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Brand Portfolio Strategy

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Brand Portfolio Strategy

Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity

Free Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

This brand manager’s bible covers every aspect of portfolio strategy.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


The online availability and accessibility of products has commoditized almost every offering or service imaginable. This global phenomenon makes it increasingly necessary for companies to differentiate their products through branding. Although branding expert David A. Aaker wrote this classic book in 2004, its premises are still relevant. Aaker’s treatment of the complexities of brand portfolio management, while somewhat dry, is easy to follow and assimilate. In his fourth guide to brand portfolio management, he deftly uses case studies by brand powerhouses such as Disney, General Electric and Toyota to underscore the crucial issues facing brand strategists. While most solid marketing or branding books offer kindred messages, getAbstract considers Aaker’s work an essential read for anyone in marketing and brand management. Study it, and post his “Brand Portfolio Strategy” chart and “20 Takeaways” where you can refer to them often.


The ABCs of Brand Portfolios

If your company has more than one brand, you need a “brand portfolio strategy” to organize your brands’ structure and their “scope, roles and interrelationships.” Creating and implementing a successful business strategy requires managing your brand portfolio. All companies with multiple brands face portfolio management challenges, but if you clearly define the function of each brand, you can create an entity that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Delineating clear brand roles will help you allocate resources and determine how to invest in future brands. Good brand portfolio management enables your firm to tackle competitive challenges and pursue various growth strategies, such as offering new products or entering a premium market. Your branding clarifies your message to customers, preventing complexity and confusion.

The overall objectives of brand portfolio strategy are to support the company’s business goals and to “create synergy, leverage, and clarity within the portfolio and [its] relevant, differentiated, and energized brands.” A brand portfolio strategy has six elements:

  1. “The brand portfolio” – This...

About the Author

David A. Aaker’s previous books include Managing Brand Equity, Building Strong Brands and Brand Leadership. Aaker is the vice chairman of Prophet, a brand and marketing consultancy, and a professor emeritus at the University of California.

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