Competing Brands Within the Same Company
September 21, 2004 - by Robert E.
GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A few months back, I received an email requesting my thoughts on "rules
engagement for competing brands within the same parent company."
questions included the following.
What is the strategic benefit of offering and investing in competing
within the same product category? What are the do's and don'ts that
how brands under the same corporate umbrella are allowed to
compete? Are there any "lines in the sand?" Are internal
competitors viewed any differently than external?
To what extent does the corporate parent actually foster "competition"
among its own brands?
My first thought was that these questions are very much secondary
The first set of questions that need to be addressed deal with the
of the consumer need and the status of the current market. The first
that needs to be answered is "Is there a real consumer need for a
brand"? Without a consumer need, you do not have a market opportunity.
how big is this opportunity? What is the dollar market? Who is the
How is the need currently being addressed? How well is the need
with the current solutions?
Let's assume we have a brand in a specific product category. We should
the category technology, market, and consumers. Further, lets assume we
identified an unfulfilled consumer need in the category. We do the
identified in the previous paragraph. If everything looks favorable, we
forward to explore the effects of the possible category segmentation.
the new brand increase the size of the category? From what brands will
new brand acquire share? If the new brand shows promise without major
to our current brand's share, who would not move forward with the
of the new brand? Look at the success P&G had in brand development
the package soap category.
Pre World War II, P&G had Ivory Snow and Dreft for baby care to go
with Oxydol for regular laundry. Immediately after the war they came
with Duz and, a little bit later, Bonus to counter Rinso.
In 1946 the big breakthrough was Tide (When I joined P&G in 1951,
was not only the leading laundry detergent but also the leading
detergent.) the first built synthetic detergent.
With the emergence of wash & wear fabrics, came All Temperature
Cheer. As the
front loading, tumbler washers came on the market, we developed a low
detergent, Dash. With the demand for combination detergents, we
Bold, a detergent plus fabric softener. For the low cost market we
Gain which was really the selling of fragrance.
Up to this time, 1966, we had 9 laundry detergents, 1 category, 9
I could go on to cite the 10 liquid laundry detergents introduced after
along with Tide with Bleach, but why beat a dead horse. The point is
can develop a very good business with multiple brands in a single
category as long as there is a consumer need for each
The above took place during the era of Brand Management, now that we
Category Management, will there be much less brand proliferation? I
"yes." The focus will be more on profit and not market share.
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