A term used in two different ways. First, where a company has such a large number of brands that its marketing focus is diffuse, it may choose to drop or de-proliferate’ certain brands. Alternately, it may refer to reducing the number of products sold under a brand in an effort to refocus the brand.
A well known example of de-proliferating brands as a reduction of brands was the decision of General Motors to drop the Oldsmobile brand in 2004 after 107 years of use and the Pontiac brand in 2009 after 84 years. An example of reducing products sold under a brand to restore the brands reputation or exclusiveness was Gucci’s reduction of the number of items sold under its brand in the 1990s from twenty thousand to five thousand, terminating many licenses, a policy Gucci repeated when it acquired Yves St Laurent.