Questions To Answer: How ‘Live the Dream’ of an Ueber-Brand?

The Freitag brand lives a dream all of its own

Here is another installment in our little ‘Questions to Answer’ series, which is designed to help you think through how to elevate your brand.   They are taken from the more complete set of questions in our book ‘Rethinking Prestige Branding.’ But note: Ueber-Brands* need to be ‘beyond compare’ and that means beyond following rules or applying standards. So your questions – and certainly some of our answers – need to go beyond the norm, the predictable to take your brand ‘ueber’*.

A brand can only be experienced as authentic if it has a Mission and Myth that go beyond the material (see the separate set of questions to help define those). And the more holistically  mission and myth are used to guide all the brand’s manifestations, the more it becomes a  ‘dream come true’ and shared – be it in the store, office, plant, at events, through ads, art collaborations or through other expressions of the company’s believes and culture.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself as you seek to create and live the shared dream that is your brand: 

  • Are leadership, structure, processes, culture, and ethics proof of a mission fully embraced? And do they align synergistically with the brands Design Target? (Think AirbnbBen & Jerry’s or Patagonia.)
  • Is your work and brand environment not only reflecting but inspiring the brand’s mission and myth? (Take a tour at Freitag or at “L’Officine Universelle Buly.)
  • Do you make tough choices to support your beliefs? (FRoSTA paid for making its foods better – in more than one way.)
  • If part of a bigger group, does your brand benefit from ‘ring-fencing’ unique aspects and the protection of a high-ranking management mentor? (Nespresso at Nestle or SK-II at P&G are good examples.)
  • Do you go beyond the expected or known – at least on occasion – to let organization and customer keep dreaming? (Luis Vuitton kept making ‘epic journeys’ happen – even during the COVID crisis.)
  • Are you as clear about what you are not doing? (Brunello Cucinelli never goes ‘on sale’, Patagonia doesn’t take corporate outfit orders from Big Oil.)

The ultimate question:  Rather than needing to ‘recruit’ your employees and customers, can you choose among a group of soulmates and disciples who long to join

But wait, there is more!  Take some inspiration from our collection of case studies that illustrate how to manifest a brand through its product and services

To get a broader overview of what ‘Ueber*-Branding’ (aka brand elevation) is all about, you should read our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueberbrands” and look at the Ueber-Branding model and method of application.

* ‘ueber’ = German for ‘above and beyond’ – just like the ambitions of brands we are talking about.

Want us to help you elevate your own brand? Write to us at

About JP Kuehlwein

JP Kuehlwein is a global business leader and brand builder with a 25+ year track record of translating consumer and brand insights into transformational propositions that win in market. Principal at ‘Ueber-Brands’ a New York consulting firm, he now helps others to elevate brands and make them peerless and priceless. JP also teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School and leads the Marketing Institute at The Conference Board, all in New York. Jp previously was Executive Vice President at Frédéric Fekkai & Co, a prestige salon operator and hair care brand and lead brand- and corporate strategy development and execution at multinational Procter & Gamble as Brand Director and Director of Strategy. JP and Wolf Schaefer have co-authored the best-selling books “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” which lays out what drives the success of modern premium brands and "Brand Elevation - Lessons in Ueber-Branding" a guide to developing and executing a brand elevation strategy. Find the books here:
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