The growth strategy to adopt on the core business depends on the health of the brand and also the market in which the core business is operating. If the brand and market are relatively healthy, then the best approach is an ongoing programme of renovation. If the brand is stagnant or in long-term decline, re-positioning of the core may be needed, though this is harder to pull off. At the other extreme is a core business where the whole market is threatened by disruptive technology, requiring a more radical and risky re-invention of the core.
An important step before starting work on growing the core is to assess the health of the core brand and business. The results of this work will guide the balance between the freshness and consistency that is needed to grow the core, as we saw in the last chapter. Without this important step, companies can rush into a programme of work, running the risk of either changing too much or not enough.
Most companies today have a way of measuring brand health, using a combination of business measures (market share, revenue growth, profitability) and brand equity measures (awareness, brand image attributes, consumer satisfaction). You also need to look at the category in which the brand is operating in terms of size, growth and profitability.
To keep things simple, I will cover four main types of challenge ...