You are on page 1of 10

FA L L 2 0 0 4 V O L . 4 6 N O.

Niraj Dawar

What Are Brands


Good For?

Please note that gray areas reflect artwork that has


been intentionally removed. The substantive content
of the article appears as originally published.
REPRINT NUMBER 46106
B rands are an indispensable part of modern business. This is true
in large measure because of their remarkable efficiency in
aggregating consumers reaching large numbers of people with
a promise to deliver a clearly stated benefit that sets it apart from
competitors. Volvo Is Safety and Tide Washes Whiter are prom-
ises that attract consumers, reduce their perceived risk, and make it
easier for them to make a purchase decision. Over time, as con-
sumers come to associate a brand with a specific benefit, the brand
acts like a stake in the ground, claiming territorial rights over its The information revolution is making
value proposition. This territorial ownership combined with the consumer dis aggregation vastly more
ability to influence a mass of consumers is the source of a brands
market power.1 efficient and profitable than aggregation,
For many companies, brands are their most valuable assets. And the traditional source of brand power.
their very success has led companies to burden them with increased
responsibilities besides that of establishing differentiated value propo- This raises a fundamental question:
sitions. At a strategic level, brands are the prime platform for building

What Are
relationships with the consumer; they also permit companies to
charge price premiums over unbranded generics, reduce the risks of
new product introduction (through brand and line extensions), and
give companies power in dealings with distributors. Tactically, their
roles are no less varied. Advertising and promotions of brands drive
traffic and sales volume; marketing efforts and outcomes are meas-
ured and managed at the brand level; and brands are central to a
Brands
firms responses to short-term competitive moves. In effect, brands
have become the focal point of many a companys marketing efforts
and are seen as a source of market power, competitive leverage and
higher returns.2
Good For?
But the information revolution is undermining the logic of aggre-
Niraj Dawar
gation, the very source of brand power. In fact, it is becoming evident
that in an information-rich environment, consumer disaggregation is
vastly more efficient and profitable than aggregation. Under many
guises and labels, such as CRM, direct marketing, one-to-one
marketing and information-based marketing, companies
are developing means of interacting with consumers at
the segment or even individual level. Marketing is
becoming more flexible, more adaptive to differ-
ences in consumer needs, and more responsive to

Niraj Dawar is the Nabisco Professor of Marketing at


the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of
Western Ontario, London, Ontario. He can be reached
at ndawar@ivey.uwo.ca.

FALL 2004 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 31


Many of the strategic and tactical tasks entrusted to brands can now be performed
better, less expensively and more profitably at the level of consumer segments.

the changing needs of consumers. Using customized publica- sumer and firm builds on a history of past interactions, the firm
tions, e-mail, direct mail, Web sites and call centers that are based responds to the needs of the consumer from one interaction to
on a common platform of consumer information, companies are the next, and the consumer pulls information from the com-
demonstrating that they can effectively and efficiently drive con- pany according to her needs. The consumer chooses when and
sumer behavior through two-way communications.3 Common through which channel to interact with the company, and the
underlying databases ensure that each interaction is personal- company ensures that the consumers history travels with her
ized, regardless of the channel through which it occurs. And each across channels. The iterative, two-way flow of communication
interaction with the consumer builds the consumer database fur- becomes as much a defining feature of the relationship as the
ther, making future interactions even richer. flow of products and money. This added dimension offers rich
The implications of the information revolution for the role of opportunities for building relationships that grow, rather than
brands in business are far reaching. Many of the strategic and tac- relationships built on mass advertising and repeated experi-
tical tasks entrusted to brands can now be performed better, less ences with the product.
expensively and more profitably at the level of consumer seg- Indeed, once they have experienced the benefits of stream-
ments. (See How Disaggregation Does It Better.) And compa- lined marketing, both firms and consumers tend to prefer the
nies brand-centric structures are not suited to marketing personalized approach to the blanket coverage of brands. Com-
initiatives that are based on reaching segments or individuals. So panies that employ disaggregate marketing are simply quicker
what are brands good for in an era of disaggregation? An answer to respond to consumer needs and better able to tailor their
can be found by examining three core areas of brand manage- offerings and, therefore, to influence consumer buying patterns.
ment: the consumer relationship, the channel relationship and Communication costs are dramatically reduced and hit rates
the organization of brand management. increased through more efficient targeting, while finer segmen-
As with any radical change, disaggregation represents both tation allows more precise and profitable pricing.4 Further-
opportunities and threats. The opportunities for sharpening the more, targeting consumers with marketing communications
role of brands and redistributing some of their tasks to other only with their permission, and only when they are likely to
tools are unprecedented. But as companies pursue such opportu- buy, increases not just the efficiency of the marketing effort but
nities, they may end up reorganizing their marketing in a way also consumer satisfaction.5 Consumers get the information
that ultimately challenges the centrality of brands. they need without being assaulted by redundant advertising for
products they will never buy.
The Consumer Relationship Consider the impact that disaggregation is having on the
Besides capturing a differentiated positioning, the most valuable packaged goods industry, which has traditionally been a bastion
strategic function that brands perform is to build relationships of brands and brand management. Kraft Foods Inc., for example,
with consumers. Relationships arise when a brand repeatedly and has a portfolio of hundreds of successful product brands, includ-
consistently fulfills its stated promise. But such connections are ing Miracle Whip, Jell-O, DiGiorno, Tang, Oscar Mayer and
built through one-way mass communications of benefits and Oreo. Over the past three years, the company has developed and
associations neither the brand nor the communications are launched the most elaborate disaggregate marketing initiative in
personalized, adaptive or responsive to individual consumer the packaged goods industry.
needs. Both are subject to the limitations of mass media, which Piloted in Canada and recently rolled out in the United
by definition are driven by the logic of aggregation. States, the programs flagship is its glossy quarterly magazine
Relationships built within these constraints tend to be shal- entitled (in the United States) food & family. This free magazine
low. Even brand managers readily admit that consumers do not is the centerpiece of an effort to build consumer relationships
have a relationship with their brand of shampoo or plastic that also involves call centers, e-mail, a Web site and even cook-
wrap. Disaggregation offers companies the possibility of estab- ing schools. The publication arrives in consumers mailboxes
lishing relationships in which each interaction between con- quarterly, after people who want to receive it have registered

