In-Between Brands Exploring the Essence of Brand Portfolio Management
Abstract: During the past two decades research has shown that brands are among a company’s most valuable assets. However, in today’s competitive landscape, it is not enough to just create strong brands. The focus lies rather in managing a range of brand lever-age strategies within complex brand portfolios. Moreover, the majority of today’s established brand concepts do not represent the reality of contemporary brand man-agement. Instead, they tend to be based on dichotomies and simplifications. In addi-tion, there is a lack of criticism towards many of the established brand concepts resulting in the reduction of brand management to a number of static categories and stagnated definitions – thereby missing out on the analysis of important intersec-tional issues between the various categories. This book explores the somewhat for-gotten area of intersection, investigating the territory in-between brands.The methods used consist of a literature review covering some of the most influ-ential brand models within the area of brand portfolio and brand leverage as well as an empirical case study including the following seven brands: Adidas, Bang & Oluf-sen, Electrolux, H&M, Microsoft, Peak Performance and W. L. Gore & Associates.The findings show that conventional brand management models and terminology do not fully explain common marketplace strategies and practice. As a result, this research introduces a more realistic viewpoint and dynamic framework that is based on convergence and that allows migration and iteration rather than today’s static approach. The framework, named the brand leverage palette, introduces various nuances between different leverage strategies, both adding clarity and offering guid-ance by explaining different migration movements among today’s brand portfolios.
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