One side we call it a BRAND that in ideal situation is expected to live for eternity.
On the either side, we define PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE which makes a brand mimic a mortal human being that takes birth, has a learning curve, grows, matures, weakens and dies.
Then a day comes when we attempt to reduce the fear of attaining maturity (read as mortality), we try to make a mortal brand immortal by giving birth to a LINE EXTENSION (read as HALF BRAND).
Then to manage the volume growth vs resource & efforts requirements, we launch multiple more line extensions making every Half Brand further giving premature birth to QUARTER BRANDS or CENT BRANDS populating complete family of given mature brand called BRAND PORTFOLIO.
Finally we arrive at a sales management formula somewhat like this:
1 x (FULL MATURE BRAND) + 1 x (HALF BRAND) + few x (QUARTER BRANDS) + many x (CENT BRANDS)
No doubt, the brand resourcing follows the perception. Full mature brand is now called a CASH COW with least resourcing and remaining brand family gets fragmented resourcing to be categorised as QUESTION MARK & DOGS justifying Pareto’s law of 80:20 with one anchor Comet with large trails.
As need of mankind remains by and large same since life begun… See, Hear, Smell, Touch, Feel, disruption happens and the same solution is offered by Technological advanced new product giving rise to a NEW BRAND.
What is the explanation?
BRAND PORTFOLIO emerges from the psyche of FEAR (fear of attaining maturity of a brand).
PRODUCT PORTFOLIO emerges from psyche of EXPLOITING OPPORTUNITIES or MITIGATING ORGANIZATIONAL RISK.
Amidst the growing Brand Portfolios and Product Portfolios, there are some Brands that stand the test of time without diluting their equity in so called Brand Portfolio. Yes, at times these Brands Metamorphose and emerge stronger, healthier, brighter than ever. For these brands, BRAND METAMORPOHOSIS is the key and not Line extension.
What is Good, What is Bad?
Nothing is good, nothing is bad. This all depends on organizational priorities arising with Psyche of the Brand and Brand Marketer where the source of psyche could be fear, exploiting opportunities, mitigating risk, changing technological forms or what so ever else.
In the chart shown here, we can see that both Brand driven and Portfolio Driven businesses are among Leaders.
So, what is your business driver-Brand or Portfolio?