How to attain Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Mr. Arunabh Das Sharma – President, Bennett Coleman

Mr. Arunabh Das Sharma – President, Bennett Coleman

The concept of competitive advantage is slightly outvoted concept today.  What it means today and what it meant in 90’s is vastly different. In this age of dramatic & disruptive technology how can we manage the product life cycle is the main question. I have been fortunate to be associated with brands which have managed it successfully.  I have been fortunate to be a part of the journey of brands like Coke, Whirlpool & Times of India which are more that 100 yr old brands .According to me, the concept of product life cycle is dead. I think more and more people are trying to manage the brand life cycle as oppose to the product life cycle today. Because products that constitute the brand can come & go but the brand value will stay forever.

Product life cycle is an inverse s shaped curve, where you would start slow and then there’s rapid growth and then you start slowing down and at the end it would decline. Let’s take an example of Colgate dental cream. It is probably a 65 – 70 year old brand and yet it continues to be the leader primarily in same form & fashion. It is a very successful brand & product. I would however argue that the reason why Colgate dental cream is so successful is because the company has managed to figure out that there is a core set of consumers & there is a peripheral set of consumers & Colgate has been successful in focusing on both these categories by launching different products under same mother brand of Colgate, for e.g.:  Colgate total, Colgate sensitive & Colgate whitening. Continue reading

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