The decline and fall of manufacturer branding

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Author: William Ramsay

Abstract:

Three propositions are presented: 1. Branding control is passing from the manufacturer to the retailer - Market power has moved historically from the wholesaler to the manufacturer and now lies with the retailer - Manufacturers will become suppliers rather than branders Survivors in manufacturer branding will be global or 'European' 2. Distributor own brands (DOB) will come to dominate many market categories - Retailer chains across Europe will follow the UK pattern of oligopoly - DOB strategy moves through four different stages - DOB vulnerability lies in innovation and in its national confines 3. Manufacturer national branding in Europe has entered the final phase of its life cycle - No 1 or No 2 brands in their national category may survive but will have to change significantly - The manufacturer-retailer relationship will really become a zero sum game - Strategic priority for global or 'European' brands will be development over the long term.

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