32 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW FALL 2004


How Disaggregation Does It Better

Marketing efforts aimed at aggregating consumers targeting all potential customers with mass-media advertising are no
longer optimal in an era when individuals and segments can be reached via a variety of communications technologies.

STRATEGIC TASKS
Building a Relationship: A relationship of trust and credibility between a buyer and a seller is best built through multiple
Earning Trust and Credibility two-way interactions in which buyers have the opportunity to declare their needs and sellers have
opportunities to demonstrate their responsiveness. Customized information and common data-
bases that are integrated across channels of communication go a long way toward achieving
those objectives; one-way mass-communicated brands do not.
Communicating a Key Benefit: The economies and efficiency of brands are premised on communicating the same benefit to all
Staking a Position consumers. But a product can have multiple benefits (a Volvo is not just safe; it may also be com-
fortable, reliable and trendy). While brands may still be the best means of establishing an overall
benefit position, communication with individuals allows that message to be tailored to peoples
varied needs.
Charging a Price Premium Because a brand reduces consumer risk and simplifies the purchase process, companies can
charge a premium for it. That premium makes it less accessible to some consumers and leaves
room for competitive entrants such as private labels to enter the market. To counter this, brands
often price-promote for several weeks a year. With consumer information from individuals, how-
ever, the promotion need not be at the brand level. Instead, profitability can be maintained by
offering selective discounts to price-sensitive consumers.

TACTICAL TASKS
Driving Trial and Traffic and Brand promotion through advertising or price reductions increases sales volume but not neces-
Increasing Sales Volume sarily profitability. Disaggregate marketing allows price reductions and advertising messages to
be targeted at those consumers most likely to respond to such promotions. Firms save money on
communication costs, and sales are more profitable because they no longer waste the adver-
tisements or discounts on consumers who would have bought the product anyway.
Building the Likelihood of Disaggregate marketing allows companies to reinforce the key message by reaching consumers
Repurchase both after purchase and when they are most likely to be in the market to purchase again. Target-
ing consumers only by permission and only when they are likely to buy generates greater loyalty
and likelihood of repurchase than blanket brand advertising does.
Responding to Competitive In the past, a price cut by a competitor could have forced a price decrease on the entire brand.
Moves Disaggregate marketing means that an attack can be countered by targeting only those con-
sumers most likely to switch due to competitor actions. The product and its positioning remain
intact even as the competitive threat is tackled.

