The Hare and the Tortoise

How brands can today be both built and sustained, successfully and consistently.

Charlie Ebdy, Head of Strategy, Vizeum UK, won the President's Prize for his 2015 IPA Excellence Diploma dissertation.

With business in the 21st century changing at pace, it is imperative we complement the classic rules of brand-building with a set of new rules that learns from how brands are built today. Charlie Ebdy proposes a two-stage model of brand-building: fast branding, the Hare model, that helps create new brands, and slow branding, the Tortoise model, that helps them profit in maturity.


We have a problem with branding: today, we are less likely than ever to be able to successfully create a brand. I believe that in studying the behaviour of successful legacy brands from the 20th century, we have created a dominant view of branding that helps storied incumbents sustain success but prevents new entrants from growing in what is an ever more transient business landscape. To understand how to create a successful brand in the 21st century therefore requires we find new rules of branding, sensitive not just to how big brands have behaved in the past, but how big brands were created in the present. We need to add a new way of fitting brand behaviour to business context; we need to cater to both Hares and Tortoises.

Download the dissertation