how brands grow summary

In this article, we will provide a summary of the key concepts and insights from the book “How Brands Grow” by Byron Sharp. This influential book challenges conventional marketing wisdom and provides evidence-based strategies for growing brands in today’s competitive landscape.

The Importance of Mental and Physical Availability

One of the central themes in “How Brands Grow” is the emphasis on the significance of both mental and physical availability for brand growth. Here are some key points:

  • Mental availability refers to the ease with which consumers can think of a brand when considering a purchase. It is crucial for a brand to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds to increase the likelihood of being chosen.
  • Physical availability refers to the brand’s presence and accessibility in the market. It includes factors such as distribution, shelf space, online visibility, and overall reach.
  • Building mental and physical availability requires continuous efforts to stay top-of-mind and easily accessible to consumers.

To illustrate the concept further, let’s take a look at the following table:

Mental AvailabilityPhysical Availability
Brand AHighHigh
Brand BLowLow

In this hypothetical scenario, Brand A has high mental and physical availability, meaning it is easily recalled by consumers and readily accessible in the market. On the other hand, Brand B has low mental and physical availability, making it less likely to be considered or chosen by consumers.

The Power of Salience

Salience refers to the extent to which a brand stands out and captures consumers’ attention. Here’s what you need to know about the power of salience:

  1. Salient brands are more likely to be noticed and considered by consumers.
  2. Distinctive brand assets, such as logos, jingles, and packaging elements, contribute to salience and help the brand stand out in a cluttered marketplace.
  3. Consistency in branding is vital to reinforce salience and make the brand instantly recognizable.

The Importance of Reach and Penetration

Reach and penetration are key drivers of brand growth. Consider the following insights:

  • Brands should focus on increasing their customer base and attracting new buyers rather than solely targeting existing customers.
  • Expanding reach and penetration allows brands to tap into new market segments and increase market share.
  • Brand loyalty is often overestimated, and the majority of purchases come from occasional or light buyers. Therefore, acquiring new customers is crucial for sustained growth.

The Role of Brand Building vs. Activation

Sharp emphasizes the balance between brand building and activation to achieve long-term growth:

  1. Brand building activities, such as creating brand associations and fostering emotional connections, play a critical role in establishing a strong brand identity and increasing mental availability.
  2. Activation includes short-term tactics like promotions and discounts that aim to increase short-term sales but may not contribute significantly to long-term growth.
  3. A balanced approach that combines both brand building and activation is necessary for sustained growth and brand success.

Understanding Double Jeopardy

Double jeopardy is a phenomenon described in “How Brands Grow” that highlights the relationship between market share and brand loyalty:

  • Brands with a larger market share tend to have higher levels of customer loyalty.
  • Small brands often face a double jeopardy effect, as they not only have lower market shares but also lower levels of loyalty among their customers.
  • Market share growth, therefore, becomes crucial for improving customer loyalty and achieving competitive advantage.

In conclusion, “How Brands Grow” provides valuable insights for marketers seeking effective strategies to grow their brands. By prioritizing mental and physical availability, leveraging the power of salience, expanding reach and penetration, finding the right balance between brand building and activation, and understanding the double jeopardy effect, brands can develop a comprehensive growth strategy that resonates with consumers and drives long-term success.