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October 19, 2011

Building Strong Brands: Why Is It Hard? It is not easy to build brands in today's environment. The brand builder who attempts to develop a strong brand is like a golfer play¬ing on a course with heavy roughs, deep sand traps, sharp doglegs, and vast water barriers. It is difficult to score well in such conditions. Substantial pressures and bar-riers, both internal and external, can inhibit the brand builder. To be able to develop effective brand strategies, it is useful to understand these pressures and barriers                         Different factors that make it difficult to build brands are shown in the figure above. The first, pressure to compete on price, directly affects the motivation to build brands. The second reason, the proliferation of competitors, reduces the posi¬tioning options available and makes implementation less effective. The third and fourth reasons, the fragmentation in media and markets and the involvement of multiple brands and products, describe the context of building brands today, a context that involves a growing level of complexity.   The remaining reasons reflect internal pressures that inhibit brand building. The fifth reason, the temptation to change a sound brand strategy, is particularly insidious because it is the management equiv¬alent of shooting yourself in the foot. The sixth and seventh reasons, the organizational bias against innovation and the pressure to invest elsewhere, are special problems facing strong brands. They can be caused by arrogance but are more often caused by complacency cou¬pled with pride and/or greed. The final reason is the pressure for short-term results that pervades organizations. The irony is that internal forces and biases, which are under the control of the organization, cause many of the formidable problems facing brand builders today. 

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