How-to kill a brand. Successfully

Branding is one of the most scintillating topics in business today. Any brand is clearly more than just its name. Brands are the values, beliefs, and service experiences that underpin them.

An interesting article about how-to “kill” a brand when you need to do it. Arguing that businesses earn almost all their profits from a small number of brands-smaller than even the 80/20 rule, there comes the need of “shutting-down” some of the brands in their portfolio at a certain moment.

First signs of a brand killing:

  • Constant cuts in ad budgets year after year.
  • More sales promotions than advertisements
  • More emphasis on “push” than on “pull”.
  • Little or no emphasis on consumer research and contact.
  • Non-marketing people in charge of marketing.

Some tactics used:

  • Merging Brands: Companies often prefer to merge brands rather than drop them;
  • Selling Brands: Despite the instinctive organizational resistance, wise companies sell brands that are profitable when they don’t fit in with corporate strategy;
  • Milking Brands: If selling them is not possible because of either strategic or sentimental reasons, companies can milk the brands by sacrificing sales growth for profits;
  • Eliminating Brands: Companies can drop most brands right away without fearing retailer or consumer backlash. These are the brands for which they have had trouble getting shelf space and buyers in the first place.

First priority will be to get managers at all levels of the organization to back you because brand deletion is a traumatic process. Brand and country managers, whose careers are wrapped up in their brands, never take easily to the idea. Customers and channel partners defend even inconsequential and loss-making brands. There will always be pressure from senior executives to retain brands for sentimental or historical reasons. Indeed, brand rationalization programs have often become so bogged down by politics and turf battles that many companies are paralyzed by the mere prospect. It doesn’t have to be that way.

An interesting article on Killing brands succesfully.

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