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How do you build a great brand?  Ever since I wrote the book What Great Brands Do, I’ve been on a quest to discover and share answers to this question.  While all seven brand-building principles that I introduced in the book still are important and relevant today, the one that has risen to the top […]

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Now is the time to prepare your business for the recession.  In addition to the typical strategies of cost-cutting and cash flow management, add culture-building.  A healthy, effective, and resilient company culture can help you not just survive, but actually thrive during an economic downturn. In my new Smartbrief on Leadership video, I explain how […]

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently referred to Meta employees in a new way:  Metamates.  Is this a good idea?  Should you use a coined name to refer to your employees? The poll I fielded on LinkedIn yielded a definitive answer: It depends.  28% supported the practice of made-up names for employees; 32% voted against it; […]

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How aligned and integrated are your external brand identity and internal organizational culture? Does your organization have the right core values that it needs to cultivate your desired culture and achieve your brand vision? How big is the gap between your existing brand identity and the one you aspire to? In what specific ways are […]

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The problem at Amazon is not simply that its culture has gone awry; more importantly, it has become disconnected from the company’s brand. Amazon’s brand has always been grounded in its aspiration of becoming “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”  And its leaders have used the organization’s core values, “Leadership Principles”, to guide the company in service […]

brand-as-business bit:  I recently spoke at CAMEX, the trade show and educational event for the collegiate retailing industry, produced by the National Association of College Stores.  My topic was “More Walk, Less Talk: Build Your Brand through Culture & Customer Experience“ and I inspired and taught attendees how to drive their brand promise into their company culture and implement a […]

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Ron Johnson’s departure from J.C. Penney last week can be attributed to his low CQ, that is, Customer Quotient. Just as some leaders have been accused of low EQ, emotional quotient (defined as the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself and of others), Johnson lacked the ability to identify, assess, and […]

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods speak about purpose, values, and culture, and brand relevance and evolution, at the UCLA Extension Restaurant Conference.  Here are some of the thoughts he shared: Whole Foods for Thought by Denise Lee Yohn from Denise Lee Yohn, Inc. related: Brand Experience Brief (video):  Whole […]

brand-as-business bit:  last week Best Buy‘s new CEO Hubert Joly met with analysts and journalists to share his plan to turnaround the struggling electronics chain (you can check out a debrief of his presentation from Businessweek). His plan features several smart moves — the highlights: expanding Best Buy’s private-label business, which includes the Insignia and Rocketfish brands […]

(Three hundred industry leaders gathered at the Women’s Foodservice Forum Executive Summit last week in Phoenix.  The conference featured educational content from industry leaders and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management faculty.  The caliber of the presentations was so high, I wanted to pass along some of the key learnings.  So beginning today and for […]