LONDON: A brand does not remain static throughout its lifetime, potentially passing through seven stages which marketers need to recognise in order to help it evolve and adapt to new circumstances.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Giles Lury, a director of The Value Engineers, and Sean Davey, a partner at Pollitt & Partners, observe that brands "exist to manage long-term value and are not superseded or replaced, but rather they have the potential to be eternal".

But, they add, brands evolve and go through various ages and most will, at some point, have to address the challenges and opportunities that arise.

Those facing a brand in the inception age of its life cycle, for example, will be very different to those facing a brand in the expansion phase.

In the former, the challenge for the brand owner is first and foremost to survive and ideally succeed and this often revolves around practical issues such as establishing production, gaining distribution, driving trial and managing cash flow.

From a brand standpoint, the most pressing considerations are the name and the identity – "fledgling customers need to know what to ask for and what to look for".

By the time the brand has progressed through the acceleration and competition stages to the expansion part of the cycle, marketers have moved on to exploring how best to leverage the existing brand name and equity to move into new categories or markets.

If expanding internationally, "products and services may need to be adapted but still remain true to the brand philosophy, its core beliefs," the authors note.

Similarly, when entering a new category, "it's key to work out how your brand can enter that market in a way that is true to your brand vision, is distinctive, and offers a real consumer benefit".

Ages of acquisition and decline may be followed by an age of revitalisation.

And even death is not necessarily the end."Brand resurrection is when a brand is brought back from the dead and given a new lease of life."

Data sourced from Admap