Great Brands Start Inside

Yay! It’s finally here!  The official launch of my book, What Great Brands Do:  The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass).Adobe Photoshop PDF

The book introduces a different way of thinking about and building brands.  If you ask most people to define “brand,” they will often turn to the usual suspects: a tagline, logo, advertising message, etc,. Traditionally, brands have been understood in this way – as outward-facing, image-focused expressions. But today’s most successful and iconic companies – think Zappos, Starbucks, and Nike – have one critical attribute in common: they have elevated brand-building from a niche marketing function and use their brand as a strategic management tool that guides every aspect of their business. And as a result they have achieved higher-than-average profit margins!

My book describes this “brand-as-business” approach — the systematic management of the business around the brand — and offers seven principles that comprise this approach, as well as proven tools and methods for living them out.  It’s based on my 25 years of experience working with such companies as Burger King, Frito-Lay, Oakley, and Sony, and my research into many others.

To celebrate the launch, I am kicking-off a series of posters (courtesy of recitethis.com) that highlights each principle in the book — and at the conclusion of the series, I’ll compile them into a SlideShare that you can download.  Today starts at the beginning:


Great brands start inside – This principle is about how great brands put first things first. They cultivate a vibrant corporate culture around their brand because they know their culture determines whether or not the brand is embraced by employees and other stakeholders and appropriately interpreted and reinforced with customers.  Examples:

  • Starbucks demonstrates its values of dignity and respect by giving part-time employees health benefits, stock options, and free coffee.
  • 37Signals practices what it preaches, encouraging employees to work remotely — and realizes significant productivity and engagement benefits when they do.
  • Zappos delivers happiness to its employees first through its fun work environment and empowerment of (not control over) its service reps.

You can learn more about the book at http://whatgreatbrandsdo.com and it’s available for purchase at all major retailers and e-tailers. Please let me know your feedback — and if you like the book, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues.

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