Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Brand Warfare

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Brand Warfare

10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Prada, Volkswagen and Coke didn't become Prada, Volkswagen and Coke by accident.

auto-generated audio
auto-generated audio

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Author David F. D'Alessandro, the CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, describes how to build and protect a brand name. With writing assistance from Michele Owens, he draws on stories from John Hancock and other companies to illustrate successful brand building as well as missteps along the way. Based on these stories, D'Alessandro summarizes the principles of brand building, such as being consistent, refreshing the brand to keep up with the times and sponsoring events that are in keeping with the brand's image. His basic principles are familiar: Use your brand as a powerful image that reflects your company and product's core identity. getAbstract likes D'Alessandro's breezy, personal style and conversational approach, which convey these ideas in a fresh way. If you haven't brushed up on your branding lately, this is a useful roundup of information, reminders and cautionary tales.


The Power of Brands

Brand image has great selling power. It can turn an ordinary commodity into a valuable product, as Orville Redenbacher did when he turned his popcorn into a premium brand and persuaded consumers to pay more for it. The John Hancock company similarly took a sleepy old brand of insurance and turned it into a more appealing product for consumers - an appeal that carried over to its investment products.

The power of branding is reflected in a company's value. According to Interbrand, which annually ranks the world's most popular brands, 51% of the Coca-Cola Company's value is due to its brand name. The importance of branding goes beyond business. Even movie stars think of their names and images as their brand.

A brand is how consumers think of your company or product when they hear its name. Their perceptions come from many sources, from Internet rumors and TV reports, to their own customer-service interactions. To control these perceptions, do everything you can to support a favorable brand image. Think "brand" whatever you do, including decisions about cutting back on customer service, expanding into new markets or sponsoring a local event. ...

About the Authors

David F. D'Alessandro is CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, a Fortune 500 company. As the company's youngest CEO, he spearheaded its dramatic reinvention, which led the New York Times to list John Hancock as one of the top 100 brands of the 20th century. He is considered an expert on sports marketing, and is a frequent keynote speaker at events around the world, as well as a guest on TV programs, such as The Today Show and CNN News. Michele Owens is a former speechwriter for Governor Mario Cuomo of New York and Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same authors

Learners who read this summary also read