Akzo Nobel UK: Managing the Brand Portfolio

Case Solution

Nirmalya Kumar, Brian Rogers
IMD ()

In June 1999, Leif Abildgaard, Managing Director of Akzo Nobel UK, faced a difficult decision: he had to figure out how to revive the company’s commercial business. Akzo Nobel UK had two main lines of business: the retail business, which sold paint to the home improvement market, and the commercial business, which sold outlets through a network of traditional paint distributors, distributors of paint materials. construction and its own sales to specialist dealers. In 1999, Abildgaard, along with some of his senior executives, decided to reduce the number of brands in the retail business portfolio. Although Akzo Nobel had successfully reduced the number of brands in its retail portfolio, no attempt was made to remove brands from the retail portfolio. Since the commercial business consisted of professionals who tended to be loyal to the brand, Abildgaard knew that any decision he made was likely to put off some of his clients. Still, Abildgaard went ahead with his efforts and had to decide which brands to discontinue.

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