A great and natural read on operationalizing your brand, Denise Lee Yohn’s book What Great Brands Do quickly became one of my favorite reads. It’s a must have for entrepreneurs and CEOs alike. Denise outlines her 7 principals in a real and conversational way. As I read the book, it was as if I was having lunch with her and discussing it face to face. The principals are not rocket science, rather the challenge is applying them consistently in line with your brand’s strategy. Below are the seven principals. The act of entrepreneurship naturally leads to following these principals.
- Great brands start inside
- Great brands avoid selling products
- Great brands ignore trends
- Great brands don’t chase customers
- Great brands sweat the small stuff
- Great brands commit and stay committed
- Great brands never have to “give back”
Denise uses great corporate brand examples in her book, and often highlights local SMBs on Instagram and Facebook that exemplify these principals.
The first principal, “Great brands start inside,” is clearly an advantage of the entrepreneur. Think about your favorite local small business, why do you choose it?
Antonio’s Mexican Food down the street from my home is one of mine. Antonio’s is family owned and run. They serve up fresh and mostly locally sourced Mexican food. The restaurant has a modest dining room and a 24-hour drive-thru. The recipes are family secrets. The employees are siblings, cousins, parents, aunts & uncles, nieces & nephews, and grandparents. The restaurant is full people who are happy and have a passion for great food and complete customer satisfaction. Every time I eat at Antonio’s it feels like as if I’m an auntie or sister. The team greets me with a smile and asks how I am and how my family is. They remember what I usually order, that my daughter lives in New York and my son’s girlfriend loves their bean & cheese burritos with green sauce. And in 23 years this culture has remained steadfast.
Through out the book Denise chooses impactful, real world examples to illustrate how some brands do this well, and sometimes how others do not. After reading What Great Brands Do you’ll start noticing things your favorite brands do that keep you coming back. And maybe find ways to employ the principals at your business.