On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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Asst Professor – Marketing Area
Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies
REVITALIZING THE BRAND
• In virtually every product category, there
are examples of once prominent brands
that have fallen on hard times and in some
cases even completely disappeared.
• Some of these Brands manage to
turnaround and come back – --- Readers
Digest, Kelvinator, Cuticura
• Brands sometime have to return to their
roots to recapture its lost source of brand
REVITALIZING THE BRAND
• Reversing a fading brand‟s fortunes require either
recapturing the lost sources of brand equity or bringing
in new sources of brand equity.
• Brand on the comeback trail needs revolutionary
changes rather than evolutionary changes.
• Brands most likely to respond to revitalization efforts
are those that have clear and relevant values that
have been left dormant for a long time.
• They still have lot of Brand equity left in them.
REVITALIZING THE BRAND
• Revitalizing - deals with such brands which are old but if redirected may
have plenty of life.
• This can be substantially less costly and risky than introducing a new
• Seven Avenues for Brand Revitalization.
1. Increasing Usage
2. Finding new uses
3. Entering new markets
5. Augmenting the Product/services
6. Obsoleting Existing Products
7. Extending the Brand
Increasing the Frequency of Use
• Reminder Communications
• Position for frequent / regular use (clinic
• Make the use easier (Araldite)
• Provide Incentives (frequent flier plans)
• Address any undesirable consequences attached
with frequent use.
• Use at Different Occasions / Locations (Coffee,
Cola instead of Coffee/tea; soft drinks at home)
Increasing The Quantity Used
• Insurance customer reminded to cover more
• Positive associations with use (Frito-Lay
“You just can‟t eat one”).
• Incentives can be used to increase the
quantity used / bought (quantity discounts)
• Communication efforts to change attitudes
related to usage quantity.
2.Finding New Uses: Milkmaid. Arm
Hammer Baking Soda (to deodorizer).
3.Entering New Markets
• The target market for a particular brand
may not comprise of all the market
• If firm may not have other Brands for
these target segments, then they become
potential areas for the brand to expand.
• Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo promoted on
gentleness plank, taken to adults as a shampoo
that can be used every day.
• Texas Instruments looked for previously
neglected women‟s market
• A proposed caffeine-laden Diet Pepsi,
named Pepsi A.M represented an entry
into the breakfast market
– “The great-tasting cola that beats coffee
• Small refrigerators
• P&G‟s Ivory soap was revived by promoting it as
a pure and simple product for adults than just
• Van Heusen gained the edge over Arrow in the
US markets by targeting 50% of its ad budget to
• Women buy an estimated 60% to 70% of men‟s
• Arrow followed by retracing their strategy to
brand its shirts especially with women. (Selling
bolder colors and busier patterns at higher prices)
• One strategic option for revitalizing a fading brand is
simply to abandon the consumer group that supported the
brand in the past to target a completely new segment.
• Brylcream – slicked-back look of 1960‟s, saw its sales go
limp in the 1970‟s, when the Beatles popularized “moptop” look
• To revive – Brylcream Gel was launched, a clear gel with
newer packaging enlisting soccer stars (now Beckham) to
endorse --- younger audience.
• A Positioning Strategy can become inappropriate as the target market ages, the
association becomes less appealing as tastes
and fashions change.
• A positioning strategy can simply wear out as
the target segment becomes saturated
• New associations and associated segments are
needed to generate growth.
New Associations – Add Value by
• Sometimes, as it matures a product becomes a
commodity and the price pressure makes the
• One approach is to attempt to reposition the
• 1960‟s saw Frank Perdue, tired of being in the
commodity business, completely repositioned it
as a high quality branded product ---• “It takes a tough man to make a tender
6.AUGMENTING THE PRODUCT
• As product categories mature
differentiated your product are now matched by
most of competition.
• Customers seem more and more concerned
about price and most are not willing to pay
premium price for a brand.
• The temptation is to become resigned to a very
Augmenting The Product
• Theodore Levitt: When the product is close to
becoming a commodity, consider augmenting
it by providing services or features not
expected by the customer as they go beyond
anything being offered.
• Two ways –
Do something better or
do something extra / different.
• With a mature product it is more feasible to
do something extra than better.
• Improving or innovations in packaging is a
way to provide this differentiating extra.
