Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do to Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad

By Dick Martin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 15
SINK ROOTS, DON’T JUST
SPREAD BRANCHES

“What people see in America these days is Imperial Rome again.”1

—Philip Kotler, Northwestern University

“If you can look at the world through the eyes of your customers,
you can offer effective products and services. But if you believe
other nationalities have to accept your company on your conditions,
you’re destined for failure
.”2

—Ronald M. DeFeo, CEO, Terex Corporation

EVEN AT THE END OF HIS LIFE, WELL INTO HIS EIGHTIES AND frail, Ted Levitt looked like he might once have been the demanding overseer of a busy loading dock. But for more than forty years, this prematurely balding man with a thick brush mustache, bushy eyebrows, and piercing eyes trafficked not in goods but in ideas, great pallets of ideas that are still taught at business schools around the world. Officially, he taught at the Harvard Business School, where he chaired the marketing area and was listed as “professor emeritus” until his death in mid-2006. But through a prodigious output of books and articles, including a four-year stint as editor of Harvard Business Review, Levitt influenced generations of the world’s business leaders.

As a lecturer, Levitt prowled the classroom, occasionally tossing chalk to emphasize a point. He was provocative and had a knack for memorable aphorisms packed with meaning. In the first piece he ever wrote for HBR, he asked the now-famous question, “What business

-162-

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Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do to Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction- The Anti-American Century 1
  • Part One 13
  • Chapter 1- Ilting at Windmills 15
  • Chapter 2- The Queen of Branding 24
  • Chapter 3- Charlotte in Wonderland 34
  • Chapter 4- The Prince of Pollsters 43
  • Chapter 5- Measuring Distance 51
  • Part Two 61
  • Chapter 6- Why Do They Hate Us? 63
  • Chapter 7- The Pictures in Their Heads 72
  • Chapter 8- The Business of America 84
  • Chapter 9- The Power of Brands 95
  • Chapter 10- Brand America 105
  • Chapter 11- Ceos' in Handcuffs 115
  • Chapter 12- Plague or Paranoia? 125
  • Part Three 139
  • Chapter 13- in Search of Anti-Anti-Americans 141
  • Chapter 14- The Path to Happy 150
  • Chapter 15- Sink Roots, Don't Just Spread Branches 162
  • Chapter 16- Go Glocal 175
  • Chapter 17- Share Your Customers' Cares 187
  • Chapter 18- Stiff-Necked, Tree-Hugging Critics 201
  • Chapter 19- Share Your Customers' Dreams 213
  • Chapter 20- Myth America 223
  • Chapter 21- A Lever to Move the World 233
  • Chapter 22- Waging Peace 246
  • Coda the Last Three Feet 257
  • A Note about the Endnotes 262
  • Notes 263
  • Acknowledgments 289
  • Index 291
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