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How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding by D. B. Holt

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CHAPTER 1

What Is an Iconic Brand?

FROM NELSON MANDELA TO RONALD REAGAN, from Steve Jobs to Sam Walton, from Oprah Winfrey to Martha Stewart, from Michael Jordan to Muhammad Ali, from Andy Warhol to Bruce Springsteen, from John Wayne to Woody Allen, cultural icons dominate our world. These icons can be fictional characters as well as real people: Li’l Abner, Archie Bunker, Superman, and Rambo have all been American icons. Moreover, cultural icons needn’t be human. Companies like Disney and Apple, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Greenpeace and Amnesty International, and universities like Harvard and Oxford have been cultural icons. Objects can also fit the bill. For example, the Jeep, the Zippo lighter, and Coke became cultural icons ...

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