Books, Articles & Interviews

Published Articles - Brief Synopses and Titles

Jay Gronlund is the author of a book on Branding in the OTC Industry, plus several published articles and white papers on a variety of marketing and international development topics. Here are brief synopses of a recent book and some articles:




Basics of Branding cover

“Basics of Branding: A Practical Guide for Managers”,

Basics of Branding is essential for any manager who is involved in the strategic growth of his or her brand, whether B2C or B2B, whether student or senior executive. The goal for each is to develop a value proposition that makes a lasting impact and delights the customer. An essential first step is creating a message or impression that forges a bond of trust with that customer.

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“Branding:  Practical Applications in the OTC Industry”,

Published by Nicholas Hall & Company, London

This is a complete book on the fundamentals of branding and business development, as applied to the Pharmaceutical/OTC Industry in Europe and the U.S., with real examples and case studies on brand success stories.  This is designed for marketing people who do not have an extensive background in marketing, so it focuses on strategic principles primarily for creating or revitalizing over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical brands.





Gronlund on Branding“Gronlund on Branding” now on YouTube (May 2014)

Jay Gronlund was interviewed on video in late 2013 on the subject of branding by Tim Powell, founder and president of The Knowledge Agency and also a business colleague. The interview covers a variety of branding trends and issues, and you can select different topics noted by a tag line at the bottom of the visual and move the slider below to the right.

Watch this Interview


Gronlund on BrandingGronlund interviewed by William Arruda on “Personal Branding”

In November 2013, Jay Gronlund was interviewd by William Arruda, founder of the reputable personal banding firm, Reach 360. Gronlund talks about his new book, “Basics of Branding” and discusses with William several new trends on marketing and branding.  He explains the importance of personal branding and how people can use basic positioning and branding principles to distinguish themselves, especially in the context of getting a job or seeking a promotion.

Watch this Interview



Published Articles


“5 Essential Steps for a Successful Ideation”

Successful Ideation

Ideation has often been called “structured brainstorming”, and is a powerful technique for innovation. There are many traditional ways to get new ideas – suggestion boxes, hiring reputable business gurus, and various forms of market research, for example. However, today’s intense competition and the pressure to transform business models in our dynamic global world require more discipline and thought for effective idea generation. It’s not easy, and you have to think…a lot. As Thomas Edison described idea generation in 1929, it’s “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Read this article to learn 5 critical initiatives that will improve the odds for success.

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“What B2B Can Learn from B2C”

What B2B can learn B2CMost business people traditionally feel that B2B is a vastly different world from B2C, and their respective business development or marketing practices have nothing in common. This assumption is no longer true. The digital revolution has broadened the scope of resources and tactics used in both worlds and has added intense pressure on B2B marketers to become more customer-focused, competitive and innovative. We have identified six different themes that are particularly relevant to B2B marketers and can add a new dimension to their thinking. This e-book is intended to provide a fresh perspective so these marketers can learn and benefit from certain marketing practices that have been fine-tuned and proven in the B2C world.

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“Doing More With Less – Search Engine Optimization Can Enhance Your Credibility”

SEO for Healthcare - AMA

Marketing HealthCare Services (AMA), Winter 2010

The intense pressure to reduce costs in the healthcare industry, coupled with the need for more effective marketing of their services to patients and other payers, has created great interest in finding new cost efficient ways to raise their visibility and improve their credibility.  This article describes how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other digital marketing practices can be adapted by healthcare providers like big hospital conglomerates to address this challenge.

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“How to Build Value in International Markets”

How to Build Value in International Markets

e-Marketer, Marketing Institute of Singapore, Feb. 2010

To sustain profitable growth in the future, more companies are focusing on foreign countries, especially the emerging markets with significant upside potential for growth.  But the biggest challenge is how to improve the perceived product/brand value, particularly in light of the cheaper local products in these developing countries and the rise of lower priced generic products all over the world.  This article discusses how our world has changed, the role of value pricing today, prominent global growth opportunities, the new landscape with the internet, changing customer profiles, leveraging key trends to build value in emerging markets, and finally specific implications and suggestions for creating more distinct retail brands in Singapore.

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“Will Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for B2B?”

Will WOM work for B2BReturn on Behavior Magazine, Denmark, Spring 2010

A frequent question is whether B2B marketers can learn from B2C marketing, and if so, what and how.  Word-of-Mouth marketing can be ideal for B2B, but you first have to first understand the nuances and differences between B2B and B2C marketing endeavors, and also what they have in common.  This online article evaluates the key elements of any WOM marketing initiative and applies these to B2B situations, revealing some unique opportunities for companies in this space.

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“Focusing on Your Target Customer”

FOCUSING ON YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERReturn on Behavior Magazine, Denmark, Summer 2010

While there is a natural tendency for business people to always try to improve their product or service as a first priority, this preference can become a distraction to the most important part of marketing – your target customer.  This article gets into the core elements of a complete customer profile assessment that is mandatory today, to make sure you fully understand all aspects of the customer, on both a rational and emotional level.  Includes key criteria to use, examples and important implications for each.

