L.L.Bean: The Making of an American Icon
L.L.Bean: The Making of an American Icon, to be published this fall by Harvard Business School Press Press (October 3, 2006), is the readable tale of the legendary American company, told by Leon Gorman – current Chairman and former President of the company, and grandson of founder L.L. It is the first authoritative, true-to-life account of the iconic retailer and its quirky history and culture.
This engaging book candidly reveals Mr. Gorman's behind-the-scenes struggles to preserve the identity that built the company, as he also opened the door to needed change. Woven throughout the narrative are themes that will resonate with managers and general readers alike: how to shape a powerhouse brand around bedrock beliefs and values; how to balance growth and tradition; and how to craft and preserve an authentic corporate identity. Gorman is refreshingly candid about the power – and limits – of such a well-known brand, and about hard-fought lessons he learned along the way.
L.L.Bean is a celebrated American company that has fierce loyalty from its customers – thanks to the integrity of its product line, its consistently strong brand association and its ability to change with customers' needs. As times have changed, so has L.L.Bean – it had to in order to stay relevant. Yet the integrity of its brand and the famous Bean values have never wavered.
The book reveals the funny, poignant, and engrossing details of managing the L.L.Bean legacy – during the best and worst of times.