The Power Of Familiar

The folks that bring us Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade have done the product management world a favor by performing a very large logo experiment in public. Tropicana went for a radical new package design dropping their familiar ‘straw in an orange’ image for what I consider a rather generic box. Gatorade traded the logo and their name for a large letter G and reduced lightning bolt. Pepsi traded their single circle for a series of happy faces and fat birds and stylized type. I’ve reported disasterous Tropicana numbers earlier (down 20%) and that they have abandoned the logo change. Evidently the Gatorade numbers are just as terrible down more than 13% in the first quarter (with Powerade picking up 6 points of marketshare). My guess is they won’t backtrack here. (Two admissions of extreme error in a six month period. Nope.) (UPDATE BELOW) I haven’t seen anything about Pepsi results, … Continue reading

Don’t Departmentalize Brand Promise

Strategy drives an organization.  This has become business gospel.  It has also led to pigeonholing management of ‘brand promise’ as a communication issue, rather than a key strategic lever that can drive process refinement throughout a company. Imagine getting a promise from someone you don’t know.  How valuable is the promise, what does it mean? You evaluate it based on factors such as the giver’s integrity, politics, past experience, corporate culture, and even the conditions under which it was made. A promise made anonymously, lightly or from someone unreliable doesn’t carry weight. Similarly, your brand is the summation of promises made to a consumer through previous use, contact, communication, word-of-mouth and possibly a bit of fantasy on their part. So ‘Brand Promise’ will not affect consumer opinion of your brand if your corporate culture, product attributes and service delivery don’t align with the promise. In other words: Brand-is-Promise and Promise-is-Brand.