Dr. Tantillo’s 30-Second “How To”
How To Learn From GE and P&G When The World Is About To Change
Folks, today’s a short “how to” on what happens when the world experiences a huge shift and your brand is in the cross-hairs. Most of the time that shift is technological (the shift from candles to electricity).
But ultimately P&G is a
brand itself –a brand with a philosophy, way of doing business and reputation
for expansive thinking (they introduced a profit-sharing plan to all employees
in the 1800s). They’re a brand that
owns, develops and innovates many brands and it was this brand that responded
to the shift by mastering new markets as they emerged (by 1920 they were out of
the candle business and inventing the “soap” opera for radio –an incredibly
inventive and effective way of promoting P&G products to mass audiences the
world had never been able to reach before).
Here’s their history
–a fascinating read about a company that today has revenues of almost 75
billion dollars annually and spends 2.5 billion advertising in the
The bottom line from a branding perspective is this: if your brand is dynamic enough to face the challenges of the market you’re in today –and it has to be to thrive— then major shifts in the way the world and your particular market works – whether the shifts are technological or something else— don’t need to derail your brand and, in fact, can be a great opportunity for future growth. Two quick examples: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda moved from a declining kitchen product (people weren’t baking as much anymore!) to miracle product (deodorizer, teeth whitener, et cetera) that launched a million brand extensions and a huge growth in their business and then there’s the story of how the Fisher Body Company survived the end of the horse-drawn carriage era and discovered a new future with GM (see that post here).
And, remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind!
TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY –
Be honest about the challenges facing your brand from “forces beyond your control”