Modern branding is accompanied by its own set of difficulties. Brands are now competing in an environment that is more inconsistent than before. This inconsistency is driven by numerous factors that range from fragmentation of markets to the advances in technology.
So how does one grow their brands and use the leverage of other bigger brand names to increase product offerings and profits? Let's take a look at the bigger picture.
Core Business Impetus
This can be explained by the practices of Procter & Gamble and the company’s focus on its household and healthcare product including baby, fabric and feminine care. P&G has retained its top status in global sales and market share in these areas for quite some time. In the same way, blades and razors contribute 40% of total sales for Gillette.
Brands thrive when they rely more on their core businesses. It also increases consistency and retention for the consumer.
Utilizing Profitable Segments
Core brands should also navigate towards new areas of growth and profit. The best example of such behavior can be found in beverages. Coca-Cola has found it with related diet and light products. The beverage giant also introduced fruit drinks and packaged drinking water as auxiliary products.
Such ventures retain brand exposure and also multiple revenue streams. Cadbury (now Kraft Foods) has done this by introducing a separate brand name (Oreo and ITC). It has introduced cream biscuit under this name. Smith Kline Beecham is another example of a company that introduced instant noodles to utilize a looming profitable niche.
Companies are using custom t-shirts and other clothing merchandise to print their logos onto and create walking brand ambassadors. Custom apparel is widely considered to be a hallmark of guerilla marketing, however, it has been so successful that many consider it to be more of a traditional marketing tactic nowadays.
By using wearable merchandise to carry a brand, recognition becomes easier because the general population sees your logo on a more frequent basis. Clothes are a necessary item and if someone is wearing a company’s brand, it can be considered as sustainable marketing because it is a cheap yet very effect marketing tactic.
Brand Portfolio Rationalization
Giants like Unilever, P&G, Nestle, Reckitt and others have a coherent brand portfolio strategy. The lesson to be learnt from here is that businesses earn a large chunk of their profit from a small number of brands. For instance, in case of Nestle, 2.5% of the portfolio contributes to more than half of the profits.
Brand portfolio rationalization would occur when businesses are aware of economic analysis and strong insight into consumers. It is the end consumer that decides which brands are clicking. This can create room for competitive positioning.
Scaling down and powering up should be done accordingly. Brands should have this room too. Intel and General Electric are examples of these principles. General Electric, one of the most reputed diversified brands in the world, has often expanded its investments in various sectors to maximize its profits.
Intel, on the other hand, reflects the scaling down paradigm where it discontinues brands that are not performing well.
People who lead their organizations need to focus on how the brand works. The science is evolving and becoming more inconsistent than anyone could have predicted. However, reliance on the factors that have been mentioned above can allow survival. The names that have been mentioned above can serve as models for CEOs of various organizations.
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