What Great Brands Do Book Summary - What Great Brands Do Book explained in key points
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What Great Brands Do summary

Denise Lee Yohn

The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest

4.4 (124 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

What Great Brands Do by Denise Lee Yohn is a branding book that describes the seven principles of successful brand management. It offers practical insights and tools for building a strong and enduring brand.

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    What Great Brands Do
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    A brand is the personality of a business, and it should guide a company’s every action.

    Everyone recognizes contemporary brand superstars, like Apple, Nike and Zappos. So how did these brands become universally recognized household names?

    Many people might believe that brand-building is just a matter of experimentation, good timing and sheer luck. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Great brands achieve their iconic status when a company understands its brand and how it should influence the everyday running of the business.

    A brand is much more than just the impression people have of your company and your product. A brand is the personality of your business, and therefore should shine through everything your company does.

    Successful brands understand that people don’t just buy products based on a rational analysis of price and quality, but instead consider the feelings and values they associate with a brand. Having a coffee at Starbucks, for example, is not just about getting your morning caffeine fix. It’s also about the store’s sensory experience – the music, the furniture or the employees’ smiles – that you notice every time you walk through the front door.

    But great brands also enjoy other benefits. One is that a company can enjoy higher profit margins. A study by the strategy consultancy Vivaldi Partners showed that customers are willing to pay higher prices for brand-name products than for other products.

    Another benefit is that companies with a strong brand tend to have an easier time aligning their organization to a set of values. This is because a brand can be used like a strategic compass, guiding the company at large as to how it should build its corporate culture, design processes and craft marketing campaigns.

    This is why Starbucks would never compromise the customer’s in-store experience, for example, by buying cheaper furniture. Even though the company could save costs in the short-term, such a decision would not be in line with the company’s brand.

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    What is What Great Brands Do about?

    In What Great Brands Do, author Denise Lee Yohn draws on her over twenty-five years of experience in brand-building to demystify the branding process. You’ll discover the main principles that have made brands such as Nike, Apple and Starbucks such iconic household names.

    What Great Brands Do Review

    What Great Brands Do (2014) explores the strategies and practices of successful brands and reveals the keys to building a strong and lasting brand identity. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With its in-depth case studies and analysis, it provides valuable insights into how top brands differentiate themselves and create a loyal customer base.
    • The book offers actionable steps and practical advice, making it a useful guide for businesses and marketers looking to enhance their brand strategy.
    • Denise Lee Yohn combines her expertise in branding with compelling storytelling, making the book not only educational but also highly engaging and enjoyable to read.

    Best quote from What Great Brands Do

    Simply put, your brand is what your company does and how you do it.

    —Denise Lee Yohn
    example alt text

    Who should read What Great Brands Do?

    • CEOs, executives and company founders
    • Anyone interested in marketing or branding

    About the Author

    Denise Lee Yohn is a recognized brand expert, speaker and writer who specializes in teaching companies how to implement their brands on an operational level.


    © Denise Lee Yohn: What Great Brands Do copyright 2014, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    What Great Brands Do FAQs 

    What is the main message of What Great Brands Do?

    The main message of What Great Brands Do is how successful brands stand out, and how any brand can achieve greatness.

    How long does it take to read What Great Brands Do?

    The reading time for What Great Brands Do varies based on your speed, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is What Great Brands Do a good book? Is it worth reading?

    What Great Brands Do is worth reading for anyone interested in branding. It provides valuable insights and practical strategies in a concise and engaging manner.

    Who is the author of What Great Brands Do?

    Denise Lee Yohn is the author of What Great Brands Do.

    What to read after What Great Brands Do?

    If you're wondering what to read next after What Great Brands Do, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp
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    • The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries
    • The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    • The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin
    • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Rethinking Prestige Branding by Wolfgang Schaefer and J.P. Kuehlwein