with Kraft on the Web site, by phone, or by mailing in a busi- directly with them outside of traditional media and retail chan-
ness reply card. It delivers food-related articles, recipes, editori- nels. And some of the costs of publishing and distributing the
als, and of course advertising. magazine are defrayed by third-party advertisers such as Ford,
The magazine is personalized to the individual consumer. For Tupperware and even Campbell Soup, which are keen to tap into
example, someone who corresponded with the company by e- such targeted exposure for their brands.
mail may receive a magazine in which the inside cover page The full impact of the program remains to be seen, but it
points the reader, by name, to the relevant sections in the publi- highlights two central facts of disaggregation. First, the locus of
cation where answers to specific queries may be found. Judging the consumer relationship is likely to shift away from product
by the numbers, consumers appreciate the personalized informa- brands toward a trusted and credible umbrella brand or even to
tion they receive. The publication has rapidly become the third- the brand that is used as the platform for communications (such
largest circulation magazine in the United States, with over 11 as food & family in the case of Kraft). Indeed, a model of such
million copies delivered about as many as Time, Newsweek and branding already exists in industries such as telecommunica-
People combined. The costs of the program are set against the tions and financial services, where disaggregate marketing has a
benefits of reaching Krafts most loyal and profitable consumers longer history. (See Disaggregate Marketing in Services, p. 34.)
in a targeted manner, providing opportunities to communicate Second, as the consumer relationship shifts to the umbrella

FALL 2004 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 33


brand on the strategic level, tactical activities such as competi- managers no longer compete with each other for scarce budgets
tive reactions, product-trial coupons and selective promotions that would eventually have been spent reaching the same con-
are implemented with targeted consumers or segments rather sumer many times over for different brands. Instead, the new
than at the brand level. Disaggregation begins to pay off imperative is to manage consumers or consumer segments prof-
through a combination of the economies of relationship build- itably. In sum, brands continue to play a vital role, but one that is
ing at the umbrella-brand level and the efficiency of tactics at much more streamlined than their current role. They evolve from
the consumer-segment level. Individual product brands focus carrying the entire burden of the consumer relationship and tac-
on communicating and delivering their specific benefits and tical activities to standing for and delivering a specific use-related
value propositions. benefit as part of a portfolio of brands. Brands become team
In other words, for product brands disaggregation means a players rather than individual stars.
shedding of roles and a sharpening of focus. Product brands
remain well suited to promising and delivering a specific usage The Channel Relationship
benefit, but they are the wrong mechanism for building con- Perhaps the most dramatic change in the world of packaged
sumer relationships in the context of disaggregate marketing. goods over the past two decades has been the remarkable rise of
They are also ill suited to performing several of the other func- the retailer. The source of retailers power today is not just their
tions with which they have been saddled. But this does not mean increasingly large size and concentration; it is in the way they
that brands become redundant. On the contrary, firms with large now define their business. Retailers business is no longer about
brand portfolios are well placed to take advantage of disaggrega- collecting rent on shelf space that they built (a location-based
tion. They are able to build the consumer relationship at a more approach); it is a matter of adopting a relationship-based
fundamental level while using their vast portfolios of product approach to marketing. Recent retailer efforts have been aimed at
brands to fulfill various consumer needs.6 creating store-brand awareness and differentiation, promoting
Taken to its logical conclusion, in this model each brand profitable private-label lines across a wide range of product cate-
becomes a tool in the toolbox of the marketer, whose job is to gories, and building store loyalty.
manage consumer relationships, not brands. The product brand For branded goods manufacturers, this retail awakening has
is no longer a stand-alone focus of marketing. Brands and brand been difficult. Because brands cannot afford to be delisted from

Disaggregate Marketing in Services


Service industries have been early plus branches, telephone transactions wealth-preserver segment). The bank
adopters and innovators in disaggregate (8 million calls every month), the Inter- now targets existing products and devel-
marketing. The availability of transac- net (2.5 million customers), off-site ops new products and communications
tion-level and customer-level data, representatives for mortgages and specifically for this segment, offering
higher margins per customer, multiple investments, and millions of ATM trans- them tailored solutions such as dual cur-
channels through which customers inter- actions every day. The data thus gener- rency accounts and U.S. dollar credit
act with the service providers, and the ated permit the bank to segment the cards. This kind of exercise is replicated
vertical integration of service providers market at a very fine level and to offer for many microsegments.
(that both produce and distribute the an almost infinite variety of products The entire range of customer rela-
services) all contributed to this early and communications to cater to the tionships, however, is firmly established
adoption. In addition, product brands needs of the 20,000 or so microseg- at the level of the RBC brand. The firm
have always been subsidiary to the cor- ments it has identified. is able to segment the market and
porate brand at service companies, and One of the attractive microsegments respond tactically to competitor moves
the customer has always been at the identified by the bank is the snowbird by offering personalized solutions to
center of marketing efforts. segment (Canadians who winter in the its customers without fragmenting its
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is a Sun Belt in the United States), which is brand. For example, in the fiercely com-
pioneer in the field of disaggregate mar- part of the larger wealth-preserver petitive market for mortgage loans, the
keting. It serves over 11 million retail segment of senior customers. This firm is able to tailor its mortgage dis-
customers, to whom it sells hundreds microsegment was found to be loyal counts to each individual. But all seg-
of financial products. Its customers deal (average of 22 years with the bank) and ment-level and personalized products
with the bank through a wide variety very profitable (13.5 times more prof- are offered as part of the overarching
of channels, including through its 1,300- itable per customer than the larger RBC promise.

