by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*
At this time of year, perhaps more than any other, we PR and marketing professionals can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are no shortages of bloggers and writers flexing their “intuitive” muscles to predict the trends and topics in store for the coming year.
Not too long ago I posted on Fresh Ideas about the 10 Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012 as revealed by 24/7 Wall Street, a firm offering insight analysis and commentary for U.S. and global equity investors.
Now CoreBrand, a branding and marketing research firm, is making some predictions of its own. According to an article on Business Insider, These Famous Brands Will Disappear in 2012, “two days before the Wall Street Journal reported Kodak will fill for bankruptcy, James R. Gregory, CEO of branding and marketing research firm CoreBrand, predicted that Kodak would ‘disappear’ as a brand in 2012.”
The article is quick to address that “bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of Kodak as a business. The company and its brands could be bought or restructured.” Still we can’t ignore that many businesses within the tech industry are struggling to find relevancy in a rapidly changing digital landscape – even the ones who have consistently relied on their strong branding efforts to pull them into the new millennium.
The same can be said for companies in the automotive industry, which have struggled to balance their bottom lines even after extensive government and taxpayer bailouts. In fact, Saab, number four on the list, also recently filed bankruptcy. Yet the company still garners media attention, because, as this Wall Street Journal article explains, “this quirky little car brand with its few, but fiercely loyal enthusiasts, has been a source of great affection, nostalgia, and Swedish nationalism.”
But having a recognizable and timeless brand can’t do much when an organization suffers financially and structurally… or can it?
Lesser known companies may not seem to do well on their own, but might still rely on the success of their products. For example, Yum Brands! (number 7 on the list) is parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, all of which seem to do well in their own right. That is, if Yum Brands! avoids taking a page from the playbook of Hostess (whose classic brands include Twinkie, Sno Balls and Wonder Bread brands). Last week, Hostess filed for bankruptcy just two years after emerging from bankruptcy, confirms the Huffington Post.
What are your thoughts? Are these “disappearing acts” just a sign of the times or can something be done from a communications and PR standpoint to help other brands from avoiding a similar fate? What is digital media’s role in all of this, if any? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007. As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers