Friday, May 18, 2007

Are Two Brands Better Than One?

Are two brands better than one? Al Ries says no:
It's a trend. Glide is now Crest Glide. Cottonelle is now Kleenex Cottonelle. SpinBrush is now Crest SpinBrush. And so it goes.

Consumers, however, will usually use one name instead of two. Nobody in their right mind would write Nescafé Taster's Choice on a shopping list. Or Crest Glide. Or Kleenex Cottonelle. It's just Taster's Choice, Glide and Cottonelle.

Furthermore, the most powerful brands are those that stand on their own, without corporate endorsements or master-brand hocus-pocus. If Nestlé bought Red Bull (an acquisition they should definitely consider), should the brand be re-badged as Nestlé Red Bull? I think not.
Also, beware:
Research can lead a company astray because consumers prefer the known to the unknown.

Before Dietrich Mateschitz launched Red Bull, he hired a market-research firm to test the concept. "People didn't believe the taste, the logo, the brand name," he said. "I'd never before experienced such a disaster." But he launched it anyway. And today Red Bull does $3.4 billion in worldwide sales.
A good market research firm likely will test the concept with qualitative research and indirect questions rather than focus groups.

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