About the Author

Duane E. Knapp is passionate about helping his clients develop brand paradigm shifts which result in a distinct “Position of Privilege.” His unique proprietary process and energetic partnership provide his clients with the expertise to optimize their brand equity by enhancing their customer’s perception and experience.
“A brand is only as good as its promise!™” His clients use BrandStrategy, Inc.’s proprietary BrandPromise science to enhance hundreds of millions of their customers’ experiences every day in 50 countries worldwide.

He has served on dozens of organizations’ boards of directors, including Annika, Inc., American University in the Emirates, Federated Western Properties, Inc., and director emeritus of Longs Drug Stores (now CVS), and has held a variety of senior executive positions, including chief executive officer, president, executive vice president, vice president of corporate marketing, vice president corporate development and corporate strategist at public and private companies. These include Westin Hotels (Westin Enterprises and Discoveries retail stores and catalogs), Holiday Corporation (Holiday Inn and Holiday Clubs, Perkins Family Restaurants), The Promus Companies (Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Harrah’s Casinos) and Cinnabon World Famous Cinnamon Rolls. He advises leading law firms relating to high-profile brand and intellectual property matters and has specific expertise in the fields of travel and hospitality, food and beverage products, restaurants, retailing, health care, financial services and real estate development. He has been approved as a Senior Gaming Officer by both the New Jersey and Las Vegas Gaming Authorities.

Mr. Knapp has taught and lectured widely at universities and graduate schools throughout the United States, including Vanderbilt, Stanford, the University of California, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Seattle University. Mr. Knapp is the leading keynote speaker on the subject of building Genuine Brands. He has been published, quoted or featured in hundreds of publications, including BusinessWeek, Brandweek, CFO Magazine, Association Management, Marketing, Washington CEO, Bankers Magazine, Design Forum, Focus Magazine, Risk Management, Forbes Magazine Travel, Distribution Reports, Private Clubs Magazine, Fortune Magazine and International Journal of Medical Marketing, as well as The Seattle Times, The Journal of Commerce and many private corporate and association publications, plus television and radio talk shows.


Duane Knapp was invited by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to speak to the 2013 Tennessee Governor’s Office on Tourism Industry Conference.

He is the author of several books. The BrandPromise® was published by McGraw Hill as well as the BrandMindset®. The BrandMindset book was selected by IBM and American Express as the “must read” book for their top 400 executives. It is available in seven languages and is considered the definitive guide to building Genuine Brands. He is also the author of Global Destination BrandScience™, endorsed by the Destination Marketing Association International.

Duane Knapp’s BrandPromise philosophy is highly acclaimed and has been extensively referenced and quoted in many books and publications, including Tim Sanders’ bestseller, Love is the Killer App, Nick Wreden’s FusionBranding, Michael Levine in A Branded World, David Aaker’s, Building Strong Brands, and Tony Simons, The Integrity Dividend. Knapp also wrote the foreword for the License to Serve.

Mr. Knapp earned his BA in Business Administration from Western Michigan University and his MBA from the University of Toledo. He also completed a postgraduate program in Strategic Marketing at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.