Marketing, advertising, and licensing are taught as disciplines. Whether or not you're interested in these aspects of business, we're all made aware of them.

What's surprising is that brand strategy, the soul of a business and the facet of business that gives direction and inspiration to how a marketing/advertising/licensing campaign should be executed, is decidedly unacknowledged and misunderstood.

Why are the majority of Beats by Dre licensees athletes and not musicians? Why is it that 'America Runs on Dunkin'?

The impulse is to think that these companies are just trying to make as much noise as possible-- get their product in to as many hands as possible, associate themselves with as many famous people as possible, come up with the most clever lines, etc.

This is the result of companies having a clearly defined brand strategy: what are their values? what do they aspire for? what do they fear? what do they desire?

Brandon Cohn