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January 2009



Let's not mix our science theories. Darwin’s theory was and is about an organism’s ability to adapt to the environment…not just survival of the fittest. If an organism, company, or brand cannot adapt to the changing environment then they do not survive…that is unless a higher power (think government) steps in and changes the rules so the entity can operate in the new environment (think auto manufacturers, banks, etc.).

The reason these brands are dying is because they cannot adapt to the changing environment; especially one that is changing rapidly. For many of them, their business model was based on a continually expansive business environment…wrong plan if the economy stumbles. Many were built on the premise that consumers would forever seek to satisfy their wants versus there needs. Again, they were ill prepared to adapt to the consumer’s rapid shift to a different lifestyle.

As to strong brands surviving - One of the strongest brands ever was AT&T, but eventually the company didn’t survive. It was purchase by SBC and SBC liked the name (aka brand) so much that they decided to continue with its use. SBC genesis was as a “baby-bell,” but its ability to constantly adapt to the environment allowed it to out live the company that it was spawned from. So the strongest brand doesn’t always survive.

Again, Darwin’s theory is about adaptability to the environment.

Phil Darby

Have you been reading my posts or do we have some mystic link thing going on here? Of course, you are right, Brand Darwinism, as I too referred to it on my blog, is a healthy thing unless you are a dinosaur!

What interests me though is how we deal with the New Consumer, with new values, who won't buy frivolous stuff or things that don't deliver on a practical level and isn't going to pay on credit. Surprisingly perhaps, many of these are young too.

How organisations adjust their strategy to accommodate these new demands is going to be critical to success over the next couple of years. Its a paradigmn shift and it is happening NOW! If you are not already onto it, you are likely to be the next casualty!

Dr Wright

Its hard to trim back once you start really growing. You are tempted to put your name on everything and suddenly your name stands for nothing. Companies do need to evolve, however, looking to customers for direction is the best way to do this.

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV show

Vancouver real estate agent

Perfect article! But I am not crying for any brand. Because good brands don't fall. And if yes, usually they are reborn from ashes soon, as Phoenix :) And I think some brands are even indestructible, just because of their name. Can you imagine Coca-Cola bankrupt? :)
Take care


Well,Laura Thats the main issue actaully if marekting was illogical how could we get through the concepts of marketing to others or management
I hope your new book will answer that:)

Account Deleted

Fantastic! Whoever said it's illogical. It's natural and nature would follow its course as you've rightly pointed out.

While repercussions have been felt in India as well, I wonder how will companies learn their lessons. In the last few years there have been innumerable companies who've expanded left, right and center, who've launched brands and projects in every area imaginable, resulting in nothing more than total loss of focus and wastage of resources.


Brand Freedom!

When I think of strong brands I am reminded of this great quote from William Wallace in Braveheart....

"You're so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank's table that you've missed your God given right to something better."

How many companies that have weak brands and are stuck with the scraps from the strong brands table? The only way to feast like a king is to have a strong brand. Even if your sitting at the kid's table you are better off than eating scraps.

Too many companies try and be a small fish in a big pond instead of being the big fish in a small pond.

Al also made a great point of patience. When companies become inpatient with their brands(rocket), they fall fast.

But what do I know? I am a real estate broker in Phoenix :)

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