What Makes Great Brands Great? Staying on Top in a Competitive World

Julie Hennessy – Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Professor Julie Hennessy will discuss the new definition of the brand in today’s environment, and how this changes the nature of the challenges faced by brand managers and builders. Today’s brands are not logos, trademarks or jingles, but complex associations carried in the minds of customers and non-customers, competitors and commentators. Brand perceptions are complicated and often conflicted, but also important and interesting. Professor Hennessy will talk about new methods for tracking “Brand Meaning,” and learnings from tracking of some of the most prominent brands with consumers in different parts of the world.

The principles of brand tracking can be applied to the tracking of traditional brands, like Apple and Starbucks, and also to non-traditional brands, like places, and people. This is particularly interesting in times of change or trauma, when brands are in the news or under scrutiny. In this session, Professor Hennessy demonstrate the new principles of branding — with interesting learnings from the tracking of the Toyota during their problems with unintended acceleration, Volkswagen with their diesel emissions scandal, and even key US Candidates campaigning for the 2106 Presidential Election.