Brand Elevation – Book Bonus Materials

Below, you will find links to some of the sites, ads, films and more we refer to in our book ‘Brand Elevation – Lessons In Ueber-Branding‘ or related to its content.  They are listed in the order in which they appear in the book.

Additionally, you can check out the blog and our Ueber-Channel on YouTube for more case studies, interviews, tools on the subject of ueber-Branding.

Some materials might be a bit more convoluted to access, for copyright reasons … or because – like real Ueber-Brands – they want to make themselves  ‘hard to get’ to be all the more desirable. – Enjoy!

Jump down to materials relating to Part II or Part III of the book.


PRINCIPLE 1 MISSION INCOMPARABLE – Having a distinct, brand-guiding mission

Patagonia becomes even more outspoken about its Mission in 2019 (slide to see right side)

MISSION ROUTE 1: Following a higher calling

Lisa Rose writes about the “One Year of the Blue Heart of Europe” activism by Patagonia and others in this article on the brand’s website.

The ‘Patagonia Action Works’ sub-site assembles reports, petition letters, links to activist groups and more resources relating to Patagonia supported campaigns like saving the Bears Ears National Monument.

Everlane declares its mission, beliefs and values on this About page of its website.

With a higher mission put at the center of the brand, comes a higher level of scrutiny and critical evaluation of every move that might contradict the declared believes.

This article by Zoe Schiffer in The Verge reports on the controversy around Everlane laying off workers who wanted to unionize at the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

An example from an emerging market. Indian bag and accessory maker Hindsign emphases craftsmanship and ecological sourcing and tanning methods on its brand website, driven by increasing demands and demand from customers around the world.

The Audi 2017 Superbowl ad “Daughter” drew criticism and more dislikes vs likes on YouTube until the brand took it down. Audi had no female board member at the time and some considered the tone of the ad condescending, as the BBC reports here.

Another example of “a brand taking a stand” and corporate culture not lining up: Financial services firm State Street placed a ‘Fearless Girl’ statue in front of the ‘Charging Bull’ on Wall Street in 2017. This “statement” drew much PR attention but also quickly backfired for the corporate sponsor as news media like the New York Times reported State Street had faced charges by the US Labor Department for pay discrimination against its female employees.

MISSION ROUTE 2: Reinventing the category

Spotify has created its music platform and given itself a mission that its participants – artists and listeners – can find meaningful and rally around. Its website states it exists “… to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.”

Seeing the financial strain the COVID-19 crisis put on many artists, Spotify started to allow listeners to donate directly to performers and to match donations to various musician relief funds across various countries.

It seems that Spotify understands the importance to try to live up to its declared mission. Certainly better than another popular online platforms – Facebook – which promised to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” but stands accused of forgetting about that mission when divisive hate speech brings in more advertising dollars – even by its employees.

Read this article by Bobby Booker for a local Philadelphia perspective on “Why Starbucks’ #RaceTogether Campaign Flopped.” Hint: Many perceived it as a too casual an approach to a serious social challenge by a casual coffee place.

Listen to our interview with Dave Rapaport, Global Social Director at Ben & Jerry’s

PRINCIPLE 2: LONGING VS BELONGING – Mediating between exclusivity and inclusion

More on Ueber-Targets from Tory Burch to the Hells Angels on our blog here.

Here is the CNBC article and video by Tom Huddleston about the ‘Peloton Cult’ and its high priests and disciples.

Supreme and Meissen talk about their collaboration on that Cupid-in-a-T-shirt. Note ‘Highsnobiety’ reporting on this.

PRINCIPLE 3: UN-SELLING – Mastering the art of seduction

Here is the stunt Ryan and Jackman pulled off around the Superbowl 2019. A nice piece of ‘un-selling’… that sold.
The Olsen fashion designer sisters. Try to find them smiling… Distance (even an air of arrogance) can attract.
The Washington Post documents the polarized reaction to the Nike Kaepernick campaign. The business growth that follows is associated with positive response by the brands ‘Ueber-Target’.
CBC reports about the backlash some Fashion and Luxury brands experience from and increasingly critical and vocal public – including Sauvage by Dior and Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce and Gabbana apologize to the Chinese people. Provoking to appeal is an art.
Listen to our interview with Ramdame Touhamie, Founder L’Officine Universell Buly

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PRINCIPLE 4: FROM MYTH TO MEANING – Giving the brand soul

Read the MINI Ueber-Brand case study on our blog here. And watch the interviews with Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyer on his website here.

Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle, creating a myth and a movement (read his first-hand account in Part III)


Our interview with Chris Harrold, Creative Director at Mohawk Fine Paper
Our interview with then Chief Marketing Officer Tim Sayler at Audemars Piguet

PRINCIPLE 6: LIVING THE DREAM – Letting the brand radiate from the inside-out

It looks like Abercrombie & Fitch continues to struggle through the end of 2020 according to this article from its hometown news journal Columbus Business First. Here is our post in 2016 about Abercrombie betraying (vs evolving) its brand DNA and that not foreboding well for its future.

Our interview with Oliver Brunschwiler, ‘Lead Link’ at Freitag
Visit the Rapha headquarters with founder Simon Mottram and…
… watch the film he produced an narrated about ‘The Rapha Way’

PRINCIPLE 7: GROWTH WITHOUT END – Balancing scaling and brand building

Read about the “10 Principles of Burning Man” here on their website – including the community’s definition of ‘decommodification.’

