Trademarks, Brands, and Competitiveness

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This book examines trademarks and brands, and their historical role in national competitive and comparative advantage and in overall economic growth. The contributors provide an historical account of the contribution of brands in consumer goods to economic growth; examine the development of trademark law, its influence on brand strategy, and reciprocally the influence of strategy on the law; and look at the building and repositioning of individual brands as example of the interplay of law and strategy.

Brands and trademarks are usually discussed from the perspective of marketing. This book draws together scholars and practitioners not only from marketing, but also from business history, law, economics, and economic history to provide a richer understanding of trade marks and competitiveness than has hitherto been available.

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About the author

Paul Duguid is Adjunct Professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley and Research Professor in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, University of London. He is interested in issues of quality, particularly in the "information age", and this has led him to investigate methods of warranting, including trade marks.  He is author (with John Seely Brown) of The Social Life of Information and of essays that range from wine history to organizational knowledge.

Teresa da Silva Lopes is Professor of International Business the University of York. Her research interests range from globalisation, the evolution of international business and the multinational enterprise, to international strategy and marketing, the role of brands in the creation of global capitalism and corporate governance. She is the author of numerous books and articles on brands and trademarks and the growth of firms, including Global Brands and the Evolution of Multinationals in Alcoholic Beverages (2007) and Internationalisation and Concentration in Port Wine (1998). She is completing a ESRC funded project on The History of Brands and Trade Marks, jointly with Paul Duguid and John Mercer. She has held visiting research fellowships at the University of California Berkeley, and École Polytechnique, and a postdoctoral position at Said Business School, Oxford University. She is currently a Council Member and Webmaster of the British Association of Business Historians, a member of the Newcomen Prize Committee of the journal Enterprise & Society, a fellow of the Network on Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe (DIME), a fellow of the Centre for Globalisation Research (QMUL), a visiting research fellow at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and a research associate of the Centre for International Business History and Centre for Institutional Performance at the University of Reading. She is former Reviews Editor for the journal Business History, and Trustee of the American Business History Conference.

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Additional Information

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Published on
May 4, 2010
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Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / General
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Your business is solving the wrong problems.

The nuclear triad of People, Process and Technology has been foundational to solving business problems for decades. Entire frameworks and methodologies have grown up around the simple concept that getting each of these three areas correct and functioning in concert will ensure smooth business operations and cross-enterprise alignment. Billions of dollars have been spent on people in the management consulting industry who have “mastered” the art of alignment and offered definitive solutions to the biggest, wickedest business challenges out there. And yet... our businesses continue to encounter the same well-known and seemingly well-solved problems, spending massive sums to fix them. How can this be?

It is said that modern business is one part innovation and one part marketing. Innovation is often mistakenly equated with technology and marketing with ‘digital’. Success in business therefore becomes a chase for digital capabilities and the latest technology to enable them. And yet... the latest technology continues to give us problems, create headaches and doesn’t always give our businesses the edge they need to compete, despite costing us huge amounts of money. How can this be?

The reality, of course, is that businesses are chasing the wrong buzzwords, buying the wrong solutions, solving the wrong problems.

The People Problem tackles this topic from the perspective of Enterprise Architecture. For newcomers and open-minded old-timers who practice EA, architecting the enterprise is all about asking the fundamental question ‘what business problem are we trying to solve?’ When practitioners pay close attention, they’ll recognize that business problems are infrequently solved by a new tool. That is, Technology isn’t the answer to the problem. They’ll also notice that the most efficient process in the world, made popular by the flashiest buzzwords in the industry, is insufficient to answer the fundamental question. In other words, Process is not the answer to the problem. Human beings are at the root and core of our businesses. They define the processes and operate the technology. Only by recognizing that solving business problems requires solving problems with (and caused by) people will we get close to the right solutions.

The People Problem aims to help new entrants to the field of enterprise architecture (and anyone interested in solving difficult business problems) navigate in an era of particularly rapid business and technological change. Based on over 17 years of experience consulting with companies large and small, Fortune 500 to local startups, The People Problem is a collection of accumulated knowledge presented in easily digestible vignettes.

Discover The People Problem in your enterprise today and get a halfway decent start at addressing the critical issues facing your business.

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