Branding & Brand Management

Proctor & Gamble executives estimate as many as 80 percent of new offerings don’t perform as well as expected. That’s just one example of a hard truth too many innovators discover: A new product can be solidly conceived, solidly designed, solidly constructed and a failure.

Quite often, the difference between brand-management success and failure comes down to the full-contact sport known as branding. Companies must build their brand up, even as competitors are doing everything they can to knock it down.

Another hard truth: in research done by Kellogg Professor Tim Calkins, more than 80 percent of respondents said they defended their brand at least occasionally. Half of respondents said they had to mount a defense frequently or constantly.

Today’s branding executives must always be innovating, creating, experimenting and learning. Management means repeating successes and learning from missteps — both their own and those of competitors.

Kellogg’s branding experts and faculty offer cutting-edge research and observation — in foundation-level brand-management best practices and lessons gleaned from the latest doings, triumphs and failures of the biggest and most talked about brands.

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Kellogg faculty guidance, opinion and research on branding and brand management

  • On Purpose

    Brand purpose is important for differentiating in a world where brands are in many ways similar. Is your brand's purpose functional or emotional?

  • Surviving Brand Scandals

    If your brand is in the headlines for less than positive reasons, there is hope for recovery from a scandal so long as you respond accordingly.

  • healthy brand

    Restoring the polish

    When a brand overextends itself, the pressure will eventually weaken it. But with a little patience, it's possible to rejuvenate it.

  • AirBnB Ad Still

    Missing the mark

    AirBnB's heart-warming brand campaign inspires you to explore the world and learn about mankind. But will it prompt people to book more stays?

  • Brand building

    What's in a name?

    Google's Alphabet rebrand may seem like a crazy idea, but according to Tim Calkins, the "house of brands" strategy is a strong move.

  • Porsche branding expert

    Porsche, Porsche, Porsche!

    Tim Calkins shares how Porsche's interactive, highly targeted marketing events put the brand on buyers' radars and treat customers like kings.

  • Taylor Swift Apple Music

    Swift Vs. Apple

    When brands listen to each other and have conversations, positive change can ensue. Tim Calkins weighs in on how Taylor Swift and Apple did just that.

  • Branding identity

    Mascot madness

    Fast food brands are bringing back their iconic mascots to reconnect with consumers and take the spotlight off the food itself, says Derek Rucker.

  • Brand sponsorship soccer

    Foul play

    News of corruption within FIFA puts sponsors in a vulnerable position, but Tim Calkins doesn't think any of those brands will penalize the organization.

  • Brand mistakes

    Recover and return

    A Houlihan's restaurant made a mistake, but its quick recovery shows how brands can retain their equity if they act fast and apologize sincerely.

  • New CMO

    Brave New CMO

    P&G's CMO modernized the company's image by focusing on brand ideals and effecting conversations that elevated its internal culture.

  • I'm no angel

    Broken angels

    Lane Bryant's #I'mNoAngel campaign inspires body confidence and connects with its consumers while making its competitor look outdated.

  • Starbucks

    Minding just the business

    Starbucks' "Race Together" campaign backfired by forcing an issue that doesn't impact its business, according to Professor Tim Calkins.

  • Boots

    Wild about branding

    REI created such an outstanding customer experience for Wild author Cheryl Strayed that the company was mentioned in the book and the feature film.

  • Apple watch

    Apple of my "i"

    The Apple Watch and Apple Pay promise big things, but Tim Calkins isn't sure either product has compelling enough benefits to be true game-changers.

  • Reviving Cadillac

    Jump starting the brand

    Reviving a brand takes more than imagery—you have to tell its story. Tim Calkins explains how Cadillac can best maximize its brand turn-around plan.

  • A319 Side Exterior

    Ready for takeoff

    With clear skies ahead for a great branding strategy, Spirit Airlines has the potential to soar above the competition once it pinpoints its top priorities.

  • Election day sticker

    The politics of branding

    When marketers go from the commercial to the political world, they provide a unique perspective on how candidates engage with their different audiences.

  • Cute marketing

    Uber adorable

    Uber is trying to rehabilitate its tarnished image using puppies and kittens. Tim Calkins thinks the company needs a stronger story to achieve its goal.

  • India street

    A new India

    India's Prime Minister is showcasing the country's advantages to drive industrial growth. Will the global business world take note?

  • Smile

    Optimism overload

    Eighty-one percent of marketing leaders think share growth is likely, and few fear for their jobs. Is an overly sunny outlook dangerous for brands?

Grow your skill set with Kellogg School of Management

  • Executive Education

    Kellogg Executive Education

    Hone your branding and brand-management skills with Kellogg Executive Education's expert faculty.

  • Executive MBA

    EMBA student

    Stay in the working world as you improve your personal branding with the Kellogg Executive MBA.

  • Full-Time MBA

    Kellogg Fulltime MBA

    Kellogg's full-time MBA: when you've decided that the most important brand you manage is you