The Brand Race: How to Rise Above the Competition Stanford Business Brief with David Aaker

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Incremental product improvements to promote "my brand is better than your brand” have little impact on the market dynamics affecting market share. In industry after industry, the brand race is won instead by innovations that define new categories or subcategories and thus make competitors irrelevant.

From Chrysler's debut of the mini-van to's change from software to the cloud, significant innovations can define a category, and truly transformational innovations can be game changers. The keys to winning brand relevance, says Dr. Aaker in this Stanford Business Brief, include timing your product innovations to market need (Apple), tapping underserved segments (Luna), building a strong customer relationship (Harley-Davidson), erecting hurdles to competition in execution (Zappos), and becoming an extraordinary brand (Prius).

David Aaker is professor emeritus of marketing and public policy at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and vice chairman of Prophet. The author of numerous books, including Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, he earned his BS from MIT, and MS in statistics and PhD in business administration from Stanford University.

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