The real question is “do all brands have to die?”

The simple answer is “NO”.

A brand, if managed properly, has the ability to survive anything. Even in the event of a total product and corporate failure, a great brand won’t die. It will continue to live and thrive.

However, a brand that is poorly managed can die a quick, painful and costly death and destroy all things attached to it.

One obvious example of a great brand that will survive is the “Twinkie”. This highly processed, sugar-filled cream filled cake has been an American staple for decades. The very public bankruptcy of Hostess, the 82 year-old bakery that invented “Twinkies”, will put an end to their production of this iconic snack, but it will not kill the brand. The “Twinkie” brand is bigger than the company that created it and it will be sold to another manufacturer and be reappearing on grocery shelves shortly.

The reason for the longevity of the “Twinkie” is true brand love and the consumer loyalty it fostered; a blind faith that takes time, strategic planning and consistency to build.

Compare “Twinkie” to the collapse of the “Blockbuster” brand in 2012. Both brands were North American leaders and both were facing challenges. “Blockbuster” was not able to adapt to the ever-changing distribution of home entertainment from DVD rentals to online delivery and was replaced by “Netflicks”.

In the end the brand was destroyed by not having an emotional brand engagement with their consumers, which may have been able to push management to adapt and keep the brand alive.

Just imagine what Apple would have done if it was Blockbuster. It all comes down to brand love. If consumers love your brand they will support it through tough times. Apple, like Twinkies, has earned that support. Blockbuster did not.

Each year 24/7 Wall St., ( the financial analysis website for U.S and global equity investors, makes some very accurate predictions on the “Ten brands that will disappear”, based on a methodical approach of 7 major criteria including:

a rapid fall-off in sales and steep losses;
disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business;
rapidly rising costs that are extremely unlikely to be recouped through higher prices;
companies that are sold;
companies that go into bankruptcy;
companies that have lost the great majority of their customers; or
operations with rapidly withering market share.

In 2012, 24/7 Wall St., correctly predicted the collapse of former major brands including MySpace, Saab and Ericsson.

The 10 brands that will disappear in 2013 are:

American Airlines
Current TV
Research in Motion
Pacific Sunwear
The Oakland Raiders

It will be interesting to watch how these once strong brands deal with their changing fate and what happens to the sub-brands. Can you imagine a world without “Blackberry” or no “Avon Calling”?

Keeping a brand alive is all about keeping the brand love relationship alive with your consumers. You need to continually ask yourself “who loves my brand?” and “what can I do to improve that relationship?”.

To find out how you can make your brand relationship stronger sign up for our ongoing brandLove report or give us a call. Put the Say What! brandLove team to work for you.

Cheers grant

Grant Ivens, RGD
brand surgeon | rocket scientist
Say What! Communications Corp.
116A Main St North, Markham, ON, Canada L3P 1X8
T 905.752.3110