"High on my list of must-read columnists is James Surowiecki of The New Yorker. His Twilight of the Brands piece in the February 17-24 edition provides a good example of how he takes apart outworn axioms of business success, then, from the wreckage, assembles a model better suited for the here and now."
"Building on the work of Stanford marketing professor Emanuel Rosen, Surowiecki reminds us that, 'historically, the rise of brands was a response to an information-poor environment. When consumers had to rely on advertisements and their past experience with a company, brands served as proxies for quality . . brand loyalty was a way of reducing risk. As recently as the nineteen-eighties, nearly four-fifths of American car buyers stayed loyal to a brand.'"
Ben Brown goes on to apply this current take on brand management to cities. When cities and towns can narrow the gap between promise and performance, they take the biggest steps toward building a solid brand.