From share leader to true brand leader

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




Bernstein, S. (2008), "From share leader to true brand leader", Strategic Direction, Vol. 24 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

From share leader to true brand leader

Article Type: From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 5.

Bernstein S. Admap, December 2007, Vol. 42 No. 489, Start page: 19, No. of pages: 3

Purpose To show how category leaders can maintain and grow their advantage. Design/methodology/approach Illustrates how size alone does not equal leadership, highlights Apple and Starbucks as a lesson to other brands and describes how Wal-Mart has reframed its brand strategy to focus on how being the biggest allows it to pass its negotiating power onto its customers. Findings Many consumers see little benefit in size and may even view it negatively and so category leaders need to create a relevant connection between size and the benefits that size can offer consumers. Argues that, for retailers, this means owning a single, definable point of view on a category, which offers consumers a forward-looking perspective to which they can attach aspiration. States that size can provide an edge in complex, high-stakes categories and those in which popularity is of great importance to consumers and if number-one brands can effectively combine the fact that, by being the biggest they can offer reassurance to customers along with a particular take on the category, their position is that much more differentiated from the competition. Ends with three critical litmus tests: whether the brand’s functional benefits have been leveraged to hold true meaning and relevance to consumers; whether a unique badge has been defined that fits those benefits and is aspirational; and whether the target audience has been explicitly defined. Originality/value Asserts that translating share advantage into a leadership position that holds real benefit and meaning for consumers will give companies an edge but success means the evolution of a company from mere share leader into true brand leader.ISSN: 0001-8295Reference: 37AC171

Keywords: Apple Computer, Brands, Leadership, Marketing strategy, Starbucks Coffee, Wal-Mart

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