What Great Brands Do

What Great Brands Do- A Guide to Creating Profitable Customer Relationships

Review by Anja Thielsen Valentino, Loyalty Group

Author: Denise Lee Yohn
Publisher: Jossey-Bass.
Release: 2014
No. of pages: 262 (Hardcopy)
Language: English.
Purchase:  AMAZON

Why you Should Read this Book

So what makes a great brand - and what do they all have in common? This is the focus of the book "What Great Brands Do".

Research suggests that only few companies really practice brand building the way great brands do. According to the book, a recent survey of marketing executives revealed that 64 percent feel that their brands do not influence decisions made within their companies.

Nearly two-thirds of companies are pouring millions of dollars into marketing and advertising without aligning their business strategies with the brand values and attributes they are communicating. As a result, the full business value of those brands is going unrealized.

"What Great Brands Do" intends to change the ways readers think about and work with brand building. Branding is not necessarily a "fluffy concept"! It can be used strategically to lay the foundation for continued company growth and ensuring market position. Doing so, based on an insight to and focus on the customers.

Main Conclusions from the Book

Today, profitable companies are often blinded by their own success and take their brand advantage for granted. The time for change is now - not because your company is sick, but precisely because it is healthy.

"What Great Brands Do" shows how companies as different as IKEA, Nike, Virgin, Chipotle and Starbucks have effected their exceptional brand platforms as a management tools to fuel their brand and thereby also their business. The stories guide puts brand management on another level as a strategic management tool on how to achieve higher-than-average profit margins as a result.

"What Great Brands Do" describes how great brands depend on a brand-as-business management approach to grow and succeed on challenging and ever-changing markets, regardless of the size of the marketing budget. Denise Lee Yohn offers her viewpoint on, what great brands have in common and puts their approach into seven guiding principles:

  1. Great brands start inside
  2. Great brands avoid selling products
  3. Great brands ignore trends
  4. Great brands don't chase customers
  5. Great brands sweat the small stuff
  6. Great brands commit and stay committed
  7. Great brands never need to "give back"

These essential seven principles are supported by an eight principle called "Brand as business" integrating the principles to creating business growth in a 3-step implementation approach to manage your business: culture, planning and execution.

According to Denise Lee Yohn, a company should clearly decide, communicate and engage the brand as a driver of every aspect of its business. Brand building must shift from a strategic function to an orchestration function - from simply setting direction to facilitating implementation across all functions and all stakeholders.

The top management must nurture a culture that differentiates the company, convey value beyond any single product or service, and form a valuable bond with the customers.

Evaluation of the Book

Today, companies almost drown in possibilities. Social media dominate communication streams and the technological development and new platform options. This makes a strategic focus on and prioritization of what truly creates value for the customers and is profitable for the company, more important than ever.

Denise Lee Yohn provides her answer to this problem through her seven principles and brand as business approach - How to separate The Best from The Rest!

The dilemma of what can differentiate the company and create value in the eyes of the customers is applicable more than ever. The best practices in the book are both an interesting read and relevant in the different aspects of creating a great brand by e.g. providing an emotional connection and a sense of identity with the customers, so that they don't mind spending extra for the privilege of being your stakeholders.

To my mind, the seven brand-building principles makes good business sense and offers a targeted approach on today's ever-changing market. The book is well-written, has relevant and useable points and can in some ways even be perceived as a handbook.

"Sometimes the best strategic decision is not what to do, but what NOT to do!" Denise states in the book
- and I could not agree more!

Rating: 5 stars out of 7 stars. 


Back to Book Reviews