Case Study

Akzo Nobel UK: Managing the brand portfolio

24 pages
March 2000
Reference: IMD-5-0555

In June 1999, Leif Abildgaard, the Managing Director of Akzo Nobel UK, was faced with a difficult decision: he had to figure out how to revive the company’s Trade business. Akzo Nobel UK had two principal lines of business: the Retail business, which sold paint to the domestic, do-it-yourself market, and the Trade business, which sold paint to professionals using a network of traditional paint merchants, builders merchants, and the company’s own distribution outlets. Abildgaard, along with some his more senior managers, decided in 1999 to reduce the number of brands in the Trade business portfolio. Although Akzo Nobel had successfully reduced the number of brands in its Retail business portfolio, no attempt had ever been made to drop brands from the Trade portfolio. Because the Trade business consisted of professionals who tended to be brand loyal, Abildgaard knew that any decision he made would likely alienate some of his customers. Nevertheless, Abildgaard pressed ahead in his effort and had to decide which brands to discontinue.

Branding, Brand Deletion, Paint
Field Research
© 2000
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