The New York Times’ recent Corner Office interview with Tony Hsieh of Zappos is a timely reminder that great brands are NOT built by executive fiat from the CEO’s office. Instead, they are built by identifying a finite set of core traits which connect and reinforce the actions of a sub-set of like-minded individuals. All too often, the C-suite feels that the simple top-down assertion of the executive vision of the brand is all it takes to get the rank-and-file moving in one direction. Tony Hsieh experience shows that brand excellence comes through continuing dialogue with the whole company AND by making brand “fit” a vital part of the recruitment and hiring process. The result is a strong corporate culture, a dominant brand and a company that is better suited to evolve to meet the challenges of the future.