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Brands and Discounts

David Ogilvy: The Danger Of Discount Pricing


David Ogilvy Brand Strategy

David Ogilvy, a legend along-side the likes of Rosser Reeves and Bill Bernbach, has some strong words to say about deals and price. They are certainly worth repeating:

  • Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.
  • The financial rewards do not always come in next quarter’s earnings per share, but come they do. When Philip Morris bought General Foods for five billion dollars, they were buying brands.
  • There used to be a prosperous brand of coffee called Chase & Sanborn. Then they started dealing. They became addicted to price-offs. Where is Chase & Sanborn today? Dead as a doornail.
  • The manufacturers who dedicate their advertising to building a favorable image, the most sharply defined personality for their brand, are the ones who will get the largest share of market at the highest profit.
  • The time has come to sound an alarm! To warn what is going to happen to brands if so much is spent on deals that there is no money left to advertise them.
  • Deals don’t build the kind of indestructible image which is the only thing that can make your brand part of the fabric of American life.*

*David Ogilvy, “Fiftieth Anniversary Luncheon Speech,” Advertising Research Foundation, New York City, March 18, 1986.

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