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What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest by Denise Lee Yohn

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Chapter 1

Great Brands Start Inside

Sam Palmisano was a twenty-nine-year IBM veteran when he took the reins of the beleaguered company as CEO in 2002. He had started as a salesman at IBM in 1973, but in the intervening years the IBM brand had lost its cachet and become seen as increasingly irrelevant.1 The entire company nearly imploded during the 1990s, when almost half of IBM’s 400,000 employees lost their jobs. “If you lived through this, as I did,” Palmisano told Harvard Business Review in 2004, “it was easy to see how the company’s values had become part of the problem.”2 The prized beliefs put forward by IBM’s iconic founder—which included “respect for the individual” and “the pursuit of excellence”—had settled into a managerial culture ...

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