Diesel SPA

Diesel for Successful Living: Branding Strategies for an Up-market Line Extension in the Fashion Industry (2008) INSEAD Case (Chandon and Grigorian)

Diesel SPA, number two casual wear company in Europe, known for irreverent and deeply ironic “for successful living” advertising campaign, is launching a new upmarket line: StyleLab. They need to decide on risk branding strategy: independent brand, endorsement (StyleLab by Diesel) or sub-branding (Diesel StyleLab).

Parfums Cacharel de L’Oréal

Parfums Cacharel de L’Oréal 1997-2007: Decoding and Revitalizing a Classic Brand (2014) INSEAD Case (Chandon, Nicholas, and Wertenbroch)

Parfums Cacharel, a division of L’Oréal, used to have a dominating position on the European market with both the number one and number two best-selling fragrances: Anaïs Anaïs and Loulou. At the time of the case however, sales were declining at a rate of 15 % per year and Cacharel was a fragance brand in need of a major revitalization. The task assigned to Dimitri Katsachnias, the new general manager of Cacharel, is to turn around the business. But before doing that, he needs to understand the brand. 1. Brand identity decoding ? What is Cacharel’s brand identity? What are its conceptual and tangible components? Can it be summarized in less than five words? ? Does the Cacharel umbrella brand itself have an identity beyond that of its sub-brands? Which sub-brands are mostly responsible for creating Cacharel’s identity? 2. Brand revitalization ? What is the root source of Cacharel’s maturity crisis and how can understanding the brand’s identity help? Should Kataschnias bring the Cacharel brand closer to where the market is now? Should he focus on meeting the desires of today’s consumers or in remaining faithful to the brand’s original identity?

Computer Power Group: Designing Brand Architecture

Computer Power Group: Designing Brand Architecture (2000) Harvard Business School Case (Fournier and Wojnicki)

Computer Power Group (CPG), an Australian-based consulting, education, and staffing placement firm in the IT industry, is contemplating a brand architecture capable of structuring its eight branded business units. CEO Peter James is particularly curious about whether a corporate brand is needed to unify the businesses. Extensive consumer research is conducted to inform the branding initiative, providing insight into the meanings of each of the sub-brands in key stakeholders’ minds. The architecture solution must consider not only brand meanings and associations, but market performance and brand stewardship concerns as well. A pending merger with U.S.-based Interim Technology further complicates the task.

Brand Portfolio Strategy Project

Brand Portfolio Strategy Project

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