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The Infinite Asset:
Sam Hill and Chris Lederer say brand-dominated business strategies will be the true road to commercial success for at least 10 more years. But when they say it, they aren't talking about today's prevailing approach, in which brands owned by a single company are combined in the manner of the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer. That's old news, contend Hill and Lederer, marketing veterans and partners at Helios Consulting. The next level, they say, is "brand portfolios"--actively managed collections of every brand, regardless of ownership, that intersects with another. Developing and running such systems (like those that connect Intel, Microsoft, and Dell, for example) is the subject of The Infinite Asset, a sharp and practical guide to adopting their well-considered suggestions on handling brand portfolios in the same way that financial portfolios are managed. The authors look at case studies of 3M and Miller Beer, among others, which help readers visualize the relationships that tie their brands to each other and to the outside world. They also put together an eight-part "toolkit" that covers brand extensions and repositioning, as well as an organizational design for implementing brand-portfolio management. --Howard Rothman [via]