34 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW FALL 2004


Retailers argue that the economics of disaggregation favor them and that they have greater
credibility in assembling an assortment of brands that makes sense for the consumer.

any of the handful of major retailers that now control access to Perhaps the most innovative retailer programs for building
the consumer, the retail channel has become a major focus of consumer relationships are being pioneered by the United King-
manufacturers marketing and sales efforts, often to the detri- doms largest and most profitable grocery chain, Tesco Plc. Using
ment of brand building. In most developed markets around the its loyalty card as the centerpiece, Tesco has built an information-
world today, the proportion of brands marketing budgets spent driven marketing program. Data from shoppers who use the card
on retailers listing fees, facing fees, trade promotions and coop- provide a means of personalizing the consumers shopping expe-
erative advertising is twice as large as the proportion spent mar- rience and are used internally to make decisions on many issues,
keting the brands to the end consumer. But in increasing their from the content of flyers to the size of parking lots for new
trade spending, branded goods manufacturers also recognize that stores. Like Kraft, Tesco has begun to view brands as ingredients
their actions are at odds with their own interests they are feed- in the process of building and delivering solutions for the con-
ing a potential rival for the consumer relationship. sumer. But it is now the retailer that pulls together and delivers
Disaggregation is seen by some manufacturers as an opportu- the solution, not the branded goods manufacturer. The risk for
nity to restore some balance to the imbalance of power between manufacturers is that the consumers relationship will be with the
manufacturers and retailers. It provides manufacturers with a retailers umbrella brand.
new medium to influence consumer decisions that is independ- Recognizing the importance and urgency of building disag-
ent of the retailer. This new medium can help restore credibility gregate consumer relationships, in 2001 P&G launched its con-
to the manufacturers claims to know and understand the con- sumer information-based marketing initiative in the United
sumer better than retailers do and to reassert their role in the Kingdom under the banner Golden Households. The initiative
value chain. But manufacturers must act quickly for two reasons: was intended to develop an understanding of those 20% or so of
First, because consumers prefer few relationships to many, a first- households that account for a sizeable chunk of the purchases of
mover advantage will endure.7 And second, because retailers are P&G products and hence of the companys profitability. But the
not sitting idle in this game. company also recognized that its consumer data covered only a
In fact, retailers argue that the economics of disaggregation small slice of overall consumer behavior and that Tescos data
favor them. Whereas a Kraft or Procter & Gamble spreads the offered a much broader view. Marrying the two types of infor-
cost of a marketing program over a few hundred brands, a retailer mation would be very powerful. Indeed, P&Gs U.K. launch of its
spreads those costs over more than 40,000 stock-keeping units Physique hair-care brand was executed exclusively through Tesco
and indeed can even pass some of the costs back to the manufac- channels, using Tesco publications, and targeted to consumers
turers. Greater variety may also allow the retailer to achieve a based on the combined data of the two firms.
finer level of segmentation, enabling them to capture the addi- Manufacturers are realizing their brands chances of survival
tional profits of disaggregation. Retailers also argue that in the will be better if they become an essential element of the retailers
eyes of the consumer, the retailer has greater credibility in assem- value proposition to particular consumer segments. In the chan-
bling an assortment of products and brands that makes sense for nel relationship, too, the brand is perceived as no longer being the
the consumer and is not perceived to be driven by an interest in focal point of marketing.
selling one brand over another.
Retailers understanding of brands has always been different The Brand Management Organization
from that of the manufacturer. Retailers used to view well-known In 1931, P&G pioneered an organizational innovation, the
brands such as Coca-Cola and Tide as magnets to attract con- brand manager, as a means of focusing the firms resources on
sumers to the store. Those brands would be advertised on the key market opportunities. The system allowed budgets and
front pages of retailers weekly flyers, often at very low prices, to profits to be measured and marketing initiatives to be devel-
pull in consumer traffic. But once retailers began to use disaggre- oped at the brand level without interference from other brands.
gate consumer data to drive traffic, brands were seen as a coarse Since brands were the platform on which consumer relation-
and expensive mechanism for achieving traffic volume. ships were built in the emerging era of mass media, the move

