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So You Think You Know Your Brand?

An internal, one-dimensional view of brand as something created by the marketing department cannot possibly maximize the impact of the brand on strategy or on the marketplace, argues the author. Leaders have to help their companies adopt a three-dimensional view of their brands in which the company's conversation across all levels and departments, and its conversation with customers and various other constituencies, help to dynamically co-create brand identity and strategy. To differentiate the company and garner competitive advantage, there must be a transition from mere brand consciousness to consistent brand articulation and brand behavior, both inside the company and on the street. This is what the author describes as leading with the "brand pillars."

A brand pillar represents the impenetrable advantage of a brand in the marketplace because it is not expressed simply as a set of product or service attributes, but rather articulated in terms of the company's choices, priorities, strategies or operating advantages that impart value to the customer.
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