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Culling the brand portfolio: brand deletion outcomes and success factors

Purvi Shah (Foisie School of Business, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 18 April 2017




It is difficult to ascertain the success factors and outcomes of deleting a brand, since these factors and outcomes differ by type of industries, firms, and brands, and vary based on contextual and organizational situations. Brand managers would benefit by having a guide explaining various factors that contribute to a successful brand deletion and providing measures of brand deletion success. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to present a list of success factors and outcomes of brand deletion, which brand managers can adapt to their specific brand deletion context and which academic researchers can use to further investigate the systemic aspects of brand deletion.


This article adopts a conceptual viewpoint methodology.


If brand deletion leads to improvements in business performance represented by better customer relationship management, superior competitive position, and boosts in financial performance without degrading stakeholder relationships, it can be called a success. Various factors contribute to this success such as a proactive approach to brand deletion with the involvement of top management and cross-functional teams, timely implementation of the decision, considering the strategic role and importance of the brand to be deleted in the overall brand portfolio, and managing interests of all key stakeholders affected by and influencing brand deletion.


Marketing practitioners can use the guidelines provided in this article and adapt it to their individual idiosyncratic contexts during brand deletion decision-making and implementation. Researchers are encouraged to further investigate the phenomenon of brand deletion strategy and focus more research attention on developing strong empirical knowledge in this important yet under-researched field.



Shah, P. (2017), "Culling the brand portfolio: brand deletion outcomes and success factors", Management Research Review, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 370-377.



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