Spotting an exceptional brand is easy. Building an exceptional brand, however, can be one of the most overwhelming and elusive challenges organizations face. Many business leaders mistakenly believe that brand-building superstars like Apple, GE, Zappos, and Nike achieved their successes as a result of good timing, years of experimentation, or just plain luck. Denise Lee Yohn knows the truth: these companies have employed specific techniques that elevated brand-building from a niche marketing function to the core driver of the business, turning them into industry icons.

In her bestselling book, What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass, 2014), Yohn sheds light on these proven techniques and identifies the seven key principles that the world’s top brands consistently live out. Yohn reveals how:

Demystifying the brand-building process, What Great Brands Do lays out clear steps for implementing each of these principles. These philosophies contribute to Yohn’s innovative brand-as-business approach, which puts the brand at the heart of every company decision and fuels faster growth, increased profit margins, stronger corporate cultures, and superior stakeholder relationships.

Examining how this approach operates in the real world, What Great Brands Do features case studies that analyze the brand-building successes and failures of companies including Google, Trader Joe’s, IBM, Patagonia, Shake Shack, and many others.

A vital resource for CEOs, COOs, entrepreneurs, and other leaders, What Great Brands Do paves a clear and accessible road to building a world-class brand.


Yohn knows exactly what it takes to raise a brand to the top and keep it there. Here she shares techniques that can elevate a brand to icon status.  Yohn’s book is helpful reading for executives and managers at all levels, and it will guide the next generation of great brands.

Publisher's Weekly

With her finger on the pulse of today’s competitive business landscape, Denise Lee Yohn knows more than most how to create, sustain, and leverage a great brand. Her writing style coaches readers in a warm and conversational way as she offers up-to-the-minute advice, inspiring examples of organizations who have done it right, and cautionary tales of some who haven’t.  If you care about building your brand to grow your business, you can’t afford not to read What Great Brands Do by Denise Lee Yohn.

Ken Blanchard

Coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and TrustWorks!

Every leader—from CEOs and CMOs to start-up entrepreneurs—will find Denise’s seven brand building principles inspirational and immediately useful. I wish Denise had written What Great Brands Do five years earlier—I would have made it required reading for all P&G brand builders!

Jim Stengel

Former Global Marketing Officer, P&G, and author of Grow

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