You are viewing Aaker on Brands blog posts from April, 2012 (4 total). You can also view all blog posts.

Steve Jobs and The Bobby Knight School of Leadership

I believe that Steve Jobs was among the best CEOs of this generation because he created entirely new categories six times in a decade, and built the largest company market cap ever. Yet two recent and excellent books (Inside Apple, by Adam Lashinsky and Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson) describe a management style that was disturbingly harsh.

To understand Jobs's success, I find it helpful to look at the success of Bobby Knight, the fabled basketball coach at Indiana. Knight was one of two coaches to win over 900 games, won the NCAA championship three times, and was the national coach of the year four times yet had a management style similar to Jobs (described…

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April 25, 2012  •  Permalink

Three Keys to Managing Your Personal Brand

Every person has a brand, represented by a name and face that has a host of associated characteristics, such as: professional skills and assets, career paths, communication styles, appearance, personalities, interests, activities, friends, family and more. The brand influences all relationships by affecting how a person is perceived and whether he or she is liked and respected.

The “person brand” can be actively managed with disciple and consistency over time, or it can be allowed to drift. There is a huge payoff to employing the active management option, and there are large risks to the alternative. There are three keys to getting your brand under your control.

Your brand needs to have a strategic vision that details what you want it to stand for.

It should be aspirational but realistic in terms of what can be added, changed or made credible. Just the decision to manage your brand and develop a brand vision…

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April 18, 2012  •  Permalink

Ten Routes to a Successful Brand Extension

A brand extension can be a source of new offering ideas, bursts of energy, brand enhancements, brand building economies and new growth platform. The extension option is not always optimal, but it should be part of most strategy and new product discussions. One key step is to identify extension product categories where a new entry will benefit from and contribute to the brand associations. The process usually involves identifying the associations and brainstorming where they might be relevant. A more systematic approach is to explore the 10 routes to brand extensions that come from an analysis of successful extensions.

A friend of mine, Ed Tauber, considered the father of brand extensions, did a classic and influential 1988 study of 275 successful extensions in which he concluded most companies employed one of seven approaches to extensions. The Parham Santana extension agency, in conjunction with Ed, has reprised that

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April 11, 2012  •  Permalink

Branding Your Innovation: The Genius Bar Case Study

The Genius Bar is a place dedicated to providing technical support within Apple stores to customers having problems with the product or application. In large part because it is branded, the Genius Bar is a lynchpin of the most successful retail concept of recent times and a builder of the Apple brand and relationship.

The Apple store's financial performance and impact on the Apple brand is amazing. The sales per square foot for its 380 or stores is more than $5,000, which is six to ten times other successful retailers, and the average store pulls in 18,000 visitors a week. Perhaps more important, the stores provide a way to express the Apple brand and showcase its products. No longer are Apple products and brand tarnished by retailers who are unwilling or unable to provide an in-store Apple experience.

And the stores provide a source of energy to the brand and a new link to its rabid fans. The fact that nearly 2,000 stood in line for the opening of its Ginza store is illustrative.


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April 4, 2012  •  Permalink