How Brands Grow

HOW BRANDS GROW by Byron Sharp has become the bible for brand marketers.


What separates this book from most other books on marketing is that it is backed up by scientific empirical evidence:

  • Mass Marketing is back! And more important than ever, if you want to grow your business. 

  • Differentiating your Brand is no longer priority number one. It’s all about having a distinctive message that stands out from the crowd. 

  • Customer acquisition is cheaper than customer retention.

  • Price Promotions do not boost penetration and loyalty.

  • Who you compete against is not important. Target everybody.

  • The consumers of a particular brand are not a distinctive type of person.

  • Buyers do not need a special reason to buy your brand. What’s important is to be top of mind and have greater access to your product, more and more locations (online and on shelf!) to buy your brand.

  • 20% of our heaviest customers deliver 60% of our sales. Market against the 40% who are light users of your brand or do not buy your brand at all.

Commonplace Marketing Mistakes:

  • Failing to research what makes your brand distinctive and noticeable.  

  • Creating advertising that isn’t branded (other than a flash of the brand name).

  • Over-investing in already highly-loyal consumers, while neglecting to reach new buyers.

  • Pricing too high, then trying to compensate with very regular price discounts.

  • Teaching consumers to buy when the brand is discounted.

  • Burning media dollars in advertising bursts then going silent for long periods when consumers are still buying.

  • Paying premiums for low-reach media.

Seven Simple Rules for Marketing

  • Rule 1Reach all consumers of the brand’s service/product category.

  • Rule 2Physical and mental availability drive market share because they make it easier to buy.

  • Rule 3Get noticed.

  • Rule 4Refresh and build memory structures.

  • Rule 5Create and use distinctive brand assets. Branding matters.

  • Rule 6Be consistent. Brands that have dominated for decades have done so by being consistent, not by repositioning. 

  • Rule 7Stay competitive. Don’t give consumers a “reason not to buy.”