One of the keys to managing brands is to consider them not only as individual performers, but as members of a holistic and integrated system where brands work to support one another. Brand Portfolio Strategy is the strategic discipline concerned with the totality of products and brands that a company brings to market and the architecture structures that unify those offerings. A sound brand portfolio aligns with and supports business goals and strategies and considers the perspective of customers because their view is the foundation for the strategy. This project engages a brand portfolio audit to design a brand portfolio that clarifies the strategic roles of different brands in the portfolio; jointly maximizes the value of individual brands and synergy across brands; identifies priority brands and candidates for deletion; considers the corporate brand connection and relationships among branding elements to improve the flow of equity to the firm; and optimizes clarity and differentiation across brands in the system.
As before, brand portfolio strategies and the analyses that inform them should be prepared in PowerPoint and uploaded before class to the Course Resources folder, “Team Assignment: Brand Portfolio Strategies”. Final reports should adhere to a 20-slide limit (using 16-font or higher). Teams may include associated notes pages to amplify the points in and logic behind their slides. Supplemental analytic tables/appendices are also accepted provided these are interpreted in and have inferences for the recommendations and analyses in the report.
Students may find the readings below useful in preparing their assignments:
Aaker, David (1996), “Managing Brand Systems,” in Building Strong Brands, ed. D. Aaker, NY: The Free Press, p. 240-267
Aaker, David (2004), “Chapter 1: What is Brand Portfolio Strategy,” in Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage and Clarity, NY: The Free Press, 3-33
Aaker, David (2004), “Chapter 3: Inputs to Brand Portfolio Decisions,” in Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage and Clarity, NY: The Free Press, 65-96
Aaker, David (2004), “Chapter 10: Toward Focus and Clarity,” in Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage and Clarity, NY: The Free Press, 289-317
Aaker, David (2004), “Leveraging the Corporate Brand,” California Management Review, 46 (3), 6-18
Ashkenas, Ron (2014), “Basecamp’s Strategy Offers a Useful Reminder: Less is More,” Harvard Business Review Blog Network,
Hill, Sam, Richard Ettenson and Dane Tyson (2005), “Achieving the Ideal Brand Portfolio,” Sloan Management Review, Winter, 85-90
Kumar, Nirmalya (2003), “Kill a Brand, Keep a Customer,” Harvard Business Review, December, 86-95
Timberlake, Cottin (2014), “P&G Plans to Shed 100 Brands to Focus on Top Performers,” Bloomberg Business Week, August 1