There are many reasons why Kevin Lane Keller is widely regarded as one of the most notable strategic brand planning and marketing thought leaders in the world today. His resume is impressive. He is currently a Professor of Marketing at the prestigious Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in the USA, but as a consultant he boasts big-name clients such as Unilever, Disney, American Express, Proctor and Gamble, Levi-Strauss and Starbucks.
Kevin Lane Keller’s proven track record, as well as an impressive list of credentials has lent authority to his marketing models – many of which are taught in MBA courses around the world.
In addition to all of this Kevin Lane Keller has written a number of books including well-known titles such as Marketing Management and Best Practice Cases in Branding. His most notable work is perhaps Strategic Brand Management (1998 & 2002, Prentice Hall), which is standard reading for marketing students on the topic of brand management. Other published work includes Marketing Management which he co-authored with Philip Kotler who was listed in 2008 by the Wall Street Journal as the sixth most influential person on business thinking.
Through this collaboration Kotler and Keller form the gold standard in marketing management. The latest edition of Marketing Management (published in 2009) reflects the latest changes in marketing theory and practice. The topics covered in the book include brand equity, customer value analysis, data-base marketing, supply chain management, segmentation, targeting, positioning as well as newer disciplines such as e-commerce, hybrid channels and integrated marketing communications.
To be a marketing thought leader you must come up with a seminal piece of thinking that changes the way people think. Kevin Lane Keller’s models for managing brands are used all over the world and taught on many MBA programmes.
Great brands do not just come about by accident. They are as the result of careful and creative planning. For a brand to succeed, creative brand strategies need to be developed. In an eBook entitled Brand Planning, Kevin Lane Keller proposes three tools, or models, to assist in brand planning.
These are complementary models that build on each other in terms of size and scope. Much like Russian dolls, the first model is a component of the second, and the second is a component of the third.
The three models as described by Keller can be summarised as firstly the brand positioning model. This model describes how to establish competitive advantage in the minds of customers in the market place. The second model is a brand resonance model which describes how to create intense and loyal relationships with customers. The third and final model is the brand value chain model that describes how to trace the value creation process in order to better understand the financial impact of marketing costs and investments.
When these three models are combined, they provide crucial micro and macro perspectives that are required for brand building. This enables marketers to create brand strategies that maximise profits and long-term brand equity, while being able to track their progress as they implement these strategies.
Keller’s extensive research into the understanding of consumer behaviour has improved the way many companies apply their marketing strategies and the way they build, measure and manage brand equity. This helps brands improve the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated marketing programs.