Brand Management: Background & History

Welcome back!

This month we are looking at the History of Marketing and how it began! Whilst having studied Marketing myself there was much learning around the concepts of Marketing and little around the history, so I thought I would share some facts about the birth of Brand Management.

On May 13th 1931 is the celebration of the day the profession of marketing was born. Neil H. McElroy as a junior executive managing the advertising campaign for P&G’s Camay brand of soap, wrote a famous 3-page company memo that laid out the principles of modern brand management.   To him we owe all that is today’s Modern Marketing principles. As you can read from the document below not has changed, maybe the terms we use but the bones of this remains true to this day! We take so much from this memo as it outlines all the key steps to running brands, 4P’s of Marketing: PRODUCT, PRICE, PACKAGING and PLACE. Thank you, Neil, for creating my career so many years ago!

Below is the McElroy memo:

Brand Man

1. Study carefully shipments of his brands by units.

2. Where brand development is heavy and where it is progressive, examine carefully the combination of effort that seems to be clicking and try to appeal this same treatment to other territories that are comparable.

3. Where brand development is light:

  • Study past advertising and promotional history of the brand: study the territory personality at first hand–both dealers and consumers–in order to find out the trouble.
  • After uncovering our weakness, develop a plan that can be applied to this local sore spot. It is necessary, of course not simply to work out the plan but also to be sure that the amount of money proposed can be expected to produce results at a reasonable cost per case.
  • Outline this plan in detail to the Division Manager under whose jurisdiction the weak territory is, obtain his authority and support for the corrective action.
  • Prepare sales helps and all other necessary material for carrying out the plan. Pass is on the districts. Work with salesmen while they are getting started. Follow through to the very finish to be sure that there is no letdown in sales operation of the plan.
  • Keep whatever records are necessary, and make whatever field studies are necessary to determine whether the plan has produced the expected results.

4. Take full responsibility, not simply for criticizing individual pieces of printed word copy, but also for the general printed word plans for his brands.

5. Take full responsibility for all other advertising expenditures on his brands (author’s note – in-store displays and promotions).

6. Experiment with and recommend wrapper (author’s note – packaging) revisions.

7. See each District Manager a number of times a year to discuss with him any possible faults in our promotion plans for that territory.

Till next time,

The Emporia Marketing Team

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