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Do Brands have finite lives ?

Published in Marketing & Strategy Articles category by MBA Skool Team Last Updated: August 01, 2011Reading time:

We all have heard, studied, read about the Product Lifecycle(PLC). The concept says that Product, like a human being, has a finite life. It grows, matures and then dies.

Lets take an example. A Floppy Disk is no longer available now but it was a hot cake at one time. Even till 2001-02 floppies existed in market. The product just died.

Brands on the other hand don't exactly follow a life cycle. Brands can be immortal unless they commit suicide. Brand and product are closely related. A brand is nothing without a product or service but brand can evolve over the time.


Continuing with our floppy example, Sony, Seagate all had their floppy disks, but the brands didn't die after the death of floppies.

Sony today is preparing market for BluRay whereas Seagate is a market leader in hard disks. The brands lived.

Coca Cola is a brand that is immortal. Brands who realized that they need to evolve survived, rest have died.

There were brands in India like Campa Cola, Gold Spot etc, today they have died and are no more.

Either they were killed by the bigger brands or the customers rejected them. If Campa Cola could have gone into a slightly different beverage market, they could have survived. Parle did survive as a brand. Today its a big brand.

Thums Up as a brand could not be killed even after Coca Cola tried its best because the consumer demanded the drink.

Some years back, there was a series of TV commercials in India for a brand called Home Trade. The ads featured Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, Hritik Roshan but the brand was never heard of after the ads. The brand died instantly.


So do brands die ?

Yes and No. Brands are not created by TV commercials or campaigns but they are for the consumer/customer to test and trust. Once a name is in customer's mind, its a brand. But the life of the brand would be decided by the fact whether customer sees the brand as a friend or a foe.

e.g. Whenever Maruti comes out with any new car, people accept it and trust it because Maruti as a brand is a friend to many target customers. Same is the case for Apple as brand.

Many would argue that once a brand is established, its immortal. But its not the case. Luna was a brand which was highly valued and popular, today the Moped is no longer in production nor any other vehicle is produced with a Luna logo or brand.

So Luna is alive in history and not in reality.

Brand unlike a product can live for ever, if managed properly. Here comes the role of Brand Management.

Brand can undergo a physical change too. Like many brands keep changing their color, the look, the identity or image. This ensures freshness and long life.

Coca Cola, Nike, Adidas, Google, Microsoft are the kind of brands which will 'never' die(hopefully) because they have evolved over the time, adding more products to their arsenal.

If a brand keeps evolving,it will never die. It can't.


But it can commit a suicide!

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