Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Origin of Brands

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I just read this executive book summary while traveling back from San Francisco on Friday. The Origin of Brands, by Al and Laura Ries, uses Darwin's Origin of Species as an analogy to introduce the concept of product brands. Lessons:
- New categories arise from the divergence of existing categories
- Categories die and are replaced by new categories
- The divergence and creation of new categories represents an opportunity to create new brands
- The biggest marketing mistake: trying to stretch existing brands to cover new categories
- Opportunity to create a new brand doesn't lie in pursuing an existing market -- as there is most likely an already established dominant brand -- the opportunity lies in creating a new market/category
- A brand is created to pursue the mind of the consumer -- not to pursue a market for the brand -- get the consumers mind and the market will follow
The book does address the issue of convergence, but down plays the successes and labels them as damaging to the business of marketing. While the clock/radio convergence has been successful, the authors believe that the continued pursuit of convergence to build new brands, such as the internet/computer/television, is doomed to failure.

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