Big Brands, Big Trouble | Jack Trout

Summary of: Big Brands, Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way
By: Jack Trout


In ‘Big Brands, Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way,’ Jack Trout explores how once-admired companies like IBM, Kodak, and General Motors have run into trouble as they lost touch with their core strengths and customers. By examining the mistakes made by these iconic brands, the book presents key insights on what works and what doesn’t in the world of marketing and branding. The focus is on the importance of understanding customer perceptions, sticking to familiar strengths, and avoiding the lure of being everything to everyone. Get ready to discover valuable lessons grounded in real-world examples and learn how perception plays a crucial role in the fate of big brands.

Marketing Lessons from Failed Big Brands

Learn from the failures of big brands such as IBM, Kmart, and Kodak, as outlined in the book In Search of Excellence, to avoid making common marketing mistakes. In today’s competitive market, a better product or service doesn’t guarantee success if you fail to connect with customers or clearly define your product category. Winning marketing strategies involve simplifying your product’s explanation, choosing the right name, owning unique concepts or attributes, and not benchmarking against already established brands. In the end, marketing is all about shaping perceptions in the minds of customers.

The Art of Perception in Marketing

The way you present your product is crucial in marketing because perception is reality. To win in the marketing war, companies need to create a unique identity that reflects how customers imagine them. Attempting to capture a concept another company owns is futile. Successful marketers think like their prospects, and not impose their worldview on the situation. Companies lose objectivity when they become successful, and leaders make decisions that don’t reflect the customers’ desires. Large companies’ executives are less likely to communicate with their customers. Corporations make mistakes by trying to be everything to everyone, blurring the brand’s distinction by adding more products to their lines, and setting growth as their goal. The solution is to appeal to the customers’ desires and view expansion as a byproduct of the company’s core business. To survive, companies must keep up with the trends in the industry, or they will perish.

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