Commentary: Established Brands Often Struggle with Marketing

Pepsi Challenge

Unlike startups that are expected to take risks, get messy, and challenge the status quo, larger established firms inherit what could be considered golden handcuffs, given that success can make change a challenge. Indeed, care must be taken not to rock the boat for stockholders or tarnish the brand equity that has been established among a loyal customer base.

Much like the construction of a home, once a company is built, updates and improvements are only given consideration if changes will strengthen the existing model and its equity. The location, foundation, and general structure, however, are rarely tampered with by proud homeowners. And although additions can occur, it will cost not only materials but also permit approvals, and design changes may generate remorse for earlier sunk costs.

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