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New Stuff and Inspiration

How Brands Grow is must reading for every marketing professional. But we’ll give you the executive summary anyway.


Okay, maybe How Brands Grow doesn’t have the catchiest title. But considering the topic, it should have your undivided attention. Its findings certainly caught the interest of top marketing people at P&G and Mars.

These companies have embraced the results of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute study featured in Professor Sharp’s book. Instead of conjecture and theory, it used decades worth of data and science to learn how brands really grow. And the results completely shatter marketing’s sacred belief in the 80/20 Rule that says 80 percent of your sales come from just 20 percent of your customers.

The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute found that concentrating most of your media dollars on your best customers only reinforces their behavior. And because there’s only so much of your product they can buy, there’s little room for growth. No, real growth comes from attracting buyers of all types, mostly those considered light customers who only buy your brand occasionally. At P&G, this meant a shift from the narrow targeting of Facebook ads to the greater reach of mass marketing.

Over at Mars, they made the conscious decision to use impactful creative to go after their often indifferent light buyers.

And for clients closer to home, it’s a note of caution to the dangers of over-segmenting. You should really read Professor Sharp’s book. Or invite Dan, our account planner, over for a few drinks and he’ll pretty much recite the thing.