I enjoyed this column recently from Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management.
Professor Calkins contrasts the portfolio strategy of two iconic companies: P&G and Unilever. In particular, he focuses on the strategies the two companies are pursuing with regards to the smaller brands in their portfolio.
P&G is looking to trim their portfolio. They’re focusing resources on their largest, most successful brands, and divesting or cutting support from smaller ones. Unilever, in contrast, has been on an acquisition tear, buying smaller brands with strong growth potential.
While both strategies can be right because of the company’s different positions, I agree with Professor Calkin’s conclusion: Given the choice, I would bet on growth.