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Building and managing brands, though obviously vital and necessary steps in the process, do not make up the whole picture of the successful development of a brand. What is needed is strategic brand leadership. Implementing this kind of leadership, Aaker and Joachimsthaler insist, requires a radical shift in an organization's culture, its structure, and its systems. In their densely packed but accessible book, they outline what this shift is all about, and discuss the important components of brand leadership: defining and elaborating a brand identity; designing the brand's architecture to achieve clarity, synergy, and leverage; building a brand beyond the obvious route of advertising by incorporating such aspects as sponsorship and the role of the Internet; and organizing the entire company around global brand leadership as opposed to merely the creation of a global brand. To support and demonstrate their ideas, the authors conducted hundreds of corporate case studies throughout Europe and the U.S. Inspiring and useful tales of such brand-focused and brand-recognized companies as Virgin, L.L. Bean, Nike, Adidas, and MasterCard are told in detail, and they touch on a host of other companies and brands to add texture to the lessons. As is obvious from these examples, achieving an effective brand leadership strategy requires awareness, understanding, passion, and a heck of a lot of work. But in today's enormously competitive brand environment, the rewards can be--and are--well worth the effort. Brand Leadership provides invaluable advice for anyone looking to focus and direct that effort toward a profitable and lasting result. --S. Ketchum
Aaker, David A.
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