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Brand Management

Google’s Hardware Products: Naming Conventions

A Struggle To Evolve

Google’s hardware products division raises a lot of questions when it comes to brand architecture and naming conventions. In late 2019, I wrote an article on why I think Google struggles with hardware. In doing so, I lightly touched upon its brand portfolio architecture which I believed did more harm than good.  After all, portfolio architectures are not restricted to internal consumption.… Continue reading →

Marketing During A Pandemic

The Impact Of Covid-19

Marketing during a pandemic is tough, particularly for small businesses. Public fear, social distancing, economic distress and a host of other factors have affected commerce across the globe. 

While businesses engaging in essential goods and services may get by, it’s those in non-essential segments that face the brunt of the crisis. Most do not have contingency plans for marketing during this period, simply because, they are rare.… Continue reading →

Why Marketing Messages Fail

Don’t Blame The Messenger

So, you burned the midnight oil, went through countless iterations of your work, consulted David Aaker’s book on “Signature Stories” and have unprecedented confidence in your marketing message. Yet, the best crafted messages still fail to hit their mark.

The trouble with marketing messages is that you (the author) can never fully guarantee that the audience (the recipients) will find affinity, no matter how credible or well-constructed the message may be.… Continue reading →

3 Elements Critical To Brand Success

Setting Up For Brand Success

I’m often asked what’s critical to brand success. While I have to say, ‘many things’, in truth, for me there are three vital elements that stand out.


Far too often, marketers obsess over the short run, not giving themselves or the brand enough time to fully unfold. They frequently change direction when they don’t get those quick wins.… Continue reading →

How To Reposition The Competition

Use It Against Them

In an already complicated market space, positioning your product can be a very difficult task. Finding that uncontested ground is very similar to finding a needle in a haystack. So, if you had to reposition the competition, the job is a lot harder.

Repositioning is taking an established space that a competitor owns in the consumer’s mind and using an inherent weakness in it to debunk its claim.… Continue reading →

Moleskine’s Brand Extensions Explained

An Italian Job

To understand Moleskine’s brand extensions, one needs to go back to its origin. In the late 1990’s Modo & Modo, a small Milanese publisher brought back the original notebook under the Moleskine brand. The notebook was inspired by the legends of yesteryears, artists and thinkers like Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. 

It wasn’t the most apt of times to launch a project like this given the dawn of the digital revolution and the fact that the industry was already well stocked with cheaper alternatives.… Continue reading →

Measuring Brand Awareness.


A brand awareness study is a powerful tool that measures how familiar the target audience is with your brand relative to competition. When we measure brand awareness, we’re attempting to gauge how strong the relevance of our product is to a particular category. We can also use these research studies to evaluate how well marketing efforts, particularly advertising, have performed.… Continue reading →

Top 5 Branding Blunders Of 2018.


In a previous article I wrote, “Common Branding Mistakes“, I highlighted some pretty eliminatory mistakes that companies make with their branding. However some mistakes turn out to be blunders. Going through some of them, I thought it would be worth discussing, at least in my opinion, the top 5 branding blunders of 2018.

What surprises me about these blunders, is not the fact that they came from globally renowned brands, but that the creatives were conceptualized and approved without anyone noticing very obvious land mines.… Continue reading →

The Necessity Of Ethical Branding.


In a world more accustomed to seeing brands positioned as symbols of self-expression or statements of accomplishment, ethical branding hasn’t been one of the most prominent tools used by marketers. Often associated with corporate social responsibility or philanthropy, ethical branding has the potential to be so much more.

Being ‘ethical’ relates to your ‘moral compass’. It describes certain actions as being either morally right or wrong with regard to established codes of conduct set by society.… Continue reading →

Brand Portfolio Architecture – How They Get Created

What Is Brand Portfolio Architecture?

Brand portfolio architecture depicts how member brands co-exist, each playing a defined role, having its own goals and operating within a prescribed scope. Brand portfolio architecture creates clarity and offers strategic decision-making with regard to how brands are managed, individually and collectively.

Without a formal framework for how those brands place in the portfolio, confusion would prevail.… Continue reading →