Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

The “War” of Pagers: What can you learn from these businesses’ innovation and branding strategies? [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

May 9, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

Have you heard about Return Driven Strategy (RDS)? 

This pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations that help businesses effectively implement their branding and marketing strategies. Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo explain this in detail in the book, “Driven.” 

We encourage you to read about this framework during your free time. This will help you understand how you can further improve your business’ reputation, offerings, and interactions with customers. 

In today’s article, let’s talk about RDS’ Tenet 6—Brand Offerings

Keep reading the business case studies below to understand the importance of proper branding activities. 



I have written articles about my friend and colleague, Professor Joel Litman, a preeminent accounting expert whose investment research is read and respected by thousands of investors worldwide, including most of the largest.

Given recent financial tumult, bank failures, and levels of fear and panic that I haven’t observed since 2008, I asked Joel about his outlook and what worries him most. His answer: Nobody is talking about it.

There is an unexpected consequence to all this recent news that could cost some investors up to 90% of their capital by the summer. This particular risk likely will not see any mainstream coverage until it’s too late to do anything about it.

I invite you to join Professor Litman on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 8:00 PM EST. Joel will discuss this new risk in depth and outline what investors should do to protect their investments and get ahead of this risk.

You can register for the event below:


I hope you can join!

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy 

Are you familiar with Glenayre Technologies

For those of you who aren’t, Glenayre was one of the first top mobile communications companies in the world. Its offerings included enhanced services, unified messaging, advanced messaging services and devices, prepaid wireless and card services, and networking infrastructure. 

Very few know this company and its products nowadays. The reason for that? 

Glenayre specifically chose NOT to spend on branding its offerings. How unfortunate! 

Photo from Amazon.com

Think about this: The company was one of the first to deliver pagers that were of truly high quality compared to other existing offerings! However, it seemed like Glenayre missed an important point in business and marketing: 

It believed that product quality should be foremost, and that little or no branding would be needed in that case

Here’s the thing: While it’s true that product quality is important, relying on that alone is not enough to make customers buy a specific offering. Businesses need to conduct branding and marketing activities too to help consumers become aware of their need for that particular good or service. 

That’s what Glenayre got wrong in its business strategy. 

Meanwhile, Motorola, another mobile communications company, specifically focused on innovation AND branding to support its offerings. Today, it is one of the world’s communications giants. 

Photo from PhoneArena

It’s important to note that Glenayre and Motorola coexisted in the market. However, at the time when pagers were the breakthrough communications device, many considered Glenayre’s offering as more superior than Motorola’s. 

So, how did Motorola get way ahead of Glenayre? 

The answer is already stated above: Through innovation AND branding

Despite being behind Glenayre’s pagers, Motorola’s innovation strategies and branding activities led to more people becoming aware of its offerings and therefore, buying its products. 

The Real Purpose of Marketing and Branding 

Sergio Zyman is one of the world’s most accomplished marketers. He held senior positions at both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and built his own consulting firm around his expertise. 

Aside from that, he published two of the bestselling books about marketing. In fact, in his books, “The End of Advertising as We Know It” and “The End of Marketing as We Know It,” he summarized the purpose of advertising and branding by saying: 

“The only purpose of marketing is to sell more things to more people more often for more money.” 

This quote directly reflects the location of Tenet 6—Brand Offerings—in Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo’s Return Driven Strategy (RDS)

As these authors state in their book, “Driven,” high brand awareness, brand recognition, and other key performance metrics won’t matter if customers don’t purchase a business’ offering. All branding activities must lead to sales, which is achieved through: 

  • Innovating offerings 
  • Targeting and dominating the RIGHT markets
  • Fulfilling otherwise unmet customer needs
  • Ethically maximizing wealth

These are the higher tenets of RDS that branding should be focused on. 


Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo say customers can have scarce resources in terms of money and time. That’s why brands can be valuable to society when they allow people to save time in their need-fulfilling decisions. 

Just imagine how much time would be wasted if every purchasing decision required customers to study all available products and test their effectiveness because businesses chose not to spend on branding their offerings. 

That would definitely take more than a day to do! 

The bottom line? 

The real value of branding and branding activities is in the time saved by customers who can quickly understand the offering and the need it fulfills. 

When a business brands properly, it facilitates an efficient decision-making process in which the entire society can benefit. 

We hope you learned a lot from RDS’ Tenet 6! 

Create initiatives that will help your customers make quick decisions about your offerings. 

By making them aware of the reputation linked to your brand, you will avoid an incredible drain on your business, customers, and society as a whole. 

Also, if you’re looking to gain a better understanding of Return Driven Strategy, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo. 

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.” 

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals. 

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society. 

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy. 

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them. 

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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