The first lesson of brand health....spend, spend, spend? ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The first lesson of brand health....spend, spend, spend?

I'm reading a book called: Brand Immortality- How brands can live long and prosper by Hamish Pringle and Peter Field.

Its basic premise is that no brand need die, if loved and nurtured properly. Can't disagree with that, previous post about the usefulness of disposable brands designed to die nothwithstanding.

Pringle and Field believe that many of the best-known and widely accepted theories and tools of marketing unfortunately work against brand immortality rather than for it. Coming in for the harshest criticism is the Boston Matrix with its cash cows quadrant clearly informed by a life cycle theory of brands.

In writing the book, Pringle and Field analyzed over 1,000 case studies of best practice in advertising and marketing submitted to the UK's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) for its Effectiveness Award. These cases involve some of the best-known brands (Nike, Sony...) and each case is supported by a lot of data detailing the impact of the marketing campaign. The richness of the data allows for robust empirical study.

Here's a quote, based on this analysis, I found interesting:

"The sobering truth of marketing is that, broadly speaking, what you get back in terms of market share growth is related to what you put in, in terms of share of voice (SOV)... for most brands in most situations, if they are not investing adequately in marketing share of voice then the future doesn't look bright."

Depending on your perspective, you can look at this quote one of two ways. 1) It's a POV that's hopelessly dated in this time of social and fragmented media and proves the danger of using historical data to make forward-looking conclusions. 2) It's a salutary reminder that, despite all theories and noise, in the end it's all down to dollars spent (assuming a certain level of quality).

Or, perhaps there's a sitting-on-the-fence position?


Tom Asacker said...

I vote for #2.

Ekaterina said...

Hi Martin! You say "in the end it is down to dollars spent" but it seems risky to hand over your ad spend to a site that has uncertain metrics. Especially in this age of social and fragmented media, coupled with shrinking budgets and increasing pressure to be more accountable. I'm a proponent of measurement and this shows me that we still have a lot of work to do to grasp online metrics. A website that I’ve been involved with,, has some valuable information on the media auditing subject.

Blog Directory - Blogged