Our Interview with FRoSTA AG CEO Felix Ahlers about fulling the company’s mission and growth
Our interview with the then head of Diageo’s Reserve Brands – including Johnnie Walker -Matteo Fantacchiotti

Finally, here is a post mortem analysis about the demise of start-up ‘Shoes of Prey‘ by co-founder Michael Fox. Quote: “… we shouldn’t have gone down the path of raising venture capital and instead focused on building a strong but smaller business serving our niche of women who wanted to customise,…” We believe they would have been able to extend their business out and grow it – with more patience.

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The six steps of our Brand Elevation Program can be grouped into three distinct phases, each comprising two steps:

– Dream
– Do
– Dare

Introduction – Brands, Elevated

An interesting further look on the evolution of our economy from shareholder towards stakeholder capitalism and thus the growing role of brands from mere marketing instruments to guiding the company overall is the concept of “Doughnut Economy”, developed by Kate Raworth.

Kate Raworth delivers a TED talk on the ‘Donought Economy’

Roger Martin writes about “The High Price of Efficiency” in this HBR article (p.47).

The interview with Ian Rogers, Chief Digital Officer at LVMH in Wired magazine about the groups digital transformation and creating Luxury online (p. 49, White, 2018)


Step 1:  Set Your Mission

Here is a downloadable sample for a Audit Guide to reveal the company’s Mission and Myth (P 56, Sample Stakeholder Questionnaire) :

In this video Airbnb talks about it’s believes…
… and here about its logo, the ‘Belo’ (p. 57)

p 63, Mission Writing – Guideline for good missions

Guidelines for writing good missions (p. 63)

Here are some resources concerning Market Research Companies (p. 58):

Maison du Chocolat provides examples of ‘code poaching,’ borrowing from how jewelers present their products to elevate its chocolates (p. 60).

Step 2: Write Your Myth

P 72, Chobani case – do you have something there?

Here is a link to definitions of what Semiology and its key elements and related methods are (p. 73) as well as a link to Prof. Dominic Petman’s homepage..

This is Swarovski’s “Kristallwelten” film mentioned on page 77 and…
… and BrewDog’s Holy Moose film (p.81).

Read BrewDog talk about the “Legend of the Holy Moose” – their calling – here.

Here a short comic film on Joseph Campbell’s idea of the “Monomyth,” illustrating the stages of the “Hero’s Journey” with examples from contemporary storytelling… and mythmaking (p. 82).

When you tell the story of your struggles against real antagonists, your audience sees you as an exciting, dynamic person. And I know that the storytelling method works, because after I consulted with a dozen corporations whose principals told exciting stories to Wall Street, they all got their money.

Robert McKee, world-famous screenwriting lecturer in a HBR interview (2003)

Here is a link to the full interview with Robert McKee in Harvard Business Review by HBR senior editor Bronwyn Fryer.

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– DO

Step 3: Realize Your Dream

Vincent Stanley, VP of Philosophy at Patagonia talks to us about developing a sustainable supply chain – among other things (p. 88)

Here is a link to the Glossier website (p. 89), some background on ‘Design Thinking‘ (p. 89) and background on our designer friend Joe Doucet via his website (p.90)

In case you missed it above: In our interview, FRoSTA AG CEO Felix Ahlers also talks about how to align mission, product and the supply chain. (p.92 ff.)
The “Emote Dance” on Fortnite – Ritual formation (p. 93)
British premium paint brand Farrow & Ball explains their product superiority in an experiential manner. (p.94)

Step 4: Live Your Dream

Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky talks about AirBnB’s culture (p. 98)
This series of video snippets nicely summarizes six “Golden Rules” that Brian Chesky sais make Airbnb a powerful brand and company to work for (p. 98)
One of REIs “#OptOutside” videos (this from 2016) and below a review of the campaign across media channels. (p.102).

Lyft versus Uber … “an image can say a thousand words'” as they say (p. 103)

The first ‘Google doodle’ from 1998 – … Sorry, the founders are out, going wild in the desert (p. 104)
Scenes from the Absolut Elyx House ca. 2017 (p. 105)

P 107, Simon Sproule podcast

A look into the quirky world of Trader Joes stores (p.109)
Cashmere brand Brunello Cucinelli even uses the signing pad to create a distinct experience, reminding customers of the brand’s home in Umbria (p. 109).

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Step 5: Find Your Target

Experience some gentlemanly cycling through the eyes of Rapha in this video (p. 113)

Meet the “best-known team member on the On shoes team: Roger Federer on the brand’s website. As you will read he “joined On not because of any sponsorship, but because of entrepreneurship,” which gives this an entirely different meaning and vibe versus the traditional, paid “celebrity endorsement” practiced by the average brand (p. 114).

Imagining – Hear Alison Cayne, fouder of Haven’s Kitchen talk about the “Kitchen Hustlers” as one of her Ueber-Targets

Step 6: Ignite All Targets

Symbolic Acts – A billboard can also be a symbolic act, showing the spirit of your brand as Nike did in memoriam of ‘Mamba’ Kobe Bryant (p. 127).
Symbolic Acts – Denmark’s TV 2 sets the stage and initiates a conversation about “All That We Share” (rather than what separates us, as extremist groups try to do) (p.127).
Tonality – The discussion around the now infamous ‘Peloton Christmas Ad’ illustrates what happens when you miss the right tone… (p. 136).
Stand Strong – The founders of BrewDog tell their story and how they stuck to their mission through a ‘Decade of Dog’ (p. 136).

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CASE 4 – Starbucks

A video of the Starbucks Café experience on Swiss Railway SBB through a passenger’s eyes (or phone) – p.205.

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