You are viewing Aaker on Brands blog posts from July, 2011 (4 total). You can also view all blog posts.

When Will a Damaged Brand Come Back?

What determines whether a damaged brand has reached a tipping point from which it cannot recover?

One of the remarkable facts of brand equity is its persistence. A strong brand can withstand almost anything. The Apple and Harley-Davidson brands survived years of shoddy unimaginative products and are now among the strongest brands. The AT&T brand suffered from decades of terrible service, yet is now probably the strongest brand in its space. Incredible.

However, some brands do not recover easily. The GM brand was tarnished by the mismanagement of the 80s and parts of the 90s. According to Bob Lutz in his book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, its sullied reputation lingered for decades. Even in the last few years the media ascribed an inability to design quality cars that objectively was not justified. The Audi sudden-acceleration problem exposed in a 60 minutes piece in 1986 tarnished its brand. Even though according to the CEO of Ford (in a private conversation), Audi had…

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July 28, 2011  •  Permalink

Revisiting Aaker's top ten brand precepts

I recently had occasion to revisit on of my earlier posts, in which I talked about some of the most important ideas in the brand books I've authored. I think these precepts are just as relevant today and welcome your additions and comments. I hope you enjoy the post.

July 22, 2011  •  Permalink

Muji—The No-Brand Brand

Muji, one of the strongest retail brands in the world, has created its own subcategory. BrandJapan has measured brand strength for 1,100 brands in Japan for eight years. Muji is always in the top 30 and usually in the top 20, a spot shared by only three other retail brands. After opening its first store in 1983, it now has over 330 stores nearly one third of which are outside Japan. Few brands deliver more emotional and self-expressive benefits than does the Muji brand. Yet, the Muji brand vision is not to be a brand!! It is the no-brand brand.

Muji is about simplicity, moderation, humility, and self-restraint. The Muji philosophy is to deliver functional products that strive not to be the best but “enough.” Enough does not mean compromise and resignation but a feeling of satisfaction knowing that the product will deliver what is needed but no more. Superfluous features and attributes that are unrelated to function…

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July 13, 2011  •  Permalink

On Brand Consistency over Time

In my book Building Strong Brands I wrote a chapter on brand strategies over time. What circumstances and what motivations should lead to a change in the brand vision and strategy? It should not be done if it is boring to the brand executives or if it just needs tweaking or patience to get it right. On the other hand, if a brand has the wrong target, the wrong message, or the wrong execution a change may be needed. I just read two pieces that provide some relevant thoughts on the topic, one on Coke and the other on brands as patterns.

The first was an interview with Coke’s Joe Tripodi reported in The Hub Magazine (July/August, 2011). Tripodi, who in my view is one of our top CMOS, attributes the success of the Coke brand to consistency over a long time period. He noted that physically the logo and the package have been around for over a century as has the brand philosophy of positivity, optimism, and happiness. Coke sponsorships seem to last forever. The Olympic associations…

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July 7, 2011  •  Permalink