ATLANTIC GROUP HAS A LARGE NUMBER OF BRANDS THAT DO NOT AGE AND ARE LOVED BY ALL GENERATIONS. WHAT IS THE SECRET OF GOOD “BRAND RIPENING”?
For brands that last for a very long time and somehow get “cult” status in the industry, the key question is the same as competitors just emerging in the market, and it comes down to a decision: change or status quo. What is different is the importance of that question and the consequences that the answer holds. Long-lived brands have much more to lose with a wrong move. It is my opinion that, in this context, the secret of “good ripening” is caution at all times, and courage at the right time.
IS BRAND BUILDING A MARATHON OR A SPRINT AND WHY?
Brand building, as a process, is certainly a marathon. However, innovations, which are an important part of this process, can be a sprint. If we are going to continue with the sports analogy – I think it is important for a brand to run at its own pace and steadily, but at the end of each segment, it is necessary to have that extra incentive that “pushes” you to finish the race first. With us, for example, that final moment was the launch of Black’n’Easy coffee.
YEARS CAN BE A CRUEL JUDGE RATHER THAN A FAITHFUL ALLY. TO WHAT EXTENT IS ADAPTING YOUR BRAND TO “ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS” IMPORTANT?
They are a judge, but I wouldn’t characterize them as cruel. In the life of a brand, just like in a person’s life, years always bring something new, and the choice is up to us – whether we will adapt to new situations or say that we like things as they were. A brand doesn’t necessarily need to adapt – and it may survive if it remains likeable as “retro”. Once that window closes too, I fear that without changes and getting with modern times, which are quicker and quicker, it remains in the past.
TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE SO-CALLED HUMAN FACTOR CRUCIAL FOR A LONG-LASTING BRAND?
The brand was created by people and they are the ones who maintained it through the years. The fact that extremely popular brands, such as Grand Coffee, have an evolving life beyond planned flows and marketing strategies, again points to the human factor – this time, on the other side, one that is influenced by consumers. That is why I would say that people, both employees and those who buy the product, are not only crucial, but of the utmost importance to its longevity.