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Brand-led business

Brand-led business

Many famous organisations are brand-led: their decision-making is guided by what they want to stand for. This slideshow explores the idea of a brand-led organisation.

It’s a great ideal, but most businesses aren’t brand-led. In fact, most are led by a complex mix of different forces. Here’s a simplified typology.



What matters most: building the right set of ideas in the minds of customers and others out there in the world, in the belief that’s the best path to low-risk growth.

Customer-led or audience-led

What matters most: understanding customers and meeting their needs.

Finance-led or shareholder-led

What matters most: keeping the share price up. Which usually means: achieving the most recent growth forecasts you made to investors.



What matters most: achieving something valuable for people or for the planet, in the belief that the money will follow.

Product-led or technology-led or skill-led or content-led

What matters most: creating the best possible product, or the cleverest new technology, in the belief that customers will then find it, want it and buy it.


What matters most: rewarding careers for employees. Or (in the case of some banks recently) maximising the take-home pay of senior staff.

Over to you

Think of three companies you know. Which category do they fall into? Are there other types? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each approach? Which mix makes for the most effective and long-lasting business?

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The Secret Power of Brands

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