"Brand is everything, the stuff you want to communicate to consumers and the stuff you communicate despite yourself. By definition, "brand" is whatever the consumer thinks of when he or she hears your company's name." (page xiv)
"Every week, another big American brand wakes up out of a deep Rip Van Winkle sleep and finds that upstarts are shaking the ground out from under it. And the pace of change is only accelerating: Companies like eBay and Amazon.com that did not even exist a few years ago are now dominant brands in their fields. (page 8)
"It's no longer the biggest guy who wins, but the fastest, smartest guy with the best command of new technologies." (page 8)
"The Baby Boomers were better educated than their partents and constitutionally less accepting of the status quo. Everything from Vietnam to Watergate to the Exxon Valdez disaster taught them that big institutions were not to be trusted. And suspicion of big corporations has proved to have real endurance as a pop-culture concept. In just the past few years, a movie A Civil Action had John Travolta battling Beatrice and W.R. Grace; The Insider had Russell Crowe and Al Pacino fighting Brown & Williamson; and Erin Brockovich had Julia Roberts shooting down PG&E." (page 8)
"It is a small step in this world from rich corporation to villain, and any big brand that doesn't keep that constantly in mind is foolish." (page 9)
"The old economy was a product-push economy. Manufacturers made what they wanted to make, at the cost structures they liked. And then salespeople pushed those products off onto a gullible public. The new economy is a marketing economy, with the consumer firmly in charge." (page 11)
"When the consumer rules, arrogance kills."
"It's a pattern repeated over and over. Big companies that mismanage once-strong brands suddenly find themselves slipping in consumers' eyes. They go through a period of bad publicity and falling sales, and falling sales and bad publicity, that feels almost like a death spiral. Of course, many of them recover, mainly because their huge reserves of capital keep them from crashing completely. The best of them, like IBM, remake themselves into modern competitors, but none of them ever seem to achieve the same dominant market share they once had. They may be among the top brands, but the top is now shared." (page 12)