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September 09, 2004


Jeff paul news

The companies need to build the brand image as their unique identity in order to promote their services and cater consumer markets

Jeff paul news

The companies need to build the brand image as their unique identity in order to promote their services and cater consumer markets .

Scott Miller

Agree with your post.

In the particular case of Oldsmobile, the brand's name itself is a significant part of the problem -- it self-positions itself as a brand for old people, and who wants to think of themselves as old?! It's just a horrible name, and wasn't worth the effort to rescue in the first place.


That's a good essay, Johnnie, and I enjoyed your posts, as well.

I'd add to this conversation, a Marketing Magazine article about a four-year global study of 524 brands across 100 categories by Bain & Company, which found that "the keys to growing old brands" were "good, old-fashioned innovation and advertising."Some mature brands grew through innovating product formulas, others through repositioning. Take, for example, Procter & Gamble's Old Spice, which is more than half-a-century old. P&G introduced High Endurance deodorant in 1994 and Red Zone in 1999, both sporty repositionings of Old Spice to attract younger male consumers. High Endurance and Red Zone counted for more than 75% of Old Spice deodorant sales in 2001 and helped the brand grow 13% a year in a category eking out 1% annual growth, on average.Which shows, too, that "old" in the brand name doesn't deter young customers, if you innovate and advertise with a customer focus and make an emotional connection with the new young customers. As a teenager, my first car was in fact my father's Oldsmobile but it never seemed "old" to me.

Johnnie Moore

Interesting. There's something very conservative about the way many brands are managed. That tendency to see them as solid things with inherent value is part of it. Likewise the efforts to sustain an old brand rather than develop a new one (or let it change). There's a provocative essay in Spiked that considers brands as risk-averse: here I blogged a few thoughts on it here.


Dr. Paul Temporal's book, Advanced Brand Management, is excerpted as a case study of the Oldsmoblile brand. Here are just a few of his choice words:The demise of any brand isn't a joyful time, and one wonders whether or not Oldsmobile could have survived if it had been consistent over time with its initial identity and evolved as a sporty and innovative brand, leveraging on its heritage. The imposed schizophrenia of the brand personality through inconsistent brand communications and product development basically turned people off. Oldsmobile was no longer the trusted and believable personality they knew. The emotional association was destroyed.

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