•The Grayson Report
THERE ARE FIVE points in a star and five points in brand enhance- ment. Two recent columns looked
at brand in enhancement. In May, we
looked at engagement (p. 46). In the
IS THE FINAL
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON ARE RESPECTED, PROFESSIONAL MARKETERS, HAVING SPENT THEIR CAREERS WITH
THE LEADING COMPANIES IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
BEFORE STARTING THEIR SUCCESSFUL CONSULTING BUSINESS IN THE EARLY 1970S.
THEIR CONSULTING CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED AVON,
BRISTOL-MYERS, ESTÉE LAUDER, PROCTER &
GAMBLE, REVLON AND COVER GIRL, AMONG OTHERS.
THEY RESIDE IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA AND MAINTAIN AN OFFICE IN NEW YORK CITY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, THEY CAN BE REACHED AT
Only the largest firms can afford to
have an on-board digital maven, but
that talent abounds in the market.
But digital is more than “let’s do a
blog,” or “how do we get on MySpace
or Facebook?” It is an integral part
of the marketing plan, right alongside the features of the product, positioning, and advertising—literally, its
own section of the annual plan.
Here’s what the updated marketing
mix sections should contain: Product,
Positioning, Package, Display, Price,
Promotion, Advertising, Digital,
Public Relations, Sales, Channels
Within each section of the plan,
those who consider “perceivable competitive advantage” and how “digital”
might be executed will be ahead of
the game. The goal in preparing the
annual plan is to consider each part
of equal importance. We defy you to
find a successful product that doesn’t
seriously consider all of the above.
July (p. 46), we wrote about the
price/value relationship, passion and
sensory marketing. We now add the
fifth point of the star—digital media.
There is an urgent need to quickly
harness digital media, and social
networking. Both are expanding and
It is the intensity of this need that
warrants the star treatment. Digital
should be priority No. 1 for every
brand, with the focus on executing
brand strategy using this revolutionary media in every part of the mix.
Giving Up the Fight
When you think of the great brands
that disappeared in the U. S.—
Brylcreem, Vitalis, Hazel Bishop,
Helena Rubinstein and more than
we’d like to recall—there’s not much
to do about these. They just gave up
Then there are the current strugglers. Revlon with fragrance and
Almay; Neutrogena with cosmetics;
Pond’s and Nivea both with face
care, with the latter already gone in
the U. S.; Estée Lauder with
Prescriptives. Then there’s the
divested brands such as Unilever’s
All detergent, P&G’s Folger’s, Crisco,
Pert, Noxzema (and Max Factor) that
just couldn’t make the P&G cut. All
of which is not to be confused with
small brands that are struggling primarily because they are: 1, without
star potential; 2, underfinanced; 3,
still largely unknown; 4, haven’t
reached critical mass in distribution
and 5, haven’t found their star.
We mean brands that have been
around for years but continue to
struggle. Our recent look at such
brands—observational and anecdotal—has determined the causes. It’s
hard to pick out the No. 1 reason,
but you’ll get the idea.
1. Stuck in the mud. “If you keep
doing what you’re doing, you’ll get
what you got.” That applies to the
laboratory, the advertising agency
and the product manager. They may
not be “bad,” just not good enough to
produce a competitive advantage
which is perceivable (real or imagined) by the consumer. Beware, too
that what works for another brand
may not translate to the current situation. And above all, be wary of
marketing’s “holy grail”—extensive
reliance/over-dependence on research
(larger companies don’t make a move
without it), which will often have a
moderating affect on inspiration—
resulting in “good,” but not great
enough to breakthrough the clutter.
2. No passion or real commitment.
No one on the C-floor really committed it to its success. No, that’s not
right; he or she wants it to succeed—
but not enough to add to the budget,
add to the people, push it to the front
of the line.
3. It is just a bit off-center of the
corporate strategy. P&G’s current
negotiation to sell its pharma business is a good example.
4. Finally, and sadly, too many
marketers (and managements) confuse desire with probability.
There is no panacea but those few
who have successfully rebuilt struggling older brands (e.g. Clean &
Clear), have sought and found a part