A New Brand World made CEO-READ’s “100 Best Business Books of All Time” list three consecutive times. Written at the dawn of the digital age it’s eight principles have proven ageless, timeless and entertaining, with inside-the-trenches views inside Nike, Starbucks and Silicon Valley during their initial leaps to hyperspace in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
1. Relying on brand awareness has become marketing fool’s gold – smart brands are more concerned with brand relevancy, brand authenticity and brand resonance than ever.
2. You have to know it before you can grow it – most brands don’t know who they are, where they’ve been and where they’re going. An existential crisis is never pretty, especially in a brand we once new.
3. Always remember the Spandex rule of brand expansion – just because you can doesn’t mean you should. The best ideas refresh rather than punish your brand reputation. Know your limitations.
4. Great brands create enduring emotional connections — delivering and respecting timeless human needs, rather than just great sneaker or a hand-crafted latte, matter most in an experiential world.
5. Everything matters – even your restroom says something about you. In an increasingly transparent world everything — every product, employee and step in your value chain — will matter more.
6. All brands need good parents – unfortunately most brands come from troubled homes, wards of the mergers and transitions and revolving leadership doors. Instill enduring values and resilience to see them through the good and bad times.
7. Big is no excuse for being bad – truly great brands use their superhuman powers for good and place people and principles before profits. brand purpose and integrity will matter more than ever in an age of declining trust.
8. Relevance, simplicity, and humanity – rather than technology – will distinguish brands in the future. Published two years before Mark Zuckerberg began to shave, this principle reminds us that everything is a means to an end. End well.