What is a brand?

This seminal article is based on the the text of a speech given by Stephen King at the 1970 Advertising Association Conference, with the theme of "Sharpen up or shut up".

What is a brand?

This booklet is the text of a speech given by Stephen King, at the 1970 Advertising Association Conference, whose theme was “Sharpen up or shut up.”

Stephen King, Director in charge of Account Planning and Research, J. Walter Thompson Company Limited.

The programme for the Advertising Association's 1970 conference started with a survey of advertisers, to get an idea of what they wanted to discuss. Several themes emerged. In particular, through unease at the growing power of retailers, those of discounts, below-the-line and private label. In fact, all the chosen themes converged on one point—that...

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We’re long-term subscribers to WARC and it’s a tool we use extensively. We use it to source case studies and best practice for the purposes of internal training, as well as for putting persuasive cases to clients. In compiling a recent case for long-term, sustained investment in brand, we were able to support key marketing principles with numerous case studies sourced from WARC. It helped bring what could have been a relatively dry deck to life with recognisable brand successes from across a broad number of categories. It’s incredibly efficient to have such a wealth of insight in one place.

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