Harvard Business Review Asks ‘What Is Your Brand Against?’

I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) email “Management Tip of the Day” because it generally delivers small pearls of knowledge like the following:

Most brand experts will tell you that your brand needs to stand for something, whether it’s efficiency, quality, or service. But many companies use similar approaches, which can lead to your attempt sounding generic. You can put a stronger stake in the ground by telling customers what it is you are against. Politics have shown that it’s far easier to rally people in opposition to a cause than for one. Being opposed to something — excess, bad design, mean people — helps people find something meaningful in your brand. Don’t create a gripe-fest, however: once you have people on board, show them your alternative ideas and visions.

You can track the rest of this story, ‘What Is Your Brand Against?” in HBR’s blog, The Conversation.

Harvard Business Review began in 1922 as an editorial project of Harvard Business School’s faculty and students. HBR began switching its editorial focus toward general management after World War II, as a growing number of executives became interested in the management techniques pioneered at General Motors and other large companies. HBR has since 1993 been published by Harvard Business School Publishing, a non-profit subsidiary of Harvard that also publishes cases, books (through the HBS Press), newsletters, and corporate learning programs and materials. In 2001, the magazine increased its frequency from bimonthly to monthly.


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