How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know Hardcover – 11 Mar 2010
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"More than anything else, however, I'm just plain envious. It's a book I wish I had the intelligence to write... Reading Sharp's critique of the cult of differentiation made me smile. And I laughed out loud at his characterisation of supposedly committed consumers as "uncaring cognitive misers"."--Marketing Week
"...marketers need to move beyond the psycho-babble and read this book... or be left hopelessly behind."--Joseph Tripodi, The Coca-Cola Company
"Until every marketer applies these learnings, there will be a competitive advantage for those who do."--Mitch Barnes,The Nielsen Company
"A scientific journey that reveals and explains with great rigour the Laws of Growth."--Bruce McColl, Mars Incorporated
"This book puts marketing's myth-makers, of which there are many, in their proper place."--Thomas Bayne, MountainView Learning
"A truly thought-provoking book."--Timothy Keiningham, IPSOS Loyalty
"The evidence in this book should make any marketer think hard about how they manage their brands."--Kevin Brennan, General Manager, Snacks and Marketing Director, Kellogg UK
"This book should be required reading on any marketing course."--Colin McDonald, the 'father' of Single-Source analysis and author of Tracking Advertising & Monitoring Brands
"There is competitive advantage here for those who understand and follow this book's lessons."--Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
AdAges Most-Recommended Marketing Book of the Summer 2013See all Product description
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You get the feeling that Sharp really enjoys challenging every single marketing assumption we all have; from the taken as given need to differentiate your brand to the fact that a brand’s consumers are a distinctive type of person, in fact, even the pareto law gets a kicking, gone are the assurances that 80% of sales come from the top 20% of your buyers – according to Byron only slightly more than half of sales come from the top 20% of the brand’s customers, the rest come from the bottom 80% .
It’s true to say that by and large this book is somewhat of a manifesto for what he calls his new world model:
Past World Model Positioning Differentiation Message Comprehension Unique Selling
Proposition Persuasion Teaching Rational Involved
New World Model Salience Distinctiveness Getting noticed,emotional response Relevant Associations Refreshing and
building memory structures Reaching Emotional
And this new world model rests on a very simple premise that ALL brands grow by increasing their market penetration, forget about loyalty and/or anything else. He proves this hypothesis through what he calls the Double Jeopardy Law. Sharp argues that the Double jeopardy law tells us what our marketing metrics will look like – if we are successful in gaining sales and market share.
Here’s an example:
Shampoo Brands Market Share (%) Annual market Penetration (%) Purchase Frequency (average)
Suave Naturals 12 19 2.0
Pantene Pro V 10 16 1.9
Alberto VO5 6 11 1.6
Garnier Fructis 5 9 1.7
Dove 4 8 1.4
Finesse 1 2 1.4
Note: Smaller US shampoo brands suffer from only slightly lower loyalty.
If Finesse were to catapult up to the sales levels of Suave Naturals or Pantene Pro V, it would be substantially more popular with millions more households buying it each year. But these households would not, on average buy it much more often than current Finesse households buy the brand.
Finesse’s brand manager could plan to reach market leadership by getting current customers to buy eight times a year. That would be enough to do it – in theory. But in practice it’s impossible. As Sharp goes on to point out Finesse buying households currently only buy shampoo six times a year; therefore Finesse would need to command 100% loyalty just to achieve six purchases per year per customer. But no shampoo brand in the US commands 100% loyalty. Such a marketing plan is a fantasy.
Double jeopardy, therefore, tells us what is, and what isn’t achievable – sort of a practical guide to strategy formulation.
Make your brand famous,make your brand popular.
The book continually delivers a strong case for mass marketing, as attested above, Sharp continually hammers home that growth in market share comes by increasing your brand popularity or fame. You do this by gaining many more buyers (of all types), most of whom are light consumers buying the brand occasionally. This allows Sharp to controversially define brands as “undifferentiated choice options of varying popularity.”
It’s an easy read, a lot of it planners probably already know as it’s based on the work of Andrew Ehrenberg who in 2003 proved, albeit with shorter term dynamic analysis, that both rising and declining brands displayed more change in their penetration than in their purchase frequency. Sharp adds a level of metric data to the debate which makes Ehrenberg’s theories easier to substantiate. This argument also fits well with the more recent IPA analysis by Binet & Field in 2007 which showed that effectiveness award winners were far more likely to have set targets to increase market penetration.
Arguments extensively backed up with research.
Will get you to re-think to outsmart your competition.
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