Brand Mission, Vision or Illusion?

A great brand needs direction. The brand’s mission statement, which in the case of the corporate brand is the company’s mission statement, helps articulate “why the brand exists?” Unfortunately, too many mission statements are too superficial, diffused, or bland to help answer the fundamental question of “why we exist” for its owners, management, and employees….

Do Global Brands Create Value?

My co-author and friend of many years, Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, mailed me a complimentary copy of his latest book, Global Brand Strategy. A month later, I finally got around to reading it this week.

Discovering the Second World: Mexico, Peru & Thailand

As a schoolboy, the terms first, second, and third world were in frequent use. The developed countries and Japan were then considered “first world” because of their political and economic dominance, while Africa, Asia, and Latin America were dubbed as “third world”. This categorization was never academically defensible, but it captured popular imagination. Since I…

Can B2B Companies Evolve into B2C Companies?

The Financial Times recently featured the Chinese giant Huawei and its success in becoming the world’s third largest smartphone company. This is truly a remarkable achievement for Huawei. As articulated in the Brand Breakout book (co-authored with J-B Steenkamp), evolving from a B2B company into a consumer company is not easy, especially for a company…

In India, nothing is too much trouble

One of the remarkable things that strikes visitors, especially foreigners, about India is the warmth of the people one encounters. Individuals think nothing about dropping everything and going out of their way to help you without any expectation of reciprocity. They even get embarrassed if you so much as thank them for their generosity.

Two Biggest Lies in Marketing

There is a common perception that all marketers are liars! I am not going to comment on this. Instead, I will focus on the two biggest lies that I have observed in marketing using an example that was elaborated in my book Value Merchants (co-authored with James Anderson and Jim Narus) targeted to business marketing…

Does Increasing Power Portend War?

For some reason, inexplicable to me, my two favourite research papers, are also my two least successful in terms of citations. Perhaps they were published in the wrong journals. This week I would like to report on one of them. While the empirical analysis was done in a distribution channels context, it has fascinating implications…

Au Revoir 2016

Welcome to the last blog of 2016. Since this weekend blog was set up, I have written 38 posts, which are aimed to be consumed in about 10 minutes. It is now emailed to more than 750 subscribers. But via postings on http://www.scroll.in and http://www.linkedin.com, another 10,000 to 100,000 views a week are garnered. Signing…

The Interview That Never Ran

A primary function of PR agencies that are hired by companies is to feed journalists with stories / questions that will reflect poorly on the other side. Last week, I received one such set of gotcha questions from a senior journalist of one of India’s leading newspapers. For some reason, despite the tight deadline given…

Just Fired, and Moving On

An old school friend advised me that in the Indian context, it is better not to mention I have been fired to anyone as it would have a deleterious impact on my reputation and job prospects. Better, he said, say “resigned”. As all of you now know from last week’s blog “I just got fired”,…

I Just Got Fired!

“Calling all the people here to see the show Calling for my demons now to let me go I need something, give me something wonderful” As someone who almost opted to become a professional DJ, it’s fortunate that my favourite song of this year is Love and Hate by Michael Kiwanuka, with the lyrics above….

Brand Creep: The Challenge of Multi-Brand Portfolios

Many companies have multiple brands within the same category. For example, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has W, St Regis, Sheraton and Westin. For a multi-brand portfolio to be successful, each brand must be targeted to a specific segment and must embody a unique selling proposition (USP). Consider Procter & Gamble’s laundry detergent portfolio in…