What Great Brands Don’t Do

Author: Cristi Kempf       

What do great brands do? And what do great brands avoid doing? Brand strategy expert and author Denise Lee Yohn  will tackle those questions at the upcoming PCMA Education Conference in Cleveland, where Yohn will be the Opening Main Stage speaker on June 11.

The author of What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest, Yohn recently spoke with Convene about how she will tailor her message to the business-events industry.

One of the seven principles Yohn has identified is “Great Brands Avoid Selling Products.” By that, Yohn said, she means “that it’s far more effective to … seduce and invite people into a relationship, as opposed to pushing your product on them.”

[pullquote]Are you selling an opportunity to identify new, innovative ideas? [/pullquote]

In the case of the meeting organizers and event organizers, the product they shouldn’t push is their event, she said. “They’re trying to sell tickets and sell registrations, but I ask them … ‘What business are you really in?’ You’re not just selling registrations so that people can come to an event. Or are you providing a way for people who come to your conference to connect with others so they learn something? Are you creating an experience that will change the way a person at the event thinks about their industry?

“When you think about your business in that way — ‘What business are you really in?’— you’re able to then … project to your participants: ‘This is the value that you’ll get when you come to this event.’”

For more from Yohn about strong brands and how brands connect to culture, see “How to Build a Rockstar Brand.”