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Brands portfolios and competitive advantage: an empirical study

Brands portfolios and competitive advantage: an empirical study Purpose – The paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of brand portfolio management by examining the brand portfolio strategies of four leading cosmetics companies. The research focuses on two questions: what reasons lead companies to develop, or not, a brand portfolio strategy, and how brand portfolio management can create a higher and stronger level of competitive advantage that is harder to grasp and imitate. Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilises an exploratory approach by means of case studies. Data were collected from the following companies: L'Oréal, Clarins, Estée Lauder and Wella. The research involved in‐depth interviews with 33 company directors. Findings – The research results show that an aggregation of brands is not in and of itself a brand portfolio. The juxtaposition of brands is one of the elements, but not the sole element, necessary for the development of a brand portfolio, which is a combination of a brand ensemble and key factors born out of organisational savoir‐faire . Research limitations/implications – The results validate the existence of a link between brand portfolios and competitive advantage, a link based on the existence of four key factors identified in the research. Practical implications – A model is proposed to assist managers in better understanding and controlling brand regrouping, because the research illustrates the benefits for a company that executes well‐coordinated brand management. Originality/value – This research fits into the complex context of strategic/marketing relationships and broadens the field of brand analysis, notably its strategic dimension. The contribution of this research is to show how a brand portfolio can create a stronger and higher level of competitive advantage, which is more difficult to copy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Product & Brand Management Emerald Publishing

Brands portfolios and competitive advantage: an empirical study

Journal of Product & Brand Management , Volume 17 (4): 11 – Jul 18, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1061-0421
DOI
10.1108/10610420810887608
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of brand portfolio management by examining the brand portfolio strategies of four leading cosmetics companies. The research focuses on two questions: what reasons lead companies to develop, or not, a brand portfolio strategy, and how brand portfolio management can create a higher and stronger level of competitive advantage that is harder to grasp and imitate. Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilises an exploratory approach by means of case studies. Data were collected from the following companies: L'Oréal, Clarins, Estée Lauder and Wella. The research involved in‐depth interviews with 33 company directors. Findings – The research results show that an aggregation of brands is not in and of itself a brand portfolio. The juxtaposition of brands is one of the elements, but not the sole element, necessary for the development of a brand portfolio, which is a combination of a brand ensemble and key factors born out of organisational savoir‐faire . Research limitations/implications – The results validate the existence of a link between brand portfolios and competitive advantage, a link based on the existence of four key factors identified in the research. Practical implications – A model is proposed to assist managers in better understanding and controlling brand regrouping, because the research illustrates the benefits for a company that executes well‐coordinated brand management. Originality/value – This research fits into the complex context of strategic/marketing relationships and broadens the field of brand analysis, notably its strategic dimension. The contribution of this research is to show how a brand portfolio can create a stronger and higher level of competitive advantage, which is more difficult to copy.

Journal

Journal of Product & Brand ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 18, 2008

Keywords: Brands; Brand management; Strategic marketing; Competitive advantage

References