Apr 7, 201412:06 PMIt's All About Content
with Thomas Marks
Why this classic brand is greater than Apple, Nike, or any other
(page 1 of 2)
While preparing to speak at the American Marketing Association’s Branding Conference, one of the questions that was presented to me was, “Besides Apple and Nike, name a brand that you really admire and why.” Fair enough. Although that’s assuming that I really do admire Apple and Nike. I’d be hard-pressed to say I don’t.
I work on a MacBook Air, as many writers do; I talk on an iPhone; I generally wake up in the morning with my glasses in one hand and my iPad in the other; and when I walk or run in my Nike Free 5.0s, I listen to music on my Nano. This, of course, begs the question, does interaction and transaction constitute brand admiration? From a brand’s standpoint, that’s really all that matters. Or is it?
The brand I admire most I haven’t interacted or transacted with in 25 years. For that matter, I probably haven’t even seen it, and if I have, it was only out of the corner of my eye. I admire brands based on three factors: usage (i.e., market share); how stiff the competition is; and staying power (i.e., does the brand have “legs”?). For me, hands down, the brand I admire most is as old as the hills and only serves the young. Since 1927, Gerber Baby Food has dominated the category. When it comes to having “legs,” these guys really know their audience’s mouths — and stomachs.
Over the course of nearly 90 years, Gerber’s market share has fluctuated between a staggering 83% and 90%. That’s just sick — in a good way, of course. Nothing is even close. And during the same length of time, Beech-Nut has been a distant second. That’s like being a prizefighter and taking punches every round, fight after fight. I really wouldn’t know, but it sure doesn’t sound like a walk in the park.
That amount of market share is unheard of. And those admired brands? Apple’s market share for computers is 19.5%, and that includes all its tablets. And Nike’s market share for shoes is 47%. These are huge numbers, but not quite as domineering as those achieved by our friends at Gerber.