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What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  17 reviews
"What Great Brands Do" shows how companies as diverse as IBM, REI, Starbucks, Lululemon, and more have all used their exceptional brand platforms as management tools to fuel, align, and guide every task they undertake--and have achieved higher-than-average profit margins as a result. What do these great brands have in common?

"What Great Brands Do" shows how these firms rel
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2013)
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Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What Great Brands Do was by far my favorite business book of 2014. I refer to it regularly as I build my brand consultancy. And I recommend it to clients, marketers and other professionals as the book to have if you want to understand brand-building at its core. I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Denise Lee Yohn, when she spoke at a New Orleans American Marketing Association luncheon. She was delightful, approachable and humble. Catch her in the heat of telling a brand-building story, and ...more
Rodrigo Herrera
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book, the best branding - culture book I’ve read so far.

There is one phrase that highlights the essence of what I love - “Great brands put their brand - not customers - at the center of their customer strategy.

One of the biggest challenges and problems that I see today with brands and businesses is that they have a growth / profit mentality at their center, instead of value creation and principles. The big issue with “listening to the consumer and fix his/her pain points” is that your bra
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me alot.
Things I learned:

•Branding is not merely a marketing tool but also a organizational and strategic tool. It is the personality of a business and it should guide a company’s every action.
•Brand-building is a matter of experimentation, good timing and sheer luck.
•Understand your brand & how it should influence the everyday running of the business.
•People don't buy products based on a rational analysis of price and quality, but instead consider the feelings and values they a
Kent White
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished listening to this book and now I'm planning on buying a hard copy. This is such an excellent book on so many levels. I think it is a little more advanced than most may like, leaving many business owners unsure on how to really implement much. That is likely by design, since what Yohn recommends is completely redesigning your business to deliver amazing customer experiences and enlisting all employees to doing it. She says there should be no difference between what you say, who yo ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it
If you've taken a marketing class this will probably bore you at first. It's a rehashing of companies we have heard and read about and discussed in those courses. However, it does go beyond the marketing to the actual branding, but if you've taken any courses on trademark law and licensing you've probably discussed it. Skim if you have to and when something seems interesting read it. It has a lot of real world examples but unless you're new to this world you may find it repetitive to what you al ...more
Archit Sureka
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brands are like people. They need to be understood. Some brands are good, some brands are great. This book is all about making great brands. Love the way Densie has given examples from her consultancy experience. The book is full of real life business and marketing insights and strategies. Pleasure to read. Thinking BIG starts here!
Dean Millson
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best branding books I have read (and I have read a few!) Breaking down most of the key branding principals into a great format. If you're a brand strategist likes I am, or someone in charge of building a brand this will be a book you can keep coming back to. ...more
Evan MacDonald
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read it before the case studies become even more dated

The content of this book is laid out very well. The structure is very clear. Yohn has gathered a whole lot of great case studies, articles, interviews, and the like, from a whole of really smart people. I just wish I'd read it immediately after it was published. The case studies feel very focused around the time when her book was written, so even though it's <5 years old, it feels a tad dated. I'm glad I read it and I'd recommend it to anyone
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of great insight! Author delves into success stories through enlightening and engaging ways that connect back effectively to her observations and conclusions. Not deeply analytical but enough to get me thinking in new ways about the way organizations define, perceive, and communicate about their brands.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Most of the points are already common to be discussed, but the selling point for me from this book is the use case presented from the big companies. It's very interesting to explore their decision that make their company very successful (or fail) today. ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kawania Wooten
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very helpful book; however, I wish I read the book in print instead of the audiobook because I kept getting sidetracked. When I was engaged, I was able to get good marketing nuggets. Unfortunately, I struggled to stay engaged with the content (or perhaps the narrator).
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid / basic / primer on branding.
Abhi Yerra
The book is basically an anthology of anecdotes of what great brands do. Although it does have some good things to remember such as branding starts from within, inform all decisions, etc. those could also just be construed as something a company does anyways. So I was a bit disappointed in that there was no deep dive into branding from a human psychology perspective. Otherwise, you can just read the table of contents and extrapolate what the message of the author is.
Nguyen Vy
I'm a newbie to branding, but I'm always curious why in market, some brands are good but the others are great. I read a few books about branding, but none of them can satisfy me. And then, I find this book "What great brands do". Thanks to the author's wide and long experience as a branding consultant, this book can clear my query ever. I will read this book again as I think one time is definitely not enough for me to get full understanding what is mentioned in this book. ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ideological nonsense using successful companies marketing methods and trying to arrange them into a scientific method.
Jessica Bashara
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on branding I’ve ever read (and I read a lot of them ). Would highly recommend to any entrepreneur or business leader.
Dave Welch
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Blending a fresh perspective, twenty-five years of experience working with world-class brands including Sony, Frito-Lay, and Burger King, and a talent for inspiring audiences, Denise Lee Yohn is a leading authority on building and positioning exceptional brands.

Denise initially cultivated her brand-building approaches through several high-level positions in advertising and client-side marketing.

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4 likes · 2 comments
“The contents of a Brand Toolbox depend on the specific needs of the company but usually a Brand Toolbox contains An explanation of your brand strategy along with background and rationale so that everyone can understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and definitions of key terms so everyone grasps the meaning behind the words Principles and guidelines for delivering brand values and attributes at key touchpoints between your brand and the outside world Sample applications for how the brand should be expressed and delivered Guides that walk people through important decisions, along with outlines that map processes so that people learn how to do things on brand like select a co-marketing partner and screen a new product” 0 likes
“Creating a Brand Toolbox is an important first step in fostering a strong brand culture, but the managers of great brands know that simply producing brand content and tools is not enough. They stage Brand Engagement Sessions featuring hands-on exercises and immersive experiences to ensure that brand understanding is followed with appropriate actions and decision making by their staff.” 0 likes
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