Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Origin of Brands By Al & Laura Ries.

I did like to start with the preface. Without it I don't think I will do justice to the review. They take origin of species as their basis for the book. The most important line they emphasize "Divergence the least understood , the most powerful force of the world." This is what they are trying to convey throughout the book. The opposite convergence had always been the buzz word for the market, hence the concept is neglected through n through. As the evolution does not explains for the unusual and diverse species of the world. So do the term strong exsisting brand does not explains for the emergence of new brands and new categories in market. They explain the process throughout the book. For the starting of a brand name, appeal and acceptance of consumers is very important. A brand is not created in exsisting market. We have to define new markets. The rule of divergence says that dont mix different things ( convergence) like the one in all computer TV, a major failure despite the money spent on it. To create a new brand the company should not divegre from the main theme. This means Coca Cola is a cola drink and it can't be a fruit drink later on. The Swiss Army Knife concept which still rules millions of hearts usually ends at drawers which never open. To create a new brand diverge from an exsisting brand just like Ford did from 1908 model T Ford to 2004 model Tauras. Its still a car with its wide range of ten models and a common ancestor . Definately not a sports car. To bring divergence at its best divide categories and conquer. Do what Coca Cola ( The cola drink), Microsoft (The computer operating system)and companies like IBM, Disney , McDonald, etc. did.

Despite of their failures the bad ideas return so companies have to be concious. To build a brand create something whose market is zero and not in millions. Like Rolex the high priced watch and Maxima the low priced watch. There are always two phases in brand building the innovative product and the mature one. The middle one never survive. The first to enter a market will always be the first despite the second is better. So its better to be no one then NO. 2 , 3 , 4. The best strategy to beat the leader is always do the opposite and not be a copy cat. Be Red Bull in energy drink market and not KMX a late entry. The better is not a gurantee of success but the first entry is always first. Finally to launch a brand bring enough excitement about it through advertising and leaking the product news also. Build enough anxiety among the consumers. Then launch it. Always be opposite of wat your competitors do if you are second. If you are the first remain what you are because your image will not change over time. All in all a book covering every aspect of creating a brand. Though may be sometimes slow but still a must read.


Prabal Aggarwal said...

Very informative and well written

Varun Kapoor said...

well written and quantified various branded examples