Great businesses naturally have many things in common: superbly designed products and services, knockout customer experiences, sustained excellence at execution, outstanding talent and teamwork, and great leadership. But there's also something else, an X factor that keeps renewing and strengthening great businesses through good times and bad.
Based on almost ten years of empirical research involving 50,000 companies, Jim Stengel, former director of marketing at Procter & Gamble, shows how the world's 50 best businesses - as diverse as Apple, Red Bull, Pampers and Petrobras - have a cause and effect relationship between financial performance and their ability to connect with fundamental human emotions, hopes, values and greater purposes.
In this, the next big idea book, Stengel deftly blends timeless truths about human behaviour and values into an action framework, to show us how by embracing what he describes as 'brand ideals', the world's best businesses can achieve incredible growth and drastically improve their performance.
Profit and ethical behavior need not stand in opposition, argues management consultant Stengel; in fact, maximum growth and high ideals are inseparable. Companies with ideals of improving people's lives at the center of all they do outperform the market by a huge margin. During his time at Procter & Gamble, he conceived and executed the Stengel Study of Business Growth, a 10-year-growth survey of more than 50,000 businesses around the world. The study identified 50 brands with extraordinary growth: retailers, luxury brands, and high-technology enterprises. His analysis suggests that those companies' ideals have positively influenced their success that they have a brand ideal, a shared goal of improving people's lives. To back this up, he presents stories from his own career and also case studies of such strong brands as Method, Jack Daniels, and Zappos. He presents "must-dos" for companies hoping to turn their ideals into gold. While his points are solid and it's comforting to know that there's a connection between a company's desire to improve people's lives and their bottom line, the real content is slim and repetitive.