FALL 2004 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 35


Brand management systems were designed for an era of mass marketing and are not well
suited to making good use of the tidal wave of valuable consumer information.

was prescient. Over seven decades, brand managers and brand brand managers whose brands are featured in the disaggregate
management systems have become the foundation of marketing marketing campaigns. The brand manager can choose to put
departments in many industries. money in this program or to continue using only traditional
But now entrenched brand-management organizations are media. This approach defines disaggregate marketing as just
proving to be an impediment to the adoption of consumer-level another media choice, not a different way of doing business.
disaggregation initiatives. Packaged consumer goods companies, Brand managers continue to be concerned with the marketing
where brand management systems have been the most pervasive, and sales of their brand rather than the profitability of the entire
have been late adopters of disaggregation technology and remain portfolio of brands. The focus of marketing efforts remains the
reluctant to accept the organizational consequences of consumer brands, not the consumers.
information for brands and brand management. Each brand Brand management systems have much to commend them,
speaks to the consumer, usually outside of a usage context but they were designed for an era of mass marketing and are not
(mainly through television advertising) and without the context well suited to making good use of the tidal wave of valuable con-
of other brands from the same company, leading to duplication sumer information that is now available. For example, few com-
of effort and other inefficiencies. panies today measure their performance at the consumer or
Even at Kraft, the information-based marketing program is consumer-segment level. In the automobile industry, any com-
treated as an add-on to existing channels for reaching the con- pany can readily determine from its management accounting sys-
sumer. The program is funded from budget allocations from tems the profitability of any of its brands or sub-brands, because

Disaggregations Impact on Brand Management

The shift in focus from brands to customer relationships has radical implications for several internal processes and structures.

Brand Management Disaggregate Marketing


Organization Structure Managers or teams are assigned to product Managers or teams are assigned to segments
and Leadership categories or brands. The quarterback who of similar consumers. The quarterback who
brings company resources together to focus on brings company resources together to focus
the market is the product or brand manager. on the market is the segment manager.
Key Business Measures Success is measured by volume of sales, dollar Success is measured by customer-level or
sales, market share and brand or product segment-level profitability and depth of rela-
profitability. tionship (share of wallet).
New Product Development Developing and testing of products based Developing and testing products on the basis
and Innovation on product-related competencies. The question of segment needs. The questions asked are:
asked is: Given our resources, what else can What else does this consumer segment require?
we make? What else can we deliver to them as part of a
complete solution?
Key Brand Management Brand-led copy development; brand-level Segment-driven cross-promotional opportuni-
Activities promotional activities to boost volume or ties; coordination of communication of multi-
market share; trade marketing support; coor- ple brands; integration and presentation of
dination with advertising agency. product portfolio as complementary solution
set; segment analysis and development on the
basis of consumer data.
Training Focus is on developing marketing skills: Focus is on developing knowledge of consumer
branding, message development, agency segment, consumer behavior, and data interpre-
management. tation and management.

