Do Brands Still Matter?

Writing for Forbes, Jeff Fromm explored the challenges faced by retailers in an age where brands need to rapidly evolve to succeed.

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Fromm asked three industry experts if brands still matter.

Study into Brand Relevance

A study into 52 food and beverage categories revealed that, contrary to popular belief, most leading brands keep growing sales and market share. It is mid-tier brands that are feeling the heat today.

Akshay Jagdale, Food Analyst at Jefferies Investments, which conducted the study, remarked that it is important to lead the way in any given category.

The study found that consumers remain loyal to leading brands, and experimental emerging brands couldn’t match them when it came to repurchase rates.

Finally, where declining sales have been an issue for leading brands, it appears that consumers are leaving categories rather than the brand as a whole.

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Maintaining Brand Identity

Chad Nicholson, VP/Business Strategy Director at Barkley, examined how brands can stay relevant. His research indicated that fundamental attributes such as price and taste still rank highly with consumers.

Today consumers are becoming more choosy, and many seek a ‘holistic experience’ involving trust, social impact and accessibility. With strong growth among the young, this trend is labelled the ‘Millennial Mindset’.

Brands need to stand for something and have a clear idea of what they can offer shoppers – innovation and accessibility are important.

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This web page examines the relevance of big brand names:

Key Factors for Brands Today

Joy Peters, Managing Director of Consumer Goods at Accenture Strategy, says brands need to follow three capabilities in order to succeed.

Firstly, understanding customers and constantly evaluating the brand position are crucial. Firms should base decisions on the consumer’s vantage point, not the brand manager’s.

Companies can thus keep time with – or even surpass – customers’ needs.

The second capability is for brands to define their purpose – their practical and emotional role with customers – and connect with customers on a deeper level. Challenging the status quo and testing new concepts should define customer relations.

The final capability means having a ‘living business’ while staying agile. Companies must respond in real time, and staying flexible and efficient to up their game is essential.

About the author


The writer of this article currently manages his own blog and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one.

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