Old Brands Never Die. They Just get Sold for a Huge Profit
By Martin Deboo, Consumer Goods Analyst, Investec Securities
About 1985 I was handed a copy of Developing New Brands (Chapter 1 of which is “What Makes New Brands Succeed?”). I was a planner at BMP at the time and was engaged on a new product development project with my then client, Quaker Oats. Somebody suggested that I might want to read Stephen’s book on the subject and I did so, with enthusiasm. The book was already 12 years old by then, but was still considered to be definitive on the subject.
The book had quite a profound impact on me at the time and I was moved to read more of Stephen’s writings, not least his article “Has marketing failed . . . or was it never really tried”, which is introduced by Hugh Burkitt on page 307.
We have all travelled a long way since 1985, let alone 1973. I moved on from BMP into strategic consulting and now into the City, but have always been involved in consumer goods. In the meantime, the world has changed quite a bit. Retailer power has increased, eliminating many weak brands and raising the barriers to entry for new ones. The right stuff of brand development has moved away from packaged goods in favour of financial services and communications. Marketing has evolved to embrace the intensity of the promotional environment and the possibilities afforded by customer databases and relationship management.
Principles as Relevant to New Categories of Brands as to Old Categories ...