Brand lessons from Starbucks, Amazon, Google et al.

Lesson #1: The brand is everyone's responsibility including the CFO. The recent furore and public backlash at brands which take UK tax avoidance to the extreme was wholly predictable, and avoidable. But how many organisations involve their senior financial people in brand management - how many CFO's see the brand as part of their responsibility?... Continue Reading →


Do you really own your brand?

When writing or talking about brands, I often find myself using the term 'brand steward', which I admit some folks find puzzling. The reason is that I feel uncomfortable with the phrase 'brand owner'. When a 'brand' is sold, for example, what is actually transferred? It may be the business in terms of premises, or... Continue Reading →

What will do the Google brand most damage – profit slump or communications bungling?

Share trading in Google was suspended for a while when its third-quarter results were published early by mistake. The results revealed a 20% profit slump, but what was the biggest potential long-term damage to the brand - the figures or the bungling? Business results matter, but all companies have ups and downs. Many traditional media... Continue Reading →

Five key characteristics of great brand leaders.

What is the defining characteristic of great brands - large or small? It is brand leadership. They have strong, committed and unwavering direction. Great brand leaders come in all shapes and sizes from Henry Ford to Richard Branson or Steve Jobs. But they all share some key qualities. (1) Vision A clear view ahead and... Continue Reading →

Brand longevity often oustrips that of businesses

"If it's living, it's dying." That is a hackneyed reference to businesses, which was an injunction not to stand still. However, it is interesting to note that brands can often be more durable than businesses, and some are incredibly long-lived. The oldest brand name is often attributed to Lowenbrau which dates back to the 1300s.... Continue Reading →

BP raises the issues of perceptions of brand responsibility

The cataclysmic environmental problems in the Gulf of Mexico have stimulated much discussion and I don't wish to add to that noise. What it does flag up however, is the changing perception of responsibility in the west. We have seen the trend in government where there is a perception that Government should somehow solve everybody's... Continue Reading →

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