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 Published Articles – Prior to 2010


“How Employer Branding Can Foster Trust and Loyalty” 

How Employer Branding Can Foster Trust and LoyaltyInternational HR Journal

A critical problem facing many companies around the world is the decline of trust and loyalty among employees.  This has been exacerbated by highly visible corporate scandals and a growing dissatisfaction with the integrity of senior management. To address this problem, many companies have adapted and applied the concept of “Employer Branding”.  This is a strategic move that requires extensive involvement of both workers and senior management, but the results for proactive companies that have introduced this practice have been very impressive. This article explains how the fundamentals of conventional branding can be applied internally to motivate employees, and what is needed to ensure ongoing success.

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“Customized Marketing Training for Tomorrow’s Leaders,”

Customized Marketing Training for Tomorrow’s LeadersInternational HR Journal

This article focuses on what must be done today to make sure a company develops strong leadership for tomorrow. In the emerging markets around the world, and even in the “new technology” companies in the U.S., there is a tendency for young managers to leapfrog into high risk business situations without understanding some of the fundamentals of planning and marketing. In today’s world, leadership is about teaching and inspiring others. The consumer dynamics and competition in emerging countries like China are changing so rapidly that managers must know how to respond quickly and opportunistically, yet without ignoring basic analytical and decision making principles. Structured and sophisticated training techniques common for executives in the West are not as suitable for these ambitious young mangers in such developing countries. Instead, workshops must be more customized, with case studies, role playing and simulations that are created to fit their immediate market situations. New idea generation, quality research, and learning/adapting from others are critical skills that are relatively new in these countries. Cross border workshops provide an excellent vehicle for enhancing teamwork too, especially after mergers or when partnerships have been formed. Using outside facilitators or professional consultants can offer new perspectives, and they can play a useful role as a neutral, more credible catalyst for learning and new idea generation.

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“Sharing and Implementing New Ideas Across Borders,”

Sharing and Implemeting New Ideas Across BordersThe Advertiser

Global competition is the driving force for shaping the business landscape around the world. In their landmark 1996 book, “Managing Across Borders,” the authors assert that three capabilities are essential for future success: global efficiencies, local responsiveness, and knowledge creation and innovation. In this article, the third prerequisite is discussed in detail, especially the importance of encouraging cross border sharing of knowledge, management training and interaction, and finally evaluating local dynamics and ideas for possible adaptation in other markets. Creating a learning culture, with better teamwork and customized training, will help ensure a sustained competitive edge for these forward thinking multinationals.

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 “Building on Cross-Cultural Diversity to Develop and Transfer Innovative Ideas,”

International HR Journal

Many companies seeking to become “global” find the wide diversity of the various cultures and consumer habits around the world a daunting challenge. A typical first reaction is to change such local attitudes and usage habits, to conform to the West and fit a global strategy. However the successful multinationals see this diversity more as an opportunity. They realize that flexibility to adjust to local conditions is critical for successful acceptance in each society, and does not necessarily mean a dramatic departure from a comprehensive global strategy. This article identifies the key challenges for building a global business and how to address each issue. Furthermore, it describes how smart international managers can leverage these cultural nuances to develop new ideas for other markets with similar business situations.


 “Working with the ‘New Russians’,”

International HR Journal

The fall of the Iron Curtain created a new breed of Russian businessmen, politely called the “New Russians”. These entrepreneurs embrace capitalism with a vengeance, but cling to their cultural habits and attitudes that have evolved in Russia’s secret society over centuries. Businesses interested in this high potential market must understand just how different these “New Russian” managers are, plus the average consumer in major cities and the heartland. For most, Russia is indeed a conundrum. Common business practices and assumptions from the West take on a new meaning in this complex country. Corruption is the norm and agreements tend to be fragile, at best. Distribution networks in Russia are chaotic. But for the strategic minded company, there are ways to minimize these market risks and gain a foothold in this important emerging market.


 “Mexico’s Emerging Market — How to Prepare for Expansion,”

International Compensation & Benefits

NAFTA accelerated trade opportunities with our southern neighbor, but many companies still underestimate the cultural and business differences of Mexico. This article describes these market nuances and provides several suggestions for companies planning to expand into Mexico.


White Papers

1.  “The Future of mHealth – About to Explode But Key Challenges Remain”

2.  “How to Develop a New Culture of Innovation”

3.   “Why ‘Branding’ is Even More Important for B2B”

4.  “How to Build ‘Value’ for Healthcare Brands in Emerging Markets”

5.  “Role of Market Research for ‘2009’s Biggest Brand Successes’ plus Implications”

6.  “How to Find Legitimate Consumer Insights and Make Them Work for You”

7.  “Improving Sales/Marketing Skills for ‘Engineer-types’ in Technology”

8.  “How to Survive the Recession – Adapting Your Marketing Strategy to the New  Realities”