Soundview Executive Book Summaries

The Land of the Brand
September 18, 2009, 3:40 PM
Filed under: Books in General, Brands, Marketing | Tags: , ,

Sometimes the best way to truly evaluate the way a business looks is to take a gander from the outside. The United States gets tagged with many labels, some of which are not too kind. Accusations arise constantly about everything from the country’s carbon footprint to its often reluctant role as global police officer. Still, after reading an article from the folks at, one finds it a little harder to shrug off a famous allegation: American brands dominate the globe.

Click the link above and check it out for yourself. According to the Interbrand study cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. can lay claim to eight of the top 10 brands in the world, as well as 13 of the top 20. Findings like the ones in this list create some interesting debates, both domestically and internationally. Much to my chagrin, I’m old enough to recall a time when foreign brands were unacceptable when it came to certain major purchases (cars, televisions, etc). While there are still those whose purchasing decisions are rooted in patriotism, the decision to drive a car produced by Japan or Germany is no longer looked at with a raised eyebrow. In fact, the opposite is more likely to cause curiosity.

Other areas of the world continue to lament the decline of their own local culture, or so it would appear. You’d probably anticipate the French being among the stalwarts who refuse to let the fast-food of the Stars and Stripes steamroll their cafes and bistros. Take a look at the photo that accompanies this articleand you’ll see that the Arc de Triomphe has competition from another set of arches, ones that are a little more familiar Stateside. Even the most particular of cuisine-lovers has to admit, someone must be buying all those burgers.

While America continues to debate the pros and cons of offshoring and trade deregulation, one export has never failed us: our brands. The value of our most famous companies may trouble some authors, like John Gerzema and Edward Lebar, but others don’t seem to share their concern. Coca-Cola once advertised it’s desire to achieve world harmony through song. We might not be there yet, but they’ve certainly followed through on the other end of their promise. Everyone, practically, has the chance to buy a Coke.


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