Paul Hague
Paul Hague

February 17, 2016

how brands grow

We all think that there is not much more to say on how and why brands grow. It is all about getting a good product or service, deciding who it should be aimed at, fixing a price that makes a decent profit and is attractive to the market, targeting the right customers and supporting it with a good deal of promotion. What’s more, if we can differentiate our brand and provide a fabulous customer experience that makes people loyal, we will soon be able to retire to the Cayman Islands.

Apparently it is not so simple. The Australian academic, Byron Sharp, in his book “How Brands Grow” explodes a good number of myths on the subject. He argues that brand loyalty isn’t a key driver of growth. Rather, growth will come from widening the net and drawing in customers who are occasional buyers.

He argues that differentiation is hard to achieve and in any case is not a key driver of brand selection. Rather, finding some distinctive aspect of the brand such as the colour of the logo or the country of origin, may be an important driver of brand growth.

The impressive thing about his book is that Sharp supports his theories with facts. Perhaps he would prefer to argue that he uses facts to develop his theories. Whatever, his thesis on brand growth is that you should cast your bread wide on the water, shout louder than the competition about something people will remember, and go for the deepest penetration you can get of your target audience.