Staying on Top of Your Game

Over the past couple of months, we have been featuring articles on branding.  We have discussed what is your brand and how to improve it.  An interesting article written by Douglas A. McIntyre posted on msnbc.com listing 10 brands that won’t be around in 2012.  We would like to highlight some of the points about the article, to emphasize the fact that no company or brand is protected in this economy.  Remember change is eminent; either you can create the change yourself, the market will force you to change, or go out of business.   According to the article, “27/7 Wall St. has created a new list of brands that will disappear, which includes Sears, Sony Pictures, American Apparel, Nokia, Saab, W&W, Soap Opera Digest, Sony Ericsson, MySpace and Kellog’s Corn Pops.”  Brands that have stood the test of time for decades are falling by the wayside at an alarming rate.  For instance:

Pontiac, a major car brand since 1926, is gone, shut down by a struggling GM. 

House and Garden magazine folded after 106 years.  It succumbed to the advertising downturn, a lot of competition, and the cost of paper and postage.

Blockbuster, after giving in to competition from Netflix and buckling under nearly $1 billion in debt, was bought out by Dish Network.

The point is that no company is safe from becoming obsolete.  It is important that you are continually examining our business to keep it vital.  As pointed out in one of our past articles, you must start looking at your brand and making a plan for the future.  Customers are less dedicated to shopping in specific stores and are open to investigate your competition.  By examining the large companies, you can gain insight into your own brand. For example, according to an article written in the Harvard Business Review, April 2011 the former CEO of Blockbuster, “didn’t believe that technology would threaten Blockbuster as fast as critics thought".  Blockbusters’ business model did not move it into the future quick enough.  It did not adapt to the new technology therefore making the company obsolete within a couple of years.

Now, what can we learn from them? Constant diligence is necessary to keep our brand alive and vital for the future. 

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