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1-Page Summary of A New Brand World

Brand Awareness: Marketing Pyrite

Pyrite, also known as “fool’s gold,” fooled a lot of prospectors. It looks like gold but isn’t worth nearly as much. That’s true for brands too; they look a lot more valuable than they really are and have fooled many marketing managers. Marlboro is one such brand that has had a huge impact on the market, but it was not able to sustain its success because it failed to keep improving its products/marketing strategies. On the other hand, Harley Davidson has been successful at building brand awareness while maintaining quality products and relevant marketing strategies.

Coffee is a very common drink, but Starbucks has turned it into an identity. They invest in the design of their stores and packaging to make coffee seem like something special. Most of their money goes toward marketing and making people aware that they exist.

A brand is intangible. It’s all the impressions, experiences and memories people have when they think about your product or service. Some may be good, but some may be bad as well. Think of Tylenol or the Exxon-Valdez oil spill. The product itself is secondary to what constitutes a strong brand:

  • Define the Brand’s Essence

  • In order to advance your company, use both your head and heart. Fight for the things that are important and meaningful. Make sure you have a strong team with people who complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses so you can work together effectively.

  • The brand’s values should become part of the company’s culture. The brand should be treated as if it were a child, and employees should take care of it like parents would a child.

Know Before You Grow

In 1987, Nike was in a crisis. They ignored the competitive threat posed by Reebok and said that their shoes were inferior to theirs. However, millions of consumers voted with their feet for Reebok instead of Nike’s products. This forced Nike to redefine themselves so they could reach an inflection point where they would be able to make better decisions about what kind of company they wanted to be and how it should operate after the crisis.

  1. What Measures Success?

Nike had been seen as a company that only made shoes for athletes. It was not very successful because Reebok took over the market share in America. Nike laid off many employees, and sales decreased by 25%. The situation at Nike was desperate, but it eventually found its niche with fitness wear instead of just competitive athletic wear.

The only way to satisfy all their customers was for Nike to become more inclusive and offer clothing and products for everyone. They launched a campaign that said “Just Do It” in order to get this message across.

The Problem with Brand Research

Brand research uses a lot of data to make managers realize what their gut tells them. Nike’s culture was research-averse and relied on the Brand Strength Monitor (BSM) instead. This tool measured how people felt about Nike, but not if they were aware of it or knew anything about it. The BSM broke down the market into four groups: males age 13 to 18 and ages 25 to 34, and females in those two groups. Interviews showed that young males are core customers for Nike; however, this is both good news and bad news because there is a chance that too much focus will be placed on this segment only, which could lead to problems later on with other segments as well.

In similar research at Starbucks, people did not think of coffee when they thought of the brand – they thought of experiences. The essence of their brand was not a great cup of coffee but an excellent experience with every cup. Their mantra became “Rewarding Everyday Moments.”

A New Brand World Book Summary, by Scott Bedbury, Stephen Fenichell