Between Level 6 and 7, Mature Brand Company & Leader Brand Company
Based on desk research and our own experience with the brand (outside-in view), Marlboro, respectively the company Philip Morris, can be placed between level 6 and 7 within the Brand Maturity Model by Cseng Lim. Over the years, the company has successfully established a strong brand that has a huge influence on the strategic and operational decisions made by the management team. The brand’s promises guide all activities across various functions within the company. Marketing activities are designed according to the brand’s core values (independence, freedom) in order to foster loyalty and trust among customers. Therefore, the Marlboro brand belongs to the company’s essential asset that contributes to the company’s success. Consequently, defending the brand against infringements of intellectual property rights is essential in order to maintain the brand’s strong position on the market.
Level 7, Leader Brand Company, not fully reached
The company Philip Morris with its international brand portfolio managed to gain a strong market position on a global scale. As the largest selling cigarette brand in the world, Marlboro is a very successful international brand. Also in Switzerland, the Marlboro brand possesses a strong market power, which is reflected in the brand’s positioning in the high price market. Although customers have to pay the highest amount of money for a cigarette brand, Marlboro is the most sold cigarette in Switzerland (and in the world). However, in our perspective, level 7 of the Brand Maturity Model by Cseng Lim is not fully reached yet. This is mainly because of the slight inconsistency of the brand experience. Although the brand was repositioned to target young adult smokers, the previous brand positioning as a mature men cigarette (Marlboro Man) is still top of mind by customers. As a result, the newly designed brand experience may confuse young adult smokers.