In the World of Brands, David Rarely Kills Goliath.

In the World of Brands, David Rarely Kills Goliath.
Photo by Steve Barker / Unsplash

The world of brands is a strange mythical universe.

This week I joined a Mark Ritson webinar to hear his words of wisdom punctuated at every second sentence by obscenities. Popcorn time! You always learn something new from Mark, and my highlight this time was his point on the unfair advantage brand size offers to win the game of marketing. Music to my ears.

We read a lot about how new entrants in a category are continually disrupting the old guys; they are stealing market share and are the talk of the “marketing press.”

But how many small players manage to grow big? What if there is a survivorship bias here? What if, for every small brand that makes it, 29 brands fail to become big? What if bidding on small brands is a high return low, probability event, similar to Venture Capital investments.

We often think of media investment as a fixed percentage of brand sales. And this is where we might be wrong.

The less you spend, the fewer people you will reach, the fewer sales you drive, and the less your brand will grow.

Why do we think that magically small brands have a more natural path to growth? They don’t; there is one single specific path to build brands: invest in them. I often see huge expectations and tiny budgets.

In Mark’s words, identifying when we mismatch our growth ambitions with our budget allocation, should be a checkpoint for every marketer.

And yes, in the world of brands, a big brand will always have a more comfortable ride, it will have the scale to generate the return you want, it will have the size to invest in mass media, and will most likely, win.