Leadership:
  • Speaking engagements with international audiences at conferences including the Consumer Electronics Show, The Art of Marketing, the National Restaurant Show, and American Marketing Association
  • Published in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, SmartBrief on Leadership, GigaOm, Advertising Age, and Outlook Business (India).
  • Quotations by publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, and USA Today
  • Columnist for QSR Magazine, the national magazine for quick-service restaurant executives, writing the monthly Brand New Perspectives column
  • Brand-as-business bites blog was voted one of the Top 20 Marketing Blogs that Marketing Executives Actually Read
  • Brand director for TEDxSanDiego
  • San Diego Sport Innovators Board Member
  • Advisory board member of World Brand Congress
  • Judge for Association of Management Consulting Firms Awards
  • Finalist Selection Committee member for CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards
  • Board of Directors and Marketing Committee Chairperson for a branch of the YMCA

Awards from:

  • The American Marketing Association (EFFIE)
  • HOW Magazine’s Interactive Design competition
  • The Financial Communications Society
  • Sony Corporation, and Sony Electronics Inc.

Contact Denise


Best speaker of the day… a fresh perspective.

Mike Fox

Director, Global Vertical Marketing, Facebook

I’ve worked with Denise in different capacities over the years (client and colleague) and the result is always the same. She uncovers fresh insights into the consumer and the brand and then seamlessly connects the dots.

David Murphy

Co-President, Executive Director/Brand Innovation

Denise Yohn is that special combination of cool and professional. Our readers love the real-world advice she offers. Her focus on innovative marketing tactics that deliver real ROI is a breath of fresh air.

Blair Chancey

Editorial Director, Food News Media

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