marketing book podcast

Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old by Soon Yu and Dave Birss


Soon Yu is an international speaker and bestselling author on innovation and design, who has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Entrepreneur.

Yu most recently served as Global VP of Innovation at VF Corporation, parent organization to over 30 global apparel companies, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Nautica and Wrangler.

Prior to that he worked at The Clorox Company and Chiquita Brands, and he was also founder and CEO for numerous venture-backed startups.

The Host’s Perspective:


Many of today’s business leaders suffer from shiny-object syndrome–chasing trends in a market they cannot keep up with.

But what if their most valuable asset was right under their noses?

In the book, the authors argue that too many companies are enamored with the new while overlooking significant value locked away in existing products.

The authors urge organizations to take existing assets and turn them into a more distinctive, relevant and universal product–making it iconic.

They studied over 50 companies to unearth why some brands not only stand the test of time but also how they reach iconic status.

What they discovered is that there are three universal principles to unlocking iconic value and they completely reject the notion that iconic brands became a success by accident rather than intent.

The book then walks you through exactly what to do (and what not to do) to build an iconic brand, and includes examples of businesses both big and small that have done this, which was reminiscent of having a magician reveal how they did magic tricks.

Listen to the Interview:


Show Notes

Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old by Soon Yu

Girl Scouts “My Digital Cookie”

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord

Soon Yu’s Website (

Creating Iconic Advantage:  Don’t just milk the cow, butter it up! 


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