36 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW FALL 2004


the systems are designed to track, measure and manage brands. are now ubiquitous even in services and business-to-business set-
Yet the same company would have difficulty pulling together tings. Despite major upheavals in the world of marketing, includ-
information to determine whether a specific customer is prof- ing retailer concentration, media fragmentation, niche marketing
itable, whether the customer and her family are loyal purchasers, and the advent of the Internet, brands have endured and contin-
and whether the general segment to which that customer belongs ued to flourish.
is financially attractive. Yet a question mark now hangs over their future purpose and
Because so many organizational systems are built around role. Major advances in the information environment have made
brands, a switch to a consumer-centric organization cannot it technically feasible and economically viable to supplant brands
happen overnight. To understand the nature of the changes by managing the consumer relationship directly. Disaggregation
required, managers must recognize the need for three elements is proving to be an efficient and profitable marketing approach.
in any new structure. The first element is a relationship-build- While most firms initially approach disaggregate marketing ini-
ing entity and mechanism. That might be a corporate brand or tiatives as matters of technology implementation (in the form of
the brand of the communication medium, such as the food & a CRM system, for example), they quickly realize that disaggrega-
family brand that Kraft launched. The purpose of this brand is tion is not just an add-on to their brand-focused organizations.
to be the face to the customer, building a relationship based on It is a different way of doing business that challenges brands and
trust and responsiveness. The second element is targeted com- brand-based organizational structures.
munications that can exert a tactical influence on consumer What, then, are brands good for in this new environment? As
behavior. Such communications require data analysis, continu- they were initially and have been for decades, brands are an excel-
ous segmentation, testing of messages on subsamples of the lent means of developing and communicating a differentiated
consumer base, and development and implementation of tar- value proposition in the market. Armed with a basket of such
geted campaigns. Naturally, all targeted communications need value propositions, a manufacturers umbrella brand might even
to be consistent with the nature of the relationship that is estab- rightfully aspire to the ultimate prize a relationship with the
lished at the strategic level. As a basic example, an implicit customer. It is on this task that companies should focus their
understanding with the consumer is that communications attentions in this new era of disaggregated marketing.
should never be unsolicited; they should always be based on an
individuals permission. The final element of a consumer-cen- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
tric organization is obtaining expertise in new-product and
The author thanks Mr. Baldev Raj Dawar and professors Marcel
brand development so that the portfolio of product brands can Corstjens, Darren Meister and Mark Vandenbosch for valuable com-
be continually rejuvenated. ments on an earlier draft.
But firms must also recognize that changes to the organization
chart alone are not enough to address the opportunities pre- REFERENCES
sented by disaggregation. Changes are required in the measures
1. D.A. Aaker, Managing Brand Equity: Capitalizing on the Value of a
they use to gauge success (focus on customer-level profitability, Brand Name (New York: Free Press, 1991).
for example, not brand-level profitability), the incentives and
2. N. Dawar and C. Boulakia, Brands as Mental Real Estate, Ivey
rewards used to motivate people (bonuses should be tied to seg- Business Journal 64, no. 1 (September-October 1999): 71-75.
ment profitability, not market share), the way they deploy 3. D. Bowman and D. Narayandas, Managing Customer Initiated
resources to the market (consumer-pull versus trade-push Contacts With Manufacturers: The Impact on Share of Category
Requirements and Word-of-Mouth Behavior, Journal of Marketing
expenditures), and the manner in which teams coordinate to
Research, 38, no. 3 (2001): 281-298.
tackle market opportunities. (See Disaggregations Impact on
4. J.S. Thomas, W. Reinartz and V. Kumar, Getting the Most Out of
Brand Management for an overview of necessary changes.) All Your Customers, Harvard Business Review (July-August 2004):
116-123.
The Value Proposition of Brands 5. A. Ansari and C. F. Mela, E-Customization, Journal of Marketing
Research 40, no. 2 (2003): 131-145.
The success of brands over the past century is in no small meas-
ure attributable to their unique ability to aggregate consumers 6. K.L. Keller, Strategic Brand Management, 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle
River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003).
into viable markets economically and efficiently. Their ability to
7. J.N. Sheth, R.S. Sisodia and A. Sharma, The Antecedents and
communicate an identical message to large numbers of con- Consequences of Customer-Centric Marketing, Academy of Market-
sumers makes brands the ideal and natural ally of mass produc- ing Science Journal 28, no. 1 (2000): 55-66.
tion. Whereas assembly lines shrank the cost of building
products, brands reduced the cost of building markets. And while Reprint 46106. For ordering information, see page 1.
brands were initially confined to packaged consumer goods, they Copyright Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004. All rights reserved.

FALL 2004 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 37


PDFs Reprints Permission to Copy Back Issues
Electronic copies of MIT Sloan Management Review
articles as well as traditional reprints can be purchased on
our Web site: www.sloanreview.mit.edu or you may order
through our Business Service Center (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET)
at the phone numbers listed below.
To reproduce or transmit one or more MIT Sloan
Management Review articles by electronic or mechanical
means (including photocopying or archiving in any
information storage or retrieval system) requires written
permission. To request permission, use our Web site
(www.sloanreview.mit.edu), call or e-mail:
Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: 877-727-7170
International: 617-253-7170
e-mail: smrpermissions@mit.edu
To request a free copy of our reprint catalog or order
a back issue of MIT Sloan Management Review,
please contact:
MIT Sloan Management Review
77 Massachusetts Ave., E60-100
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: 877-727-7170
International: 617-253-7170
Fax: 617-258-9739
e-mail: smr-orders@mit.edu
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.