Three grown adults locked in a room, engaged in a very serious game of "Name Calling".
The discipline of brand management was started at Procter & Gamble as a result of a famous memo, by Neil H. McElroy. Read the full story here, » "Changing the Face of Consumer Marketing"
Neil McElroy's Epiphany
After its successes with Ivory and Crisco, P&G developed a new business technique called "brand management", focused on a product rather than a business function.
Neil McElroy's formula for P&G's success was: "Find out what the consumers want and give it to them." Proctor & Gamble went to extreme lengths to do both.
The shift to brand management began on May 13, 1931, with an internal memorandum from Neil McElroy (1904-1972). While working on the advertising campaign for Camay soap, McElroy became frustrated with having to compete not only with soaps from Lever and Palmolive, but also with Ivory, P&G's own flagship product.
In a now-famous memo, he argued that more concentrated attention should be paid to Camay, and by extension to other P&G brands as well. In addition to having a person in charge of each brand, there should be a substantial team of people devoted to thinking about every aspect of marketing it. This dedicated group should attend to one brand and it alone. The new unit should include a brand assistant, several "check-up people," and others with very specific tasks.
The concern of these managers would be the brand, which would be marketed as if it were a separate business. In this way the qualities of every brand would be distinguished from those of every other. In ad campaigns, Camay and Ivory would be targeted to different consumer markets, and therefore would become less competitive with each other. Over the years, "product differentiation," as businesspeople came to call it, would develop into a key element of marketing.
Thus was born the modern system of brand management.
Brand management as a business technique was one of the signal innovations in American marketing during the twentieth century. It epitomized the persistent theme of balancing centralized oversight with decentralized decision making based on who in the company had the best information about the decision at hand.
Brand management is the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand, to include: Brand orientation, Employer branding, Brand community, Brand engagement, Brand implementation, Customer engagement, Product naming, Visual brand language, Visual merchandising.