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Kill it or keep it?: The weak brand retain-or-discard decision in brand portfolio management

Abstract

Firms make several decisions in brand portfolio management such as create or acquire brands, modify brands and leverage brands. However, one of their most challenging areas is deciding between whether to retain or discard a weak brand from their brand portfolios. Drawing on the strategic decision-making literature, the purpose of this article is to present a conceptual framework explicating the factors influencing a firm’s decision to retain or discard weak brands from their brand portfolios. Though we believe that firms rationally decide to discontinue weak brands because of poor financial performance, under certain interesting situations, firms also decide to retain weak brands based on several strategic non-financial factors. Understanding this is important because making a decision for one brand often impacts other brands in the portfolio and invariably the firm’s financial performance. The article contributes in the context of discovery through the conception of new relationships among established constructs in the strategic decision making and brand management literature, and the synthesis of existing constructs by tying them in one detailed conceptual framework. The article also attempts to enrich research in the field of brand portfolio management by drawing on cross-functional and inter-disciplinary research.

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Shah, P. Kill it or keep it?: The weak brand retain-or-discard decision in brand portfolio management. J Brand Manag 22, 154–172 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2015.11

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2015.11

Keywords

  • brand retain-or-discard
  • conceptual
  • internal factors
  • external factors
  • top management team
  • strategic brand portfolio management