Brand power comes from keeping – not only making – promises.  And to keep your brand promises, your brand and culture must be aligned and integrated.   In other words, brand-building requires brand-culture fusion. But a recent HBR article by Roger L. Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management, and a couple of LinkedIn […]


Social media influencers and AI platforms are changing the way we connect with customers; they are also changing the way we use brands. Today brands are not only marketing outputs and strategic inputs. They are – or at least they should be – cultural cornerstones. Here is why. related: Prepare Your Culture for a Recession […]

In my experience working with some of the world’s greatest brands, I’ve discovered the single most important requirement for building a great brand: ownership of brand-building by executives at the highest level of the organization. More than big marketing budgets, more than breakthrough creative ideas, more than strong sales capability — if you want a great […]

avoid selling products

Yep, you read that right.  Great brands actually avoid selling products.  Great brands know that people make purchase decisions based on how products make them feel or the identities products help them experience or express — so they seek to create emotional connections with people and use product features as mere support for that emotional […]


Why Brand?

brand-as-business bit:  In my contribution to OPEN Forum this month, Why Brand?, I lay out what strong brands do for small businesses.  Although I usually work with larger companies/brands, I believe a brand is any business leader’s most powerful tool for accelerating and sustaining growth.  And so, small businesses should invest in brand development from […]


brand elephant

brand-as-business bit:  In my inaugural piece as a regular contributor on OPEN Forum, I talk about how attempts to define a brand make me think of the elephant parable. You know the one in which different blind men describe an elephant based on what different body parts feel like. I referenced a few brand definitions […]


My curiosity was piqued by the headline of a recent article comparing Siri, the personal assistant application on new iPhones, to Speaktoit, currently available on Android phones – but not because I wanted to understand the differences between the apps.  I was struck by how different the two names are – Siri:  short, cute, a […]

“Differentiation is really the best way for all businesses to address consumers’ new value mindset.” That is the key point of the article the folks at Franchise Update Media Group asked me to write.  Decrease Your Deal-Dependency with Differentiation is part of their latest newsletter (subscribe here). I’ve heard from so many business leaders who […]

gravestone branding-dead

Today’s post is actually an article of mine which brandchannel just published.  You can either click here to read it on brandchannel and track the comments brandchannel readers submit — or if you’re click-averse, just read on. […]