The never-ending misunderstanding of brands in business

Kevin Luscombe AM
Written by Kevin Luscombe AM | January 2018


Three separate items came onto our screens today, once again highlighting the very costly misunderstanding (to put it politely) about the business of brands.

    1. 1. Ehrenberg Bass Institute addressed the myth of ‘the death of big brands’ in its latest research and unfashionably pointed to the winning performance realities of consistently well-managed brands.
    1. 2. Cadbury announced it had called ‘time out’ on its global investment which had asked us all to ‘feel the joy ‘as we made our confectionery spending choices. Something closer to the truth of the brand heritage was about to be re-discovered.
  1. 3. Mark Ritson (UK Marketing Week) asked us to stop and take time out to actually think about the critical strategic issues around brands and not get mesmerised by the plethora of new tools marketers have in their playpens. Reminding his readers that ‘brand strategy is not rocket science’ as he focussed on three simple imperatives of brand success (and we note he was talking about the real world of business results, not awards or ‘first with the latest ‘headliners’).  He pointed his comments to the key elements of targeting and positioning, against the discipline of a brand’s central business objective. Worth the time to read and reflect on the overarching message of the three articles in combination.

Each of these individual sources of experience-based commentaries carried the same warnings about the cost of failing to understand the role of a brand and the responsibilities attached to managing brands… all the way across and to the top of brand owning companies.

The saddest reflection is that these reminders are still needed despite all the stories of progress in the sophistication of management ‘science’ and the available powers of technology.

Brands are not complex beasts. But developing, growing and sustaining them still demands the crucial understanding of the part they play in the daily decision making that drives revenues and profits.

The evidence suggests that this is still far from a widely embraced reality.


At Growth Solutions Group, branding is our bread and butter. We bring a high level of commercial pragmatism to the business of brand strategy and direct our radar to help clients win customer preference and create new growth.
To discuss your brand strategy for 2018 and beyond, please contact our consulting team


(Image Source: Financial Times – Top 100 Global Brands)

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