Game-Changing Brand Strategy with David Aaker

david aaker on brand

“Branding people have not formally gotten into the strategy world.” And vice versa. And that’s a problem according to branding and marketing legend David Aaker, author of several books including his latest Owning Game-Changing Subcategories. It’s a book that’s coming out at a game-changing and turbulent time in the world of business and beyond. We discussed all of this and more, this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About David Aaker

David Aaker, the Vice-Chairman of Prophet (a global consultancy around brand, growth, and digital transformation) and Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business is the author of over 100 articles and 18 books including Aaker on Branding and Creating Signature Stories. He had received four career awards including the NYAMA Marketing Hall of Fame. Named as one of the top five most important marketing/business gurus in 2007, he is a recognized authority on brand strategy.

His latest book, Owning Game-Changing Subcategories: Uncommon Growth in the Digital Age, shows how to generate growth platforms by creating, positioning, and owning new subcategories and takes a strategic look at Digital by describing its role enabling subcategory formation.

Episode Highlights

Where did the idea for David’s latest book, Owning Game-Changing Subcategories, come from? “I got ahold of three decades of beer data …” While this could sound like the beginning of a wild weekend, David observed that significant growth in categories like beer and automotive came with the emergence of sub-categories.

Growth, strategy, and innovation books are missing out on four key areas, according to David: (1) “Any sense of branding,” a disconnect we discussed extensively during the podcast. (2) “They don’t recognize the digital age,” (3) “Social—everything used to be media-dependent now companies like Dollar Shave Club come along” and win big, and (4) “Communities,” David notes citing brand-driven communities like Sephora and Etsy.

What can brands do to grow right now as many are struggling to keep their doors open? “This represents an opportunity. There’s an enormous need for us to be able to operate in an environment like this. Can we find new opportunities? Can we innovate?” This once again brought us back to our discussion of communities for brands like Sephora and the big role it plays when we’re all socially distanced.

What brand has made David smile recently? David has found some much-needed laughs in difficult times from the classic TV comedy Reno 911. He also shared his favorite humorous book that he often revisits, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

To learn more, check out the Prophet website including David’s blog.

As We Wrap …

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On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!