Kim Cramer Earned her PhD in brand portfolio management (2005) at the University of Amsterdam, sponsored by SWOCC (Foundation of Scientific Research on Commercial Communication). Kim is specialised in brand portfolio strategy, emotive branding, and integrated brand development.
Brands are associative networks of meanings. They add value to products, services, and organizations by touching people’s hearts and minds. Brands are capable of distinguishing one product from the other, even when these products are identical from a functional point of view. It is important for brand owners to create preference by finding a unique, relevant and credible position in their stakeholders’ brains. Claiming such a position is what we call brand positioning. But what if brand owners do not have one, but several brands? One brand is complicated enough. Even so, most organizations have a portfolio full of brands, sub brands, product brands and names. Sometimes originated from mergers and acquisitions, sometimes from innovations, and sometimes from… well, from what actually? Research on brand portfolio management shows that in most cases, brand portfolios just happened to ‘grow that way’. Without a deliberate strategy.
But to efficiently and effectively manage your business, a well thought out strategy is needed. If only because of limited resources.
Fragmented media, difficult to reach consumer segments, and internationalisation are just a few factors that make brand building an increasingly complicated and expensive activity. Kim Cramer PhD, co-founder of BR-ND, wrote a handy booklet named '10 Things you need to know about brand portfolio' on how deliberate management of brand portfolios can support the performance of organisations. It explains the basic principles of brand portfolio thinking and shows which considerations precede an efficient and effective strategy. If you are a brand owner or consultant, this booklet will provide you with insights to think about and tools to bring into practice.