Jim Stengel's greatest brands

A marketing guru's 10-year study of 50,000 brands identifies 50 overachievers and what put them there

Making customers' lives better
Jim Stengel was the king of the marketing world -- atop Procter & Gamble's giant marketing operation, he oversaw 7,000 employees and commanded the largest advertising budget in the country, as calculated by Ad Age. Now a professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Stengel is trying to shake that world up.

In his new book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies, Stengel draws on 10 years of data from 50,000 businesses to identify 50 of the world's top brands. Teaming up with UCLA and research firm Millward Brown Optimor to do the analysis, he's come to this conclusion: What propels a successful company is not cutthroat business sense but an understanding of the purpose that drives its brand. In other words: If you make your customers' lives better, they'll return the favor.

Here are a few highlights from the "Stengel 50," his interpretation of those brands' driving ideals, and how they managed to turn that into profit.

By Anne VanderMey - Last updated December 08 2011: 5:39 AM ET