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Stayin’ alive

How can a brand stay alive, remain relevant and engage with its consumers? Those are the key questions for any mature brand. Not to be a “Debbie downer,” but 24/7 Wall St. regularly compiles a report of brands that are likely to disappear in the near future. The most recent list includes:

  • Blockbuster
  • BP
  • Dollar Thrifty
  • Kia Motors Corp.
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Moody’s
  • RadioShack
  • Reader’s Digest

Blockbuster is a perfect example of a company that is taking a hard look at its business model and trying to find ways to adapt. Gone are the days when friends or families made a trip to the movie store to walk through the aisles and pick out what they were going to watch. With the influx of services from On Demand, Netflix and Redbox, movies and entertainment are more readily available to consumers in extremely convenient places, and they are often much less expensive.

 

Another brand attempting to resurrect itself is Gourmet. After shuttering the print version in the fall of 2009, Condé Nast just announced the former magazine will rebrand itself as an iPad application called Gourmet Live. The free app is set to launch in the fourth quarter and will include new content along with some archival content from the magazine.
Executives clearly found value in the Gourmet brand and wanted to try and capitalize on it using a new medium. It is unfortunate, in my humble opinion, the rebranding was not announced in conjunction with the end of the print publication. It would have helped bring some positive news to the end of an era. Condé Nast’s hope is to create a new way to engage with consumers and not rehash the magazine online.

Making it onto the infamous you-will-disappear list is not always a brand’s fault. Some things are unavoidable and unexpected – like a down economy. However, the unpredictable nature of market conditions does reinforce the importance of being able to adapt and change with the times and the consumer. It’s not good enough to rest on your laurels and assume you will make it out on top. Brands needs to continue to communicate with consumers and innovate.

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