In How Brands Grow, Bryon Sharp tackles conventional marketing wisdom head on - as he does in most of his work - arguing that to Grow a brand, you don’t need segmentation or a different ‘brand identity’ - you need universal appeal, and mass marketing. Easier said than done for most businesses…
He further makes the argument that we as marketers, behave based on long-held beliefs, not by using up-to-date empirical data. Pareto’s principle is a good one here - 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers. It may sound plausible, but it’s probably not true - go find out before you focus all your attention on the top 20%. He cites studies of several FMCG brands from Coca Cola to Colgate and comes back with an updated 60/20 rule. The heavy users are still the most valuable in terms of volume purchase sure, but are they helping the brand grow?
He further makes the point that loyalty is dead and customer repeat purchase out of habit not commitment which is pretty interesting
He’s not to everyone’s taste - but you’ve still got to read this and consider his position (he’s published more than 100 referenced articles and is a professor at Wharton)… updated more recently to How Brands Grow 2, but the original is still the best.