• Improving package -- Nestle packaged its chocolates
in tiny tubs, so that children can use it to make
chocolate fudge or sundaes in a microwave oven.
• Clinic shampoo‟s special packaging for children
which provided the right quantity per squeeze
(meant for five rinses).
• A new package can solve a customer problem. Eg:
sachets enabled packing of shampoos, tooth paste,
coconut oil to be packed for the use of traveling lot
and also for rural population.
• McKesson Inc., in drug wholesaling or Baxter in
Hospital supplies built computer based
information system for their retail / customers
• Virtually taking over inventory management,
• McKesson could reduce its sales force engaged
in store level sales by a small force which
serviced the systems(1975)
• McKesson grew from $1 billion in 1978 to $5
billion in 10 years.
• Involving customer can be key to the process of
finding ways to augment the product or service.
• Customer involvement not only helps to identify
the most appropriate areas to work on but also
makes the effort visible to the consumer.
• The US textile firm Millikin, using Customer
Action Teams (CAT‟s), started making creative
solutions to both current customers (in better
serving them) and to new customers (in
• A series of CAT‟s launched every year has turned
Millikin‟s industrial towel business from a
commodity to a value added service business.
• Millikin now virtually runs the business of their
client‟s industrial laundries.
• They provide computerized ordering and logic
systems, market research assistance , leads from
trade shows, audio visual sales aids etc.
• OBSOLETING EXISTING PRODUCT WITH NEWGENERATION TECHNOLOGIES
• Sometimes a sleepy industry segment can be
revitalized by a product which obsoletes the
existing installed base and accelerates the
• Yamaha Disklavier, FM-radio are eg.‟s.
• Introduction of CD‟s virtually saw a rebirth for the
audio and video entertainment industry with the
sales of audio & video systems surging.
• Market leader who has vested interest in the old
technology, faces competitive threat and will opt
for a delay strategy.
• Gillette (1960‟s) resisted the stainless steel
technology knowing the durability of the new
material will reduce the volumes and also the cost
to change over its manufacturing.
• Small player such as Wilkinson(UK) made
permanent inroads into the market. Gillette‟s
share fell from 70% to 55% and ROI from 40% to
ALTERNATIVES TO REVITALIZATION: END GAME
• In a declining industry there are substantial
risks in investing especially if your brand
starts to show weakness.
• At this point it may not be possible to
provide equal access to resources for all the
brands in any multi brand organization.
• Options are:
• 1. Milking the brand
• 2. Exit the market.
ALTERNATIVES TO REVITALIZATION-END GAME
• The Milking Option
• Avoiding investment in the brand, attempting instead
to generate additional cash flow from it.
• Milking strategy will accept a decline in sales and
profits and the risk that the brand will eventually go
• A variant to milking strategy is „hold‟ or „maintain‟,
where enough investment to maintain the brand.---No
• A fast milking: sharp reductions in operating
expenses, increase in price to maximize short term
Situational characteristics that lead to milking
strategy rather than exit:
• 1. Industry decline rate is not exceedingly steep.
Pockets of demand exist.
• 2. Price structure will be stable allowing efficient
firms to make profits.
• 3. Brand has enough customer loyalty in certain
pockets, to generate enough sales /profits. Risk of
losing relative position due to milking is low.
• 4. Milking strategy can be successfully managed.
Difficulties in Implementing
• Suspicion that milking strategy is
implemented can upset the plan.
• Customers may lose faith in the brand.
• Competitors may attack more vigorously
• Most managers will not be experience or
orientation to handle the situation.
• To minimize such effects it is better to
keep the milking route inconspicuous.
Divestment or Liquidation
• When prospects for the brand are bad and a
milking strategy doe not seem feasible, the final
alternative – divestment or liquidation is
considered. Conditions that suggest an exit than
a milking decision are:
1. Decline rate is rapid and accelerating. (no
pockets of enduring demand).
2. Price pressures are anticipated to be extreme.
(lack of Brand loyalty,
competitive pressures from those who have exit
3. The brand position is weak and there are
more than one competitor who hold
4. Firm‟s mission has changed and the
business is becoming non related.
5. Exit barriers if any can be overcome, such
as specialized machines, long term contracts
with suppliers etc.