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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • March 16, 2014
  • minute read

Denise Lee Yohn Reveals What Great Brands Do 

Denise Lee Yohn is a brand-building expert, speaker, and prolific columnist who’s just released her first book, What Great Brands Do.

While she can’t pinpoint the exact moment it began, Denise’s fascination with brands was already present in high school where she penned a paper about Nike at the time of their meteoric rise. What intrigued her most was the fact that brands have such an influence, not just on our purchase decisions, but on how we live.

Denise has since worked with world-class brands ranging from Frito-Lay, Burger King, and Oakley to Nautica, New Balance and more. She also served as Sony’s first-ever brand manager, helping them to determine how to evolve the brand going forward. (Listen as she shares with Les what she would recommend Sony do now, ten years since her departure.)

After working with such remarkable organizations, Denise decided to examine some of the top brands from around the world and identify what separates them from the rest. In this interview, she and Les dive deeper into how she went about it and the often counterintuitive results she uncovered, which are included in her new book, What Great Brands Do.


For example, Denise discovered that great brands don’t chase customers. If you begin a business with the goal of trying to satisfy a customer base, then you will lose sight of what makes your offering unique and become just another competitor in the crowd. It’s far better to be clear about your brand identity/what you stand for, and then invite those who respond to be a part of the brand with you. (Just as Apple did under Steve Jobs.) Another principle she discusses is how great brands never have to “give back”. Listen to the interview to learn why.

Whether you’re a CEO, a COO, a company president, or someone else charged with building the brand for your business, Denise’s book offers the perfect tools to help you do so. If you would like to obtain a free chapter, or to order a copy now, visit her website!

(Running time is approximately 25